When the joys of a Ford Raptor just don’t seem to be quite enough, along came Shelby to brighten your day. The year 2020 wasn't a great one for a lot of people, but the time was made somewhat brighter by the arrival of this special-edition Ford Raptor Shelby style. Today, we’re taking an in-depth look at this unique offering, and seeing what makes the Shelby Baja Raptor tick.
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The Shelby Raptor
The Ford Raptor joined the eclectic truck and car lineup at Ford back in 2010, with a second generation arriving in 2017. During this period, we’ve also seen the handiwork of Shelby who have taken several Raptors and further enhanced them into what can only rightly be described as super-trucks, but we’ll try to hold back and keep it informational.
The 2020 Ford Raptor Shelby comes with a number of changes to its exterior, powertrain and more. Shelby American was kind enough to create a great overview.
The original Ford Raptor comes with a 3.5L twin-turbo V6 engine delivering 450hp and 510lb-ft of torque. Not only does Shelby increase the pony rating up to 525hp and 610lb-ft of torque, but they have made a number of other enhancements in the engine, too, namely:
- Performance air intake with high-flow filter
- Replacement intercooler
- One-piece heat shield
- Further tweaked turbos
The first thing that strikes you is the new purpose-built functional Shelby hood with dual air intakes. Another addition is the custom bumper with the Shelby cut-out lettering, and above that sits a 40” curved LED light bar. At each side of the front bumper you can find two additional lights, these ones downward facing to provide better visibility when you take the Baja Raptor off-roading. It’s a front-end design that reflects the extra power and performance that you get from this model.
The new wheels won’t escape your notice. The replacement wheels are 18” alloys wrapped in 35” KM3 tire from BFGoodrich, built for serious performance. There are even two spares in the rear bed chase rack, so you can really be ready for anything in this Raptor edition.
Another unique feature is the chase rack system, which features a 50” power-actuated up-down LED light bar and sturdy side panels. The light bar rolls up at the touch of a button.
At the rear end, there’s another high-clearance custom Shelby bumper with LED reverse lights. Sitting under that are the Shelby exhausts with a sound you’re not likely to forget in a hurry.
If you're going to spend $100k on a truck with mods, you're likely going to want to continue playing around with it. If so, check out our car wrap pricing and truck wrap articles to see how you can make your Raptor your own.
Ford introduced us all to their smart, innovative Live Valve integrated shock system back in 2019, but it was even further strengthened and enhanced for the Shelby Baja Raptor. In conjunction with FOX Racing, the Live Valve system has been augmented with some of Shelby’s own technology.
The front-end suspension includes 3-inch aluminum coilovers with a remote reservoir, and at the rear there are 3” external bypass adjustable reservoir shocks. These adjustable shocks feature orange anodized aluminum hardware to help with heat dissipation, and operate in three different modes: On-Road Comfort, On-Road Performance, and Off-Road Performance.
There’ll be no mistaking the Shelby with the regular Ford Raptor thanks to all the special badging, stitching, two-tone upholstery, stainless steel gauges and the Shelby signature pretty much everywhere you look. The Shelby Baja also includes attractive and durable carbon fiber interior accents on the steering wheel, door handles and rear-facing section of the front centre armrest.
For the seating, Shelby have used a two-tone color design, with red/black being among the most popular. The upholstery is a mixture of Alcantara trim and leather seat and back. It’s all very soft to the touch and comfortable for journeys long or short.
Sitting in the driver cockpit, you're met by many of the same features of the regular Raptor, but with additional Shelby badging and aforementioned carbon fiber detailing. You’ll find many of the controls, including the infotainment system and placement of many of the drive select dials and whatnot are all in the same place that you’d find them in the regular Raptor.
Use the push-button system to start and then you can take a moment to enjoy the sound of the exhaust. Visibility from the front end is excellent despite all the exterior additions, but the rear spare tires can hinder the view out the back. You do still have the side mirrors and rear-view cameras to assist when reversing, though.
As you pick up speed, you’ll certainly hear a lot more turbo noise in the Shelby Raptor Truck compared to other models from Ford. The acceleration is also more lasting and you may get the sensation that the car will just keep on pulling you forward in faster and faster acceleration.
What you may be surprised to learn is that the Shelby, for all its enhancements to performance, still makes a very good everyday runaround car. Many will be drawn to it more for its credentials as an off-road superstar, but the fact that it works as an everyday car too helps to justify the quite hefty $122,135. That’s a whole $50,000+ more than an average Ford F-150 Raptor would cost you.
You can see the base Raptor above comes without the more aggressive front styling and side Shelby badging. Image Credit - Ford
All Raptors are built with off-roading ability in mind, but the Shelby upgrade takes it to new levels. The high ground clearance, high-tech shocks (see more above), and mighty 35” tires make you ready for almost anything. Even on the interior, the enlarged HUD makes taking off-road obstacles even as evening sets in and a safer and easier proposition.
Off-road tests of the Shelby Baja Raptor show that even on tough rock crawling obstacles, you’ll find yourself in third gear. How many off-road vehicles do you even get up into second gear with when crawling over rock? The Shelby is additionally built for desert conditions and extreme heat. It was tested in the deserts outside Vegas, and even taken to Dubai for additional testing to ensure that the Ford Raptor Shelby could even be a truck the entire world could enjoy.
How Do you Buy A Shelby Raptor?
These special version trucks can be ordered new from any authorized Ford dealer. You can shop and search online at their website - Shelby Trucks. Although they're shown on the Shelby website, you still ultimately buy through Ford. One of the wonderful parts of the American automotive industry and the deeply engrained dealer system. I've been meaning to write an article about that, so hopefull I'll come back and update this with a link soon. Until now, just know that no new cars can be sold direct to consumers basically.
On the used side, you could check out Topmarq to see if any private owners are getting rid of theirs. Another option could be to check out one of the online auto auctions that are open to consumers (BaT, etc). These are both good ways to get a used one directly.
The Base Raptor
If your stomach dropped a bit when you saw that price tag for the Shelby version of the truck, you can also check out the base Ford Raptor edition at the Ford website. The 2020 Ford Raptor comes with a lot less power and mods, but also a more reasonable stick price. At $53,455, this truck is more within the realm of other specialized options.
Conclusion: Hard Sell for Anyone but Hardcore Shelby Fans
Spending north of $120,000 is a big ask, especially from a truck that starts mid-$20's, has a performance version at $54k, and bears a lot of resemblance to the lower models. Sure, there are some serious upgrades here and the Shelby mark is on it. But in a world where you can buy a new GT500 for around $70k, a classic GT500 for mid 100's, and a comparable Raptor for $50k, I find it really hard to justify this pick.
They did a solid job outfitting the truck with cool options and I personally think it looks great, but is the juice worth the squeeze? Me thinks not.
This truck is for the true Shelby fans who have money to spend and want this art piece in their lineup.