#3: 02-14-08 15:09 PT
Holman at Four Wheeler, who
broke the story of the Raptor, and I have banged heads
together. Here's our latest conjecture.
published his take on Four Wheeler's blog.
we're seeing is a second, or third, test truck
(top picture - maybe driving away from the grassy knoll?).
It's not the black mule.
looks like it's a 'franken-mule', cobbled together with body
parts from the new 2009 F-150 and 2004-2008 model. We suspect
the front clip is 2009. The rearview mirrors look to be pre-production
'09 mirrors. The interior, with its rounded cowl over the instrument
panel, looks to be 2008 vintage. The 2009 dashboard top is
flatter. The taillights seem to be 2008 model year - they don't
have the bolder two lens design used on the 2009 F-150.
where it gets interesting.
one of the photos showing the interior there's a label that
clearly says "PREMIUM FUEL ONLY" over the instrument panel.
Ford's current, naturally aspirated V8 engines don't require
premium fuel. The hoodline on the 2009 F-150 has been raised.
We think it's to accommodate the rumored BOSS/EcoBoost twin
turbo GDI V8. If that engine was to be tuned for
high performance off-roading, it would make sense to only run
the motor on high octane gasoline.
under all the cammo the air intake in the bottom bumper appears
larger than intakes seen on other 2009
F-150s. The F-150s shown at
the Detroit auto show had rectangular openings, while this
one seems to have an opening shaped like a smile. This could
be another indication there's a turbocharged BOSS V8 hiding
under the hood requiring extra airflow to an intercooler, to
decrease air intake temps. It looks like there are cooling
vents on top of the hood, too.
also interesting twin-tailpipes sticking out the back. The
last F-150 we saw similar pipes on was the Ford Project FX2
- another performance oriented Ford pickup. And there are twin
rear tow hooks, like the old Ford Ranger FX4 Level II extreme
still don't have a good shot of the suspension components and
running gear, but we were able to read the tires this time.
They're Toyo All Terrain Open Country LT325/70R17s, which
translates to really tough 35x12.50-inch rubber mounted on
17-inch rims. Perfect for bombing across the desert.
#2: 02-14-08 13:49 PT
promised - our good buddies over at 4Wheel
& Off Road Magazine have something to say about the stickers on the black
take: A good idea that's taking its time to come together.
And things tend to change over time.
#1: 02-13-08 23:08 PT
of this black truck have caused many in the spy community to
dig back through their archives. Here's the same mule
caught testing on the track (in a picture taken from a public
vantage point on Oakwood Blvd we're explicitly told) at Ford's
Dearborn Test Facility back in August 2007. At the time, the
photographer thought it was just a cool toy belonging to one
of the engineers.
like I was wrong about the stickers being applied 10 minutes
before the black truck left the fenced confines of Ford's test
this new (old) picture seems to certainly confirm we're looking
at two different trucks in the photos on this page. A black
mule, seen in August 2007 and yesterday, and the camouflaged
truck caught between those two dates, last fall, with a different
rear window and no stickers.
expecting to hear more about the black truck's stickers and
history from another online source on Thursday. The cammo truck
is still a mystery.
truck, a project. Two trucks, a program? Stay