It was time to bring a more versatile vehicle into the fold. We are a bigger family. We want to do more camping and outdoor adventures. I have been driving an Audi Q5, and before that Porsche Cayenne. Both excellent vehicles, but neither evoked any emotion. You just get in and drive, reliably and comfortably from A to B. I started looking into trucks. Drove the 2019 Toyota Tundra, GMC 2500 Duramax. Both would get the job done, but as nice as they are inside, they drove like work trucks. I wanted more.

I have always loved the lore of Ford’s Raptor. When Ford released the Raptor back in 2010, it was really just an F150 with a monster motor, and some reinforcement to the half-ton frame. Its monster 6.2L V8 motor made it an equal combination of extreme, desirable, and impractical. Ford made the Gen 1 Raptor until 2014. Fast forward to present, Gen 1 Raptors will still fetch over $30K in almost any condition. Extraordinary when you consider most of these trucks have been put through their paces. Scarcity has a way of making things more valuable.

After a retooling, and rethinking, in 2017 Ford released the Gen 2 Raptor. This edition was no longer a churched up F150. The Gen 2 Raptor is a purpose built vehicle, and in my opinion, the most versatile luxury performance vehicle available. Ford replaced the V8 with a 3.5L twin-turbo, EcoBoost V6 which is the same motor that ships in the FordGT (detuned) producing 450HP stock. All at once, Raptor fanatics all shot their spit wads at Ford. Why would they consider changing the power plant in this beast? It doesn’t sound like a V8. It isn’t the same. All comments are accurate, and Jimmy cracked corn, and I don’t care. Because, the Gen2 Raptor has countless improvements over the Gen 1. It has a fully-boxed 1-ton frame, improved suspension (which is still ripe for further improvement), better brakes, better axels, better transmission, better towing, better gas mileage, lighter body, lighter motor, 6 fantastic driving modes (including Baja), and a radically improved interior built for road trips.

If you need proof of how it works, take a look at this review of an unmodified truck with Jonny Lieberman and Ken Block (or just Google “ken block raptor” and watch other videos).

My Raptor arrived in October 2018. I have to say that I love this thing. Press the start button, and the EcoBoost comes to life. Our first trip was 2,500 mile road trip from Reno to Kalispell, Montana. That was enough to make me fall in love with it.


  • ReadyLIFT SST Liftkit

  • Rouch Performance Pac

  • APC Momentum GT Cold Air Intake

  • Magnaflow Exhaust

  • SPD Catted Downpipes

  • BakFlip MX4 Bed Cover

  • FUEL Maverick 20x10 wheels

  • Toyo 35x12.50r20 M/T tires

  • 500+ HP

Since our first road trip, we’ve taken countless desert adventures rolling with our Can-am side-by-side. It takes pretty much anything you throw at it. An absolute joy to drive, and maintain. Try to find me another modern truck that holds its value like Ford Raptors. You won’t find anything like it. Will update photos and upgrades as they happen, but for now, I can’t ask for more in a truck.

KEYWORDS: ford, raptor, f150 raptor, rousch performance, ford performance, readylift, magnaflow, bestinthedesert