I'm speeding across Southern California's Anza-Borrego desert with the speedometer pointing to the far side of 90 mph. As cliff walls and shrubs whizz past, my internal organs thanking me for going light on breakfast, I keep having the same thought: That's cool. I'm not talking about the insane capabilities of the new-for-2017 second generation Ford F-150 Raptor... I'm talking about its air-conditioned seats. After 75 minutes of driving as fast as my sense of self-preservation would allow (I topped out at about 95 mph), I barely broke a sweat.
That's truly the point of this truck: It's a 450-hp desert-destroying toy that doubles as a comfy, refined vehicle that's great for your daily commute. With a price ranging from just under $50,000 into the mid-60s after you're through ticking every option, it really is like having two trucks in one. Ford fully expects that the overwhelming majority of the estimated 16-20,000 Raptor buyers will never take it off road -- much like the legions of BMW M3 buyers who avoid race tracks.
And that's a damn shame. Rare is the vehicle that can absorb jagged rocks and blast across sand at almost 100 mph on the weekend, and still give you a nice, quiet ride to work Monday morning.