2014 Ford SVT Raptor Special Edition: Isn’t this off-road monster already special enough?

2014 Ford F-150 SVT Raptor Special EditionHow many trucks do you know of that can traverse a desert at high speed? Or survive a road trip through a wilderness with no roads?

The Ford F-150 SVT Raptor is already pretty special, but that didn’t stop the Blue Oval from offering a Special Edition for the suddenly red-hot all-terrain conquistador. The package consists mostly of exterior and interior styling tweaks for this amazing off-roader.

You can tell a Special Edition Raptor by its unique “Ruby Red” paint (it’s also available in black) and different graphics. Instead of the black slash that adorns un-special Raptors, this one gets its name spelled out on the side of the bed.

On the inside, there’s Brick Red trim on the seats and some new styling bits for the center console, stack, and door panels.

The Special Edition also comes with the standard Raptor’s Luxury Package, which nets powered heated front seats, Sony HD Radio, a navigation system, Sync with MyFordTouch infotainment, a backup camera, remote start, and HID headlights.

As with most special edition cars, the things that make the 2014 SVT Raptor Special Edition different are pretty superficial. It’s better not to think of it as a special model, and instead think of it as a Raptor with extra stuff.

After all, this is still a truck that looks like it can kill you, with fender flares that make it seem as wide as an 18-wheeler. It’s also the only production vehicle on the market that can go anywhere fast.

Under the hood is a 6.2-liter V8, producing 411 horsepower and 434 pound-feet of torque. Backing that up is a smorgasbord of off-road hardware, including triple-bypass Fox Racing Shox, a Torsen limited-slip differential, and skid plates in case the Raptor drags its belly while traversing the Darien Gap.

Like a stick-shift car, the Raptor also allows its driver to shift its four-wheel drive system’s transfer case on the fly to maximize involvement and keep the wheels turning in low-traction situations.

With its singular combination of off-road ability and raw power, the Raptor is already a very special vehicle. A special edition model really isn’t required, unless Raptor owners really feel the need to stand apart from other Raptor owners.

Product Review

By adding features, tech, and all-wheel drive, Mazda puts the 3 in a class of one

Since its introduction in 2003, Mazda’s compact Mazda3 has been a mainstay of the brand’s driver-oriented strategy. Mazda now plans to move upmarket, and the all-new 2019 Mazda3 offers some clues about how that’s going to work.
Product Review

The Ferrari Portofino is the super stallion you’ll want to drive every day

With the introduction of the Portofino, Ferrari addresses the California T’s stylistic shortcomings while improving comfort, convenience, and performance. There’s little “entry-level” about this super stallion.

FWD vs. RWD vs. AWD: How the wheels that turn change the way you drive

Let's face it, you've likely heard front-, rear-, and all-wheel drive mentioned before in some context or another. But what do these terms mean, especially in terms of performance? We’ve got the answers.
Product Review

Chris is the virtual co-pilot phone-obsessives need in their car

Driving while using your phone is dangerous, and often illegal. Meet Chris, the digital assistant for your car that wants to help keep your hands off your phone, and your eyes on the road.

Protect yourself and your ride with our favorite dash cams

Dashboard cameras can assist drivers in car accident claims, settle speeding ticket disputes, and even catch glimpses of incoming meteors, among other things. Here, we've compiled a list of the most noteworthy offerings available.

Tesla revives its referral program with chances to win a Roadster

Tesla has revived its referral program that ended in February because of cost pressures. This time around the perks aren't quite as diverse, though it does offer regular chances to win a Roadster or Model Y.

From cars to computers: How data is transforming F1 racing

After a single weekend of racing, a Formula 1 pit crew typically pulls around 2TB of data from the car. Everything, from tire pressure to the temperature of the track, is recorded and analyzed in the name of boosting performance -- and not…

Tesla ends scheduled servicing because electric cars need less maintenance

Tesla will longer offer scheduled maintenance plans, switching to an "as needed" model. This reflects the fact that electric cars need less regular maintenance than gasoline or diesel cars.

The go kart-like Mini Cooper will soon add zero emissions to its resume

Mini is in the final stages of developing an electric version of the Cooper. The 2020 Cooper SE will receive powertrain components from the BMW i3, including a 181-horsepower electric motor and battery technology.
Emerging Tech

Awesome Tech You Can’t Buy Yet: Robotic companions and computer-aided karaoke

Check out our roundup of the best new crowdfunding projects and product announcements that hit the web this week. You may not be able to buy this stuff yet, but it's fun to gawk!

Tesla Model 3 vulnerability exposed at Pwn2Own; hackers take home the car

A Tesla Model 3 vulnerability was exposed at the Pwn2Own hacking competition. The hackers, who were able to display a message on the electric vehicle's internet browser, won $35,000 and took home the car.

Is this electric car startup the next Tesla, or will it go the way of Coda?

The electric car startup formerly known as EVelozcity has changed its name to Canoo. It also announced a lineup of four cars including a commuter-friendly model and a lifestyle-oriented car. Its first electric vehicles will begin to appear…

Ford’s born-again Bronco off-roader will soothe your 1990s nostalgia

Ford confirmed it will bring the Bronco back to American showrooms in 2020. We haven't seen the truck yet, but dealers who got a preview of it during a private event say it's a true off-roader aimed directly at the Jeep Wrangler.

Recall bounty hunters needed as millions ignore deadly Takata airbag recall

It's the recall campaign from hell and too many people aren't responding. Toyota Motor North America (TMNA) and Carma Project want to give financial rewards to people who alert family and friends to the deadly Takata airbag recall.