Drive Type: rwd
Cedar Rapids, Iowa, United States
I'm not normally a pickup kind of guy, but the 2013 Ford F-150 SVT Raptor won me over nearly instantly. The street-legal trophy truck - there is really no other way to accurately describe it - is big, brawny and incredibly capable. Let's just say it's every bit the monster it visually portrays. I spent a week pretending I was one of Ford's Baja 1000 drivers, but lacking desert sand, I headed into the local mountains where a mild winter storm had dropped a couple inches of fresh snow on my favorite off-road park. The Ford was, for the most part, practically unstoppable.
Ford offers its SVT Raptor package on Supercab and Supercrew platforms with the five-foot, five-inch bed. The Supercrew I tested rides on a 144-inch wheelbase (about a foot longer than the Supercab). In addition to its cosmetic differences when compared to the standard F-150 - there isn't a young boy on the planet who doesn't think the matte black Ford grille is cool - the Raptor has a 73.6-inch track - nearly seven inches wider than the track on the standard F-150.
After upgrading the F-150 SVT Raptor significantly for the 2012 model year, there are only a few changes for 2013. The list includes standard high-intensity discharge (HID) headlamps, Hill Descent Control, forged beadlock-capable wheels, and the new matte Terrain color (aka "Desert Storm") option seen on my test model.
It would have been all too easy to miss the auto show debut of the 2015 Ford Mustang convertible. It was, after all, unveiled alongside its fixed-roof counterpart at the Detroit Auto Show this past January, lumping coupe and cabrio into one debut. But Ford is evidently still intent on making its new droptop stand out. The top of the Empire State Building ought to do the trick.
Automotive history buffs may recall that, 50 years ago, Ford unveiled its first Mustang convertible atop what was then the tallest building in the world, that Art Deco icon of the New York skyline. Half a century later, Ford is recreating the feat and bringing the new topless Mustang to the same observation deck on the building's 86th floor.
Getting it up there, of course, will be no easy task. While they'd usually airlift the vehicle onto the roof or lift it by crane, the spire protruding from atop the building makes approaching the narrow observation deck too dangerous, and no mobile crane can telescope the thousand-plus feet it would take to get the pony car up there.
General Motors must be pretty pleased with sales of its two newest pickups, the GMC Sierra and Chevrolet Silverado, as it's announced price hikes for both models, as part of a planned price tweak.
Prices will be bumped by as much as $1,500, although weirdly, they'll be offset by as much as $1,500 in cash-back offers through the end of October. Fox Business reports that GM spokesman Jim Cain said of the price hike, "With the sell down of the '13 models nearly complete, this price adjustment was planned and is a normal part of business."
The move, as Fox is quick to point out, is an interesting one, as sales of the twin pickups struggled last month relative to the Ford F-Series, while both of GM's crosstown competitors have been aggressively undercutting Silverado and Sierra prices. The F-150 starts at $24,070 and the Ram 1500 comes in at $23,600, not counting any cash on the hood. A base Silverado, meanwhile, retails at $25,575.