One of the big announcements to come from the 2014 Chicago Auto Show was the Lingenfelter-built Chevrolet Reaper. Based on the Silverado, the goal of the Chevy Reaper is to bring the off-road dominance fight straight to the F-150 Raptor. If optioned with the 6.2L V8, the Reaper will put out a mind-blowing 550hp. Although more powerful than the Ford F-150 SVT Raptor, does the Reaper have what it takes to topple the Raptor from the podium?
The real selling point of the Raptor is the Fox Racing suspension that provides a massive 12.1″ of softly sprung rear suspension travel. This means that across sand dunes the truck is forgiving and comfortable. With that much suspension travel, the Raptor can quite literally fly. The Chevy Reaper also features suspension from Fox Racing with 11.2″ of rear suspension travel. While that may not be as much as the Raptor, that is still a whole lot of movement available.
The Reaper has widebody wheel flares, while the Raptor has an overall wider body. The Raptor is so wide, in fact, that it needs to have auxiliary lighting to meet Department of Transportation requirements. That is where there are amber lights across the grille on the Raptor. Whether it is just wider wheel flares, or a wider body, both trucks have wider tires than their standard trucks. Also, both trucks feature beadlock wheels as an option. These wheels are designed to lock the bead of the tire to the wheel, preventing it from sliding off the rim when off-roading.
The Reaper has an added skid plate and front bumper that allows for eight more inches of ground clearance. Additionally, the Reaper has two LED light bars to provide lighting when off-roading. Much like the Raptor, it will be available with different graphics and box styles.
The Raptor also has skid plates underneath, and a different front bumper from a normal F-150. The Raptor allows for people to hook up their own secondary lighting and equipment through pre-installed switches inside the cabin of the truck.
Considering that the Reaper carries all of the same off-road goodies that the Raptor does, but has more horsepower, seems to make it the overall winner. When the vehicle ships, that may end up being the case. Depending on how the vehicle and suspension are tuned will play a lot into which vehicle drives better. One nice thing about the Raptor is that it is easy to live with everyday. Hopefully, the Reaper is setup the same way. One thing that has helped the Raptor stay on top so long has been the fact that everything on the Raptor is factory-installed. Everything comes with a new vehicle warranty straight from Ford. That has value that even the Chevy Reaper will not be able to offer.
On paper, the Reaper is the winner. At the end of the day though, the Raptor could be the better choice.