VMP Tuning takes the SVT Raptor to another level with TVS boost
By Steve Turner
Who could have seen the Raptor mania coming? After the untimely death of the SVT Lightning, Ford SVT followed up a sport truck with one sporting a decidedly different personality. A street-going cousin of Ford’s Rough Rider off-road racers, the SVT Raptor has become a bona fide hit far beyond the desert Southwest.
While the truck artfully balances incredible off-road capability with street going comfort, enthusiasts are never happy leaving well enough alone. When you spend your days tuning high-powered Coyotes and GT500s, you can understand being jaded by the power of any stock truck.
“The Raptor has been the biggest and most bad-arse truck to have in the Ford world for the past few years, so I bought one. What they don’t tell you, is that it’s a slug,” Justin Starkey of VMP Tuning explained. “Although it has a 6.2-liter—rated at 420 hp—and 4.10s, the 35-inch tires and 6,500-pound curb weight really kill acceleration. In stock form its barely adequate—says the guy that drives 800rwhp Coyotes on a regular basis…”
So began the conception of VMP’s SuperRaptor project. Why not take a great truck and make it greater with your favorite mod? In the case of Justin, that mod would be a TVS supercharger and the tuning to back it up.
“I could not imagine this truck naturally aspirated in the Florida sugar sand. The extra 150 lb-ft of torque, a 30-percent gain, let’s you tool around in the sand without getting bogged down,” he explained. “The instant response of the TVS really complements the already torquey 6.2-liter engine.”
Though the VMP crew kept the truck relatively stock, they did add a Bed Rug, a tonneau cover, and some identifying graphics. Naturally, the project is really all about the blower. It is what really changed the truck’s personality.
“For the VMP 2.3-liter TVS Raptor kit we developed smaller pulley sizes, 72mm and 69mm, along with a performance-oriented calibration that gets you moving on the street, dirt, or drag strip,” Justin explained. “Our truck ran 15.2 at 89 stock, 14.9 at 92 with my tune, and 12.95 at 103 with the VMP TVS 69mm pulley,” Justin said. “No longer is the truck a slug, the 6,500-pound beast will pull a 1.75 60-foot in 4H, and it has no problem merging onto the highway.”
Dropping over two tenths off the truck’s quarter-mile e.t. will definitely grab your attention. Yet, the SuperRaptor is not all about power and drag racing. When you have a truck, it needs flexibility. It must be a jack of many trades to justify its presence in the driveway, and Justin worked hard to make sure this one was multidimensional.
“I’ve spent much of my time calibrating drag-race-oriented Mustangs. A truck has additional factors, such as transmission longevity and towing, which made the calibration process a little more lengthy,” he added. “The SuperRaptor will do it all, we have used it to pull our GT500s and 5.0s to the track.”
So, what’s it like to drive a beast of a truck with prehistoric torque?
“The blower complements the truck well, the more you get into the throttle, the faster it goes,” Justin enthused. “It’s docile when you are light on the throttle, and will pass a train of slowpokes when you need it to.”
Recently, VMP sold the SuperRaptor to make way for a pair of new project Mustangs, but that doesn’t mean that Raptor product development has come to a halt in the company shop. Like we said, enthusiasts are never quite satisfied with status-quo performance.
“We are looking at a big, dual-fan heat exchanger upgrade, with Afco, as an option for our kit and Roush-supercharged Raptors,” Justin said.
The Mod List
Block: Iron 6.2-liter
Camshafts: Single Overhead Cam w/ variable cam timing
Cylinder Heads: Aluminum Two-Valve
Power Adder: VMP 2.3-liter TVS supercharger
Fuel System: Stock w/ 47 lb/hr injectors
Engine Management: Stock PCM w/ VMP Custom calibration delivered via an SCT X4
Control Arms: Stock