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Despite soaring fuel prices, North America’s growing distaste for foreign oil dependency and the general greening of our collective consciousness, pickup trucks are doing quite nicely, thank you. In fact, sales are through the roof.
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The Ford F-150 Raptor carries the F-150 designation for marketing purposes, as well as for the fact that it is a half-ton pick-up. However, the similarities pretty well end there as the truck shares very few components with its F-150 stable mates. If you approach this monster from the front you are immediately struck by its width and aggressive stance. In fact, the Raptor is 18 cm (7 in.) wider than a standard full-size pick-up, moving it into a category that requires it to sport marker lights at each corner (and in the grille) which add to the aggressive look. The distinctive grille is a black-out design, dominated by what has to be the largest Ford emblem ever employed on a consumer vehicle.
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Winning the coveted North American Car of the Year title is a breakthrough achievement for Hyundai and a historical first for Korean cars. The Ford F-150, on the other hand, is an old pro at this. Previous full redesigns of the long-running best-seller had effectively won Truck of the Year trophies twice before, in 1996 and 2004. The winners were announced at the start of the first media day of this year’s North American International Auto Show in Detroit, on January 11. Continue reading