Drive Type: 4x4
Number of Cylinders: 8
Trim: Rock Crawler
Asheville, North Carolina, United States
Ford has pulled the wraps off its anticipated 2014 F-150 SVT Raptor Special Edition model, a new variant of the popular street-legal off-road specialist. In a nutshell, the "special" is all cosmetic - there are no mechanical upgrades to the truck and its 6.2-liter V8 (411 horsepower and 434 pound-feet of torque), Torsen limited-slip differential, beadlock-capable wheels and internal triple-bypass FOX Racing Shox dampers all remain untouched.
The SVT Raptor Special Edition, which adds cosmetic enhancements to the existing Luxury Package, will be offered in Ruby Red Metallic and Tuxedo Black Metallic with box-side graphics. The interior upgrades include Brick Red seat bolsters (with black inserts), cloth honeycomb highlights and a console top finish panel.
As of now, Ford has only release a couple pictures of the Special Edition model. But check back later, as we will update the gallery when additional high-res images are released later today, and be sure to peruse the press release below for all the details.
With a number of 2015 Ford Mustang versions finally available to configure, the fun of speculating about next year's high-performance 'Stang can now begin. It looks like Ford has something seriously fun planned too. One of our spy photographers just snapped some fresh pics of the 2016 Mustang SVT, which is believed to be hiding the final body shape under all of that heavy camouflage.
Ford clearly doesn't want prying eyes looking at its new pride and joy. It would be hard to put much more obfuscation on a car than this one wears - it even has mesh baffles around the exhausts to conceal how many there are and panels over the wheels to hide their design. However, the Blue Oval can't keep everything a secret. The biggest clue that something special is hidden underneath is the massive hood bulge and vent in front of it. Clearly, whatever is under there is hungry for cool air. The shape of the camo indicates that there may be fender vents on each side, and there are also obscured outlets behind the front wheels likely to pull cool air through the brakes. At the rear, the concealment does its job, making it hard to observe any big changes. The fact that Ford wants it kept such a secret might indicate something, though.
A few photos of the interior show far less cover than the outside. You can easily make out the model's 6,500 rpm redline with a possible 7,000 rpm over-rev function. The big Recaro sport seats also look quite supportive.
According to a Bloomberg report, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has upgraded an investigation into complaints of unintended acceleration lodged against Ford vehicles. The investigation began in June of 2010 when just three complaints had been received and it only concerned the Ford Fusion and Mercury Milan, but this was at a time when the phrase "unintended acceleration" made grown men go pale. With 49 additional complaints received since then, the investigation has been reclassified as an engineering analysis - the last phase before a recall - and it has been expanded to include the Lincoln MKZ, making for a total of "around 480,000" units affected between the three sedans from the 2008 to 2010 model years.
The ostensible cause is that floor mats are trapping the accelerator pedal, but according to a Ford statement at the time, the entrapment is due to owners placing the optional all-weather floor mats, or aftermarket floor mats, on top of the car's standard floor mats. NHTSA has backed up that assessment, pinning the blame on "unsecured or double stacked floor mats."
On the face of it, it would appear that NHTSA has upgraded the status not because of Ford's error, but owner error, and Ford has stated publicly that it is "disappointed" in NHTSA's move. On top of NHTSA still being skittish after that other unintended acceleration debacle, it could be seen to be taking its time investigating all of the variables: it's reported that Ford changed its accelerator pedal design in 2010, a "heel blocker" in the floorpan has been considered a potential culprit in how the floor mats could be trapping the pedal, some drivers have said the floor mats weren't anywhere near the pedal, and according to a report in the LA Times, in "a letter sent by Ford to NHTSA in August 2010, the automaker said it found three injuries and one fatality that 'may have resulted from the alleged defect.'"