Could there be such a truck as a Heavy Duty Raptor or a Super Duty Raptor? This Ford F-550 by Elevation Off-Grid is riding on an actively-adjustable Liquid Spring suspension and 42-inch all-terrain tires. This F-550 Super Duty truck still offers over 10,000 lbs of payload capacity. Yes, 10K pounds of payload and 30K pounds of maximum towing capacity. I drive this truck on and off-road to find exactly how it performs.
This review is brought to you by our friends at Elevation Off-Grid. They offer a variety of Ford Super Duty (and soon Ram HD) suspension packages and modifications. Check them out!
Liquid Spring suspension has been around for a very long time, but it was primarily used on emergency vehicles, ambulances, commercial trucks, and large motor homes. The team at Elevation Off-Grid worked on a version of this unique suspension system that allows for a lifted suspension height and around eight inches of height adjustment.
Why am I bringing the Ford factory Raptor name into this discussion? The factory Ford F-150 Raptor uses a multi-dimensional accelerometer, driver inputs, and suspension height sensors to continuously adjust the stiffness and attitude of the FOX Live Valve shocks. This allows for driver-selectable suspension stiffness and driving modes. Well, the Liquid Spring Smart Suspension underneath this F-550 uses all of these sensors too: accelerometer, driver inputs, and height sensors. It also allows for driver-selected suspension modes, driver-selectable ride height, and a self-leveling feature as well!
While driving this big F-550 pickup truck up and down a mountain canyon road, I was immediately struck by how flat this 10,700 lbs curb-weight truck was moving through corners. This big beast shrinks around the driver and allows you to carry more speed with full control and confidence. Huge 42-inch tires combine with the suspension to offer a ride quality that is comparable to a stock F-250 or some F-150 trucks. This is very impressive when you consider that this truck can still carry a huge payload too. (FYI – I will also tow a giant gooseneck trailer with this truck for another video review. Stay tuned to this!)
Now, what about this truck’s off-road performance? This F-550 is huge by any pickup truck standard. It’s nearly 23 feet long, but this does not prevent it from making a very tight serpentine trail thanks to its wider F-550 front axle and sharper turning radius. This truck has a LOT of ground clearance, a 6.7-liter turbo-diesel Power Stroke V8 engine, a 10-speed automatic transmission, a 4×4 system with low range, and a 4.88 rear axle ratio. All of this combines for very good crawling speed and easy going over all obstacles I threw at it. I aired down to the huge tires to 45 psi. The faster speed off-road driving felt pretty good, but some rocky terrain still produced some “head toss” at slow speeds. Perhaps, this truck can have an even smoother ride with some added weight.
I am also happy to report that the suspension was quick to react to my ride height and driving mode selections. Some air-suspension systems in production trucks can be very slow to respond. Not here, the hydraulic pistons and the rest of the system make quick work of adjustments.
All this comes at a price. The fully-optioned F-550 Black Edition Elevation Off-Grid truck you see here has a price tag of $179,000. This includes the body-color-matched fenders, super strong bumpers, front winch, a body-matched bed that had to be customized to match this truck’s longer wheelbase, and much more!
Check out the video here! These trucks are in Las Vegas now for the 2022 SEMA.
Also, I first saw this F-550 in March 2022 at the Work Truck Show. This link will explain a bit more about how the suspension is working.