Ford trucks have always been known for their durability and work-ready ruggedness, but Ford took it one step further in 2009 with the launch of the Raptor series. These trucks were designed to be more aggressive than their F-series counterparts and capable of the most demanding on- or off-road races. The 2009 Raptor series launched with an available 6.2 L (379 CID) engine that cranked out 411 horsepower through a six-speed automatic transmission, giving it some series acceleration. To handle all that speed, the Raptors’ Fox Racing suspension enables the trucks to handle corners its F-series cousins could never dream of.
This high level of racing performance means that driving the Raptor is a very different experience from driving standard trucks. Now that the 2017 Raptor has been given an engine upgrade to a 450-horsepower V8 engine, Ford has decided that Raptor owners need some education to fully harness the raw power and performance of the Raptor trucks. To help drivers learn how to get the most out of their Raptors, Ford has launched the new Raptor Assault School at Ford’s Motorsports Campus at Grantsville, Utah.
For the cost of a new Raptor (plus airfare and their own hotel accommodations), Raptor owners can take part in a two-day course that teaches them how to safely push their Raptors to the limit of their performance. Participants get the opportunity to take Ford Raptors into the high desert of Utah’s Tooele Valley and drive a 22-acre off-road course with the aid of professional instructors. The course tasks participants with handling hairpin turns, jumping their trucks across ramps, and climbing steep inclines. Assault School students get to test their driving abilities on various types of terrain including mud, rock, sand, and road.
Henry Ford III, marketing manager for Ford Performance, stated in a Ford press release that he believes the course is the perfect opportunity for Raptor owners and enthusiasts to learn how to harness the raw performance power of the truck: “the off-road terrain near Ford Performance Racing School offers a diversity of challenges and is perfectly suited to showcase the high-performance capabilities of the Raptor.” Participants of the Raptor Assault School have the option to upgrade their session to include other courses such as the Mustang GT Performance Driving Day which teaches participants how to handle high-performance sports cars on technical road courses.
While the Raptor Assault School’s demanding off-road course might sound pretty dangerous for amateur drivers, Ford provides safety equipment and on-site medical personnel ensure that participants can push their trucks to the limit without risking their own safety. More importantly (for some), Ford provides their own Raptor trucks so that new Raptor owners can avoid trashing their brand new $157,000 trucks. If you’re a new Raptor owner, do yourself a favor and go learn how to get the most out of your exciting new truck. Registration is open now.