For two generations running, the Ford F-150 Raptor has stood alone in the factory full-size performance arena. While Ram readies a Hellcat-powered Rebel TRX, GM has taken a pass, and it has been up to the aftermarket to deliver alternatives to Dearborn's big bruiser.
Those GM fans are getting a Raptor-hunting option from the aftermarket: PaxPower's Silverado 1500 Jackal. If anybody knows how to beat Ford at its own game, it's this Texas-based truck tuner that has been tinkering with Ford's halo truck for years. PaxPower offers the Jackal in three stages, each building on the base Silverado to offer more off-road capability and durability.
The Jackal Stage 1 comes with King 2.5" remote-reservoir front coil-overs and rear shocks, a set of BajaKits upper control arms, a 5.0-inch lift, Jackal-specific custom hood and fender flares, and 35-inch Toyota R/T tires. PaxPower also throws in some GM performance engine bolt-ons (intake, exhaust and ECU tune) good for 22 additional horsepower.
Moving up to Stage 2 gets a heavier-duty, adjustable BajaKits Prerunner suspension that actually nets an inch less in total lift, but pushes the track out 6.0 inches. Stage 2 models also get bedside flares to match the added width; everything else carries over from Stage 1. At Stage 3, the truck gets an upgrade to larger shocks and progressive-rate leaf springs. Currently, only Stage 1 and Stage 2 are listed on the PaxPower web site.
While chasing Raptors may be fun and lucrative for the aftermarket, the performance pickup field is going to get a serious shake-up when Ram's Rebel TRX drops. The Raptor, despite its ruggedness, has never been much of a powerhouse; its 450-horsepower turbocharged 3.5-liter V-6 is only slightly ahead of GM's old-fashioned, 6.2-liter V-8 in terms of output.
The TRX's 6.2-liter supercharged "Hellcat" V-8 powerplant will likely be significantly more powerful, and while Ram hasn't confirmed that it will pack the 700-plus horsepower offered by the same engine in other applications, we suspect it won't be far off.
Rumor has it that Ford is looking to up its game to match, care of the supercharged 5.2-liter V-8 found under the hood of the new Mustang Shelby GT500. If this rumor proves to be true, it will again leave GM fans in the cold. The General's LT4 supercharged V-8 would make for a tasty Trail Boss upgrade, but we've yet to see signs that such a project has gotten any traction with GM's product planners.