Shelby Raptor kicks insanity up a notch

It's hard to say exactly why an off-road pick-up needs 575 horsepower, but it's fun when it gets it.

Road beast

Road beast

On the track and the highway, the supercharger's extra power proved surprisingly noticeable. I'd driven a regular -- if you can call it regular -- Ford Raptor a few days before I got into the Shelby version and again a few days after. Believe it or not, I actually thought the Ford could have used a little more power.

Don't get me wrong. That truck is fast. But I felt like it needed paddle shifters so that I could downshift the transmission right away when I wanted quick acceleration. The Shelby Raptor didn't have that problem.

"Accelerate? Oh, sure," it seemed to say when I mashed the gas pedal at 55 miles per hour. "Accelerate some more? No problem," it said when I pushed it again at around 70.

And the truck was surprisingly decent to drive, not at all the bucking, twitching cacophony of tire and engine noise I'd expected. The only bad part was that the supercharger's whine, ordinarily a delight to hear, became an irritant in this truck just because it was so constant. Even under the lightest acceleration, the supercharger howled like a cast iron cat in heat.

  @peterdrives - Last updated May 03 2013 06:33 AM ET

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