January 25, 2014
A Snowmobile In Disguise: The Raptor Trax
Now that winter is upon us, white has blanketed the ground, at least in the northern part of the country anyways. Temperatures have fallen to sub-freezing and people are prepping their snowmobiles and ATVs for that joyous winter ride along the trails.
Growing up during the long winters in the northeast with sometimes many feet of snow covering the frozen ground, a ride on one of these snow going machines would take your mind off the blistering cold.
Snowmobiles have changed considerably since I was a child. The sleds of today are super fast, sleek, easy to maneuver and more comfortable of ride than the bouncy, tipsy, roll over in an instant sleds of the 1960’s and 70’s.
Not only snowmobiles and ATVs are used during the winter along these trails; machines like snow cats with their enclosed heated cabs, served as a warmer way to get around. Ski slopes and other winter facilities may also use some form of a snow cat type machine.
Our snowmobile club back in the 1970’s had one, which we used to groom the trails in our community.
On to my point. What triggered me to write this post was an article from our friends at Top Speed.
It is a new kind of snow going machine with a little bit of oomph. Ken Block from Hoonigan Racing took a Ford SVT F-150 Raptor, replaced the wheels and tires with tracks, added some racks for snowboards along with a roof basket and made their own version of a snow cat type vehicle. It’s called the Raptor Trax.
What is mind blowing about this snow going machine is the fact there is at least 411 horses under the hood, making it one of, if not the most powerful vehicle of its kind. The specifics haven’t been released, but I will bet Ken didn’t settle for the factory output. Also added to the Raptor is a rear-mounted winch, roll cage, interior storage, an exterior stereo setup and exterior lighting for them stormy cold nights.
The Raptor Trax will make an appearance at the Winter X Games in Aspen, Colorado. It was built jointly by Ford Special Vehicle Concepts and Hoonigan Racing. A video of the truck in action will be released in the 2014-2015 winter season.
This wasn’t Ken’s first attempt in producing this type of snow going unit. Back in 2009 he set up a Subaru WRX STI, but it didn’t have as many horses under the hood as the Raptor. See the Subaru in action in this video.
“This project is something I’ve had in my head for a while now. It’s an absolute beast of a machine and I’m stoked with how it’s turned out. Next up is for me to take it deep into the backcountry ASAP to help me and some friends slay some powder on our snowboards for a video project due out later this year,” Ken said about the Raptor Trax.
Image Credit: TopSpeed