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Ford F-150 Raptor | review

The Ford F-150 Raptor is powered by a 6.2-litre V8.

Ford deserves kudos for announcing 11 all-new “global” models -- including the return of the iconic Mustang -- over the next three years. After seven straight years of sales decline Down Under the fresh metal will provide a much needed boost as Ford fans brace for the passing of the Falcon in 2016.

But there is just one thing the four most senior executives from Ford in Detroit neglected to mention during their surprise visit to Sydney this week. The most iconic Ford of all -- the F-Series pick-up -- will sadly stay behind.

F-Series pick-ups have been sold here intermittently since 1970; the last time was in 2007 when they cost $63,000 new. Demand is still so strong that used examples fetch the same money, if not more.

But, tragically, we don’t buy them in large enough numbers for Ford to justify the investment to build them in right-hand-drive. At its peak, Australians bought 2000 F-Series “trucks” in 2005 -- compared to more than 640,000 in the US last year. It’s North America’s top-selling vehicle full stop. It has led the pick-up market for the better part of four decades in the US.

Thankfully there are companies that convert them to right-hand-drive so that we don’t miss out. The only problem is they have become a symbol of wealth in Australia. The basic F-150 can be bought for $25,000 in the US -- not much more than a bargain-basement Toyota HiLux -- but they cost well in excess of $100,000 here by the time shipping, import duties, luxury car tax and the conversion are covered.


To get acquainted with what we’re missing out on I slipped behind the wheel (well, climbed aboard) the pinnacle of the F-Series range, a vehicle which is even better than the famed Harley-Davidson limited edition and the timber-clad King Ranch.

It is the F-150 Raptor, and powered by a 6.2-litre V8 it is the Ferrari of pick-up trucks. In fact, on our brief drive in Sydney this week it turned more heads than Italy’s finest. With its oversized guards and jacked-up suspension it looks like a beast from a desert race -- but this is how it rolls off the production line (except, of course, for the RHD conversion).


This machine costs $120,000 in Australia even though prices start at $45,000 in the US. And you know what? It’s worth every cent. No wonder they’re being sold as quickly as they’re being converted.

Ford F-150 Raptor

Price: $120,000 (Australia) $45,000 (US)
Engine: 6.2-litre V8

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Range and Specs

(4X4) 4.9L, ULP, 4 SP MAN 4X4 $9,800 – 14,740 1988 Ford F150 1988 (4X4) Pricing and Specs
(base) 4.9L, ULP, 4 SP MAN $7,400 – 11,440 1988 Ford F150 1988 (base) Pricing and Specs
XLT 4.9L, ULP, 4 SP MAN $11,600 – 16,940 1988 Ford F150 1988 XLT Pricing and Specs
XLT (4X4) 4.9L, ULP, 4 SP MAN 4X4 $12,500 – 18,150 1988 Ford F150 1988 XLT (4X4) Pricing and Specs
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