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Results Surprising When European Ford Trucks Line Up For Drag Race

Ford trucks were involved in drag racing recently against a pair of pickups from Volkswagen, the Amarok, and Mercedes X-Class. The VW was the consistent winner with the Mercedes coming in second overall. The results for the Ford duo were surprising.

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Let’s say you were lucky enough to find a bunch of pickups just sitting around on a drag strip, aching to be raced! And, let’s say you were among a bunch of motorheads waiting for the lights on the starting tree to go green. What do you think you would do?

Would You Really Drag Race Them?

Of course, you would answer that you would race them, in no uncertain terms. But would you? Would you run them head-to-head, trying to figure out which was the best? We’d bet that some of you would go through all the trouble and bother of lining up the trucks; counting things down, and then watching the trucks race off into the unknown and very uncertain ground of the racecourse.

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So, why is this a big unknown for trucks? Let’s face it; pickups are not usually associated with drag racing. Yes, you can take vehicles offroad; bouncing them off huge piles of rocks, and piling through whatever else is out there. For example, you can “run what ya’ brung” for a rally like the Baja 1000, which tests the limits of the known truck universe. On the flip side, you can race specially-prepared trucks up the tougher-than-tough Pikes Peak Hill climb, which is about as tough a venue as you will find in truck racing.

These venues, are all well-known to various vehicles, including pickups or built-up desert racers. But, the drag strip is somewhat unknown. Today, though, that hole of uncertainty is a bit smaller as a bunch of drivers at Carwow put together the truck drag race of drag races recently. Unfortunately, we can’t get the pickups they used in the U.S. because they are European-only-spec. However, at least we can get hold of some of their paler cousins in the U.S. so this isn’t a totally one-sided story (on the other side, not only can’t you buy them in North America, you can’t get them here, either, unless you put them through lots of homologation (making them compatible with the U.S. environment for at least three of the four – the fourth was a ringer)).

Here’s A Look At The Drag Racing Lineup

With that said as a caveat, let’s look at the vehicles that were lined up on the track:

  • Ford’s Ranger Raptor
  • Mercedes X-Class
  • VW’s Amarok pickup
  • Ford’s F150 Raptor (a 2011 model, the ringer)

Note that the 2011 Ford F150 Raptor was a first-generation version of the desert-racing dynasty. Note also that of the trucks used was built with drag racing in mind (yes, there are slews of specialty trucks in the U.S. that have been torn apart and remade from the wheel bottoms up as fire-breathing dragsters. These beasts can easily top 1,000-horsepower and can hit some ridiculous speeds, but the vehicles that were part of this drag race were far from those vehicles).

European Spec ‘Truck-o-Motive’ Iron

So, what are we talking about for truck-o-motive iron? Here are the specs on these erstwhile drag-strip haulers. The VW Amarok, a diesel special in Europe, sports a diesel V6 that cranks out 258-horsepower and 427-pounds-feet of torque. The Mercedes X-Class is also powered by a V6 diesel that turns out 285-horsepower and about 415-pounds-feet of torque. One of the two Ford entries, the Ranger Raptor, is also diesel-powered. Its smallish four-cylinder powerplant turns out 211 horsepower and about 380-pounds-feet of torque. Finally, we get to what should have been the winner, the 2011 Ford F150 first-generation Raptor with its V8 and 411 horsepower of power and 431-pounds-feet of torque, which didn’t set the track ablaze in fiery glory.

When the countdown clock and the green light flashed go on the first race, the VW jumped out to a victory, followed by the Mercedes, and then came the two Fords, the 2011 F150 Raptor, and finally the Ranger Raptor. Indeed, the first race finish mirrored the rest of the racing with the VW in first, and so on.

Here’s A Bit Of Solace, Ford Fans

One writer at The Ford Authority had a bit of solace for Ford fans when he said that “… the Raptors weren’t meant for drag racing.” He continued by saying that they “can’t help but wonder if the second-gen EcoBoost-powered Ranger might fare better against the” competition.

Meantime, the scene shifted to a video of a 2018 Ford F150 Raptor, equipped with a Ford EcoBoost turbo. The footage illustrated how fast the 2018 Ford F150 Raptor could run over a 2.3-mile course.

Sources: The Ford Authority again shines as the leading provider of independent Ford information. Carwows also did its share.

About the author

Marc Stern has been an auto writer since 1971. It was a position that filled two boyhood dreams: One was that I would write, and two that I write about cars. When I took over as my newspaper’s auto editor, I began a 32-year career as an automotive columnist. There isn’t much on four wheels that I haven’t driven or reviewed. My work has appeared in Popular Mechanics, Mechanix Illustrated, AutoWeek, SuperStock, Trailer Life, Old Cars Weekly, Special Interest Autos, and others. Today, I am the Ford F150 reporter for Torque News. I write how-to and help columns for online sites such as and others. You can follow me on Twitter or Facebook

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