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Ford F-150 Raptor, an off-road beast, is headed to China

Ford F-150 Raptor
China bound: U.S. built Ford F-150s Raptors
(Ford Motor Co.)

The Ford F-150 Raptor is built for aggressive off-road action. YouTube carries plenty of videos of the Raptor at play, from the Mojave Desert to the dunes of Dubai.

It won’t be long before you see some footage from the Gobi Desert too. On Thursday, Ford Motor Co. announced it will start shipping the Raptor to China.

It’s the first time any Ford F-Series pickup truck — the best-selling vehicle in the U.S. for 35 years straight — will be exported to Chinese consumers.

It makes sense to give China “a taste of the captivating high-performance model” of the F-150, said Michael Harley, executive analyst for Kelley Blue Book. “It’s an ideal emotional hook, albeit pricey.”

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In the U.S., the base price is about $49,000 for Ford’s super-macho take on the pickup truck, with engine, chassis and suspension built for rough terrain. The 3.5-liter V6 engine turns out 450 horsepower.

Depending on Chinese consumers’ reception of the Raptor, and the political variables around global trade, Ford could try to sell large numbers of F-150s there.

The Raptor is manufactured in Dearborn, Mich.

Ford also sells U.S.-built Explorers and Mustangs in China and has seven manufacturing plants there, in partnership with Chinese companies.

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Through joint ventures with Chinese companies, Ford manufactured and sold 1.27 million vehicles in China last year.

russ.mitchell@latimes.com

Twitter: @russ1mitchell


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