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Auto blogTue, 14 Oct 2014 11:01:00 EST
Pickup trucks tend not to advance at quite the same pace as the rest of the industry. That's what makes the new Ford F-150 so remarkable, jettisoning its old steel construction in favor of aluminum. It's a game changer that Ford is betting big on, and in anticipation of surging demand, the Blue Oval automaker is adding 850 new jobs to put the thing together.
Those 850 new employees will be centered at Ford's Rouge complex in Michigan - with 300 at Dearborn Stamping, 50 more at Dearborn Diversified and 500 at the Dearborn Truck facility, the latter of which has already kicked off what Ford describes as "the largest manufacturing transformation in decades." Old manufacturing equipment is being replaced with the latest technologies, and even the Ford Rouge Factory Tour is undergoing a complete overhaul.
The new jobs come as part of the commitments Ford made to the UAW in 2011 to create 12,000 hourly jobs in the United States by 2015 - a number which Ford has already exceeded at 14,000. Over 4,000 of those are centered in southeastern Michigan.
Fans of off-roading and desert blasting might recall that Chrysler offers an aftermarket conversion that can turn a Ram 1500 into a road-legal desert racer, called the Ram Runner. The kit, sold through Mopar, includes some significant suspension upgrades, body tweaks and a brawnier cat-back exhaust for the truck's 5.7-liter V8.
Considering all of this, comparisons with the almighty Ford F-150 SVT Raptor are common. Among the off-road community, that makes these two a sort of Chevrolet Camaro and Ford Mustang for people that prefer driving on dirt. In the Race-Dezert forum, the discussion as to which truck was better was proceeding as normal - Ram fans said their piece and Ford fans said theirs. Then, a man named Kent Kroeker offered up his two cents.
See, Kroeker is a Baja racer, and the man that helped develop the Ram Runner. Despite his association with the truck, though, he had some less than kind words for Chrysler and the Ram Runner.
The Ford F-150 SVT Raptor is a very capable truck right out of the box, but "capable" has never translated into "invincible." Just ask the owner of the machine in this video. In it, the driver gets frisky with an aggressive jump with plenty of speed on his hands. The result is enough air to make Vaughn Gittin Jr. blush. As always, it's not the launch that's painful, but the re-entry. Gravity eventually asserts its dominance over the $43,630 pickup in a big way, and when it comes crashing down, it does so with a vengeance.
The impact was hard enough to set off both the alarm and multiple airbags inside the cabin. It's unclear if anyone was injured in the stunt, but we certainly wouldn't be surprised to hear that was the case. You can check out the stunt in the video below, and remember, when in doubt, back out of the throttle. Be warned, there may be some explicit/NSFW language in the clip.
UPDATE: Second video added with an even better look at the jump added below.