Options: Cassette Player
Exterior Color: Forest Green
Drive Type: Not Sure
Interior Color: Goldish
Chandler, Arizona, United States
Even when Ken Block isn't starring in the latest Gymkhana video or tearing up Global RallyCross courses, he's finding new ways to redefine "awesome" as it applies to motorsports. For evidence of this, look no further than Block's latest Monster-badged creation, the Ford F-150 RaptorTrax.
Billed as the "world's fastest snowcat," the RaptorTrax started life as a Ford F-150 SVT Raptor, and then a set of Mattracks were put in place where the truck's bead-locked wheels and meaty rubber once resided. The goal was to create a truck that made it easier - and presumably more fun - for Block and his buddies to hit the slopes on their snowboards. Aside from the obvious track upgrades, this truck also received a Whipple supercharger, full roll cage, Recaro seats, an in-bed snowboard rack, a roof basket and a rear-mounted winch - you know, just in case something or someone actually manages to get this truck stuck.
The RaptorTrax will be on display later this week at the Winter X Games in Apsen, CO, but we'll have to wait until next winter for a full Block-worthy video of the truck. A full press release from Hoonigan Racing Division is posted below, and a high-res image can be found by clicking above.
While its crosstown competitors at General Motors are smarting over a drastic drop in net income to $200 million in the second quarter, Ford has reason to celebrate. The Blue Oval has announced its own Q2 financial results, including a growing net income of $1.3 billion, a $78 million increase over last year. Pretax profits for the company reached $2.6 billion, up $44 million from 2013, but total revenue dropped slightly to $37.4 billion, down from $37.9 billion. Profits per share before one-time charges totaled 40 cents per share, beating Wall Street analysts' expectations of 36 cents a share.
Regionally, the Blue Oval performed strongly, as well. North America posted a record quarterly pre-tax profit of $2.4 billion, a $119 million increase. Europe also showed signs of turn around with its first profit in three years of $14 million after a loss of $306 million in Q2 2013. Ford is actually predicting profitability in the troubled region in 2015. Asia Pacific operations also performed well with $159 million in profits, up $29 million from last year. The only region where the business posted a loss was South America.
According to Automotive News, Ford also announced more precise plans about the changeover to build the aluminum-intensive 2015 F-150. In August, the Dearborn plant will shutdown for eight weeks to retool and its Kansas City plant will do the same next year.
Our spy photographers have just popped off a few shots of something curious. This little runabout was spotted in Germany out testing with a current-generation Ford Fiesta. We're fairly confident the machine is a Ford, but exactly which Ford model is up for debate. The hatchback could be the next-generation Ka, but we've also heard that the Blue Oval supermini might not get a replacement. Our shooter says the five-door is a bit smaller than the current Fiesta, though there is a chance that this rig is just an engineering mule for drivetrain development. Then again, it could be a model built specifically for the South African market or China, or not a Ford at all.
Whatever it is and wherever it's headed, you can check out in the gallery for a closer look before heading into Comments to weigh in with your best guess.