by Patrick Rall
Ford Truck Enthusiasts
The Ford SVT Raptor F150 is very likely the most capable factory-built, normal production pickup truck of all time and with the introduction of the December car pack, the mighty Raptor is available for play on Forza Motorsport 4 – the racing simulation by which are other racing games are currently judged. The Raptor joins a very small and exclusive group of trucks and sport utility vehicles in Forza 4, with well known high performance models like the Dodge Ram SRT10, the Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT8 the GMC Syclone, the GMC Typhoon, the Saleen S331 (F150 based), the Audi Q7 V12, the BMW X5 M, the Hummer H1 Alpha, the supercharged Land Rover Range Rover (which packs a Ford powerplant), and the Mercedes Benz ML63 AMG.
When you go to the in-game “buy cars” mode to purchase the 2011 Ford SVT Raptor F150, the Raptor is available in five colors – Oxford White, Ingot Silver, Tuxedo Black, Blue Flame and Molten Orange – and you can either select your virtual Raptor with or without the Raptor side “splash” graphics and the blacked out SVT Raptor hood decal. I selected my Raptor in Blue Flame with the graphics – just like my Raptor test truck that I spent time in last year.
Now, the SVT Raptor is an amazing truck but anyone who owns one or has driven one knows that the Raptor’s strong point is going very fast in off-roading situations. The Raptor is every bit as awesome on the road as it is off of the road but compared to that group of go-fast street trucks, the Raptor is an odd choice as there are currently no off-road courses in Forza Motorsport 4. Among those trucks and SUVs listed above, the only other vehicle that does better off road than it does on paved surfaces is the Hummer H1 – a military vehicle once known for having a top speed below 70mph. Luckily, through the wonders of the video game world, the Raptor keeps right up with those other trucks and sport utility vehicles; although if you are a gamer driving a Raptor and you are having a hard time keeping up, FM4 has a frenzy of modifications that go as far as yanking the 4WD in favor of RWD and swapping out the new 6.2L V8 for the supercharged 5.4L from the 2010 Shelby GT500 Mustang.
In addition to all of the expected modifications for the Raptor, ranging from a cold air intake to a complete drivetrain rebuild, Forza 4 offers some interesting body modifications that make the street-ready Raptor F150 look more like the original race-tested Raptor Baja truck. This includes an offroading front bumper covered in driving lights, a light bar across the roof with even more driving lights and out back, the Raptor gets a full Baja-redeux complete with a pair of spare tires and an intricate roll cage system in what was originally the bed.
With any luck, the makers of Forza 4 will soon introduce some sort of off-road competition so that the Ford Raptor SVT F150 can really shine but for the time being, Ford fans who partake in Forza Motorsport 4 now have a truck wearing the blue oval with which to take on the best street trucks and SUVs in the world.
So does the Raptor make Forza a must have? Or are video games only for dorks? Head over to the Forum and see what members are saying!