Ford Motor Company’s [NYSE:F] new F-150 Raptor isn’t due in showrooms until the later part of the year but you’ll be able to see it in action much sooner than that. Ford has confirmed that a virtually stock version will enter the off-roading racing series that is the Best in the Desert, competing in the new factory stock class.
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Like the F-150 Raptor due in showrooms, the 2016 Best in the Desert race truck will run a twin-turbocharged 3.5-liter V-6 mated to a 10-speed automatic transmission. We're still waiting for the final specs but we hear output will be around 450 horsepower. Other stock items include a Torsen front differential and 17-inch beadlock-capable wheels wrapped in BFGoodrich All-Terrain KO2 tires.
There will be some modifications, though. The list includes 3.0-diameter external-bypass front and rear Fox Racing Shox similar to stock Raptor’s internal-bypass Fox Racing Shox; additional ground clearance made possible due to new springs; a roll cage; MasterCraft seats with five-point harness safety belts and window nets; a racing fuel cell; and a RacePak digital dash and data logger complete with GPS.
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Doing the driving, meanwhile, will be Greg Foutz, owner of Foutz Motorsports, as well as Tim Casey. Both are multiple stock full-class desert racing champions.
Below is the full calendar for the 2016 Best in the Desert:
Parker 425 - Parker, Arizona, Feb. 4-7
Mint 400 - Las Vegas, March 10-14
Laughlin Desert Classic - Laughlin, Nevada, May 5
Vegas to Reno - Nevada, Aug. 17-20
Bluewater Challenge - Parker, Arizona, Sept. 10-Oct. 6
Pahrump Nugget 250 - Pahrump, Nevada, Dec. 1-4