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The Raptor: big, brash and a whole heap of fun

Americans love Ford's F-150 truck. The Raptor version is a beast – but a ridiculously appealing one.

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The Ford F-150 is "America's equivalent of the Ford Fiesta when it comes to commercial appeal", says Steve Sutcliffe in Auto Express it has consistently topped the sales charts since its creation in 1984. But the Raptor version is something else. Powered by the same turbocharged, 3.5 litre, 450bhp engine you'll find in the Ford GT supercar, it is "a quite ridiculously appealing machine to drive".

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It certainly is, says Stephen Dobie on TopGear.com. It's "fairly fidgety" at low speeds, but it's "an extremely satisfying thing to drive briskly". The "faster and harder you go, the more sense it makes". The V6 is "punchy enough to propel the Raptor's 2.5 tonnes to a 107mph top speed", while 60mph from rest comes at five seconds dead. And it is "miraculously quiet and relaxing" cruising on the motorway.

But it's off-road that the Raptor comes into its own "big, brash and a whole heap of fun to be around", says Dan Trent in The Daily Telegraph. "Drive a Raptor," says Dobie, "and your brain becomes hyperalert to opportunities to bury it in mud and drench it in puddles." Take it into the mud and it's in its element. The only worry is that "the UK's off-road lanes are probably too small and precious for it".

Officially, Ford is not importing the Raptor to the UK. But London dealer Clive Sutton is, and even offers right-hand-drive versions. Expect to pay more than £100,000, though. Still, says Dobie, there's "very little that's as brashly individual for the money".

Price £106,000 (UK). Engine: 3.5-litre V6, twin-turbo, petrol. 0-62mph: 5.0 sec Top speed: 107mph. Economy: 16mpg.

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