From its wide stance and flared bodywork, to its incredible off-road capability, the Ford Raptor is seriously imposing. There’s simply nothing like it on the market, which is why the United States Border Patrol has pressed a fleet of them into service along the Mexican border.

But there’s another imposing attribute about the Raptor: its curb weight. Tipping the scales at a none-too-svelte 6,200 pounds in SuperCrew trim, it’s more than three tons of driving fun. The first examples off the assembly line were equipped with the 320 horsepower 5.4L engine, which was barely adequate when it came to turning the truck’s 35-inch-tall tires with authority. Ford rectified the situation by offering the 6.2L V-8 in 2010 as an option, which brought the output level up to 411 horsepower. More significantly, the torque rating also increased, from the 5.4’s 390 lb-ft to 434 lb-ft. Thankfully, the 6.2L became the standard Raptor engine in 2011.

The 6.2L unquestionably improved the Raptor’s feeling of performance behind the wheel, but it still didn’t set the asphalt alight. To see if we could make the Raptor a little more rapid, we dropped off this new Raptor SuperCrew at Dearborn Heights-based Livernois Motorsports (livernoismotorsports.com). To keep things simple and relatively affordable, a regiment of bolt-ons and a power tune was prescribed, including a new Corsa stainless after-cat exhaust system and an Airaid cold-air induction system. A custom, premium-gas tune was also added via an SCT handheld tuner, which made the most of the newly installed parts and then some.

The installation basics of the new parts are outlined in the accompanying photos, but we’ll cut to the chase and tell you the Corsa exhaust alone added 10 rear-wheel horsepower and 8 lb-ft of torque, for a mid-project total of 333 rwhp and 351 rwtq. The next testing was performed with the Airaid intake installed and Livernois’ new tune, a combination that built on the exhaust system’s gains to bring the final results to 343 rear-wheel horsepower and 369 rear-wheel torque. That’s 20 horsepower and 26 lb-ft more than stock.

It’s important to note that the intake system alone would not likely have contributed more than a few real-world horsepower, because the inlet tube is designed to maintain the approximate stock diameter in front of the mass airflow meter. That allows it to be installed without tuning. By cutting out the inner section of the tube, the intake diameter opens up significantly. Livernois Motorsports did this because they knew the Raptor would receive a new tune as part of the project. Props to Airaid for obviously designing their intake so that it could be modified.

The chassis dyno results represent about 6.5 percent and 7.5 percent increases in rear-wheel horsepower and torque, respectively, which brings us to the other bottom line of the story: The cost. Those extra horses and pound-feet cost $2,050 at Livernois Motorsports, including the pricing for the parts (and the SCT tuner), custom tuning, and installation. That’s not exactly cheap, but it’s definitely in line with the going rate for such upgrades and tuning these days. The freer-flowing intake and exhaust systems will also support greater gains if he decides to take our truck’s performance to an even higher level, such as with new camshafts or a power adder.

Right now, however, we’ve got a righteously rapid Raptor.

Livernois’ Really Rapid Raptors

The bolt-on performance enhancements described in our main story simply scratch the surface of Livernois Motorsports’ Raptor revitalizations. For a customer in the Middle East, the shop just finished and shipped a twin-turbocharged Raptor that made 635 horsepower and 767 lb-ft of torque at the tires. That’s more like 760 horsepower and 920 lb-ft at the crankshaft. It took more than a couple of turbos sandwiched into the exhaust stream to achieve that power. The combination includes:


  • Livernois’ 400ci “stroker” bottom end (the stock 6.2L displaces 379ci, and this project truck started life with the even-smaller 5.4L)
  • Livernois’ own CNC-ported cylinder heads (used with the stock camshafts)
  • A custom valve spring kit and rocker brace system developed by Livernois
  • A custom turbo system featuring two quick-spooling, dual-ball-bearing Garrett GT35R turbochargers and a large intercooler
  • Magnaflow exhaust system

THE BOTTOM LINE

Trim RWHP RWTQ
Stock 6.2L V-8 323 343
With Corsa exhaust 333 351
With exhaust, Airaid intake and tuning 343 369
Cost $2,049.99
(including parts, labor and dyno tuning)

SOURCE
Livernois Motorsports
2500 South Gulley Rd
Dearborn Heights
MI  48125
313-561-5500
www.livernoismotorsports.com
Airaid Intake Systems
800-498-6951
www.airaid.com
Corsa Performance Exhausts
140 Blaze Industrial Parkway
Berea
OH  44017
800-486-0999
http://www.dbexhaust.com
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