With The Batman motion picture having just hit theaters, what if we told you that the digital artist who worked on the design of the movie’s 2022 Batmobile decided to brew a Ford F-150 Raptor-R, a CGI trophy truck based on the enthusiast’s own Raptor?
Back in 2009 when Ford introduced the OG F-150 Raptor, the Blue Oval took a bit of a gamble. Instead of continuing on the path set by the road-biased performance trucks like the Blue Oval’s SVT Lightning (1993-1995 Gen I and 1999-2004 Gen II), the carmakertook things in the off-roading direction. And, for a full decade, the Raptor didn’t have any competition.
Things changed in 2020, though, when Ram kicked off production of the TRX, which gifts owners with a core asset the Raptor lost while switching from the Gen II to the current Gen III model last year, namely a good ole V8. Admittedly, the Ram truck is also a downsized effort compared to its Viper V10-powered spiritual predecessors of the mid-2000s, but we digress.
Returning to the Raptor, Ford Performance has taken notice of the popular demand for more than six cylinders, which is why the final part of this year will see the V8 returning between the meaty front fenders of the 2022 F-150 Raptor-R.
However, designer Ash Thorp, who’s been enjoying the world from behind the wheel of his V8-animated Gen II Raptor for quite a few years now, has decided to render a Raptor-R trophy truck digital project based on his vehicle.
Ash Thorp’s Ford F-150 Raptor-R
The inspiration sources for this pixel build extend well beyond the production truck the artist drives. According to the explanation provided on Instagram, Thorp first thought about the project when Ford released the Bronco R Baja racer in 2020.
And, before recently joining resurgent automaker De Tomaso’s team as a designer and digital artist (not related to the current development), the aficionado worked on Ken Block’s Trophy Truck last year.
“Not only getting to know that truck very intimately in CGI but also getting to ride shotgun as Ken Hooned it around in the desert… absolute bucket list. So months later and lots of iterations here we are! The Raptor R… an amalgamation of all the things I love about my Raptor but turned up to 11,” Thorp describes the project on Insta.
In its pixel transition from a showroom vehicle to a Baja runner, the Raptor-R looks considerably more muscular, even though its meaty fenders can still barely contain the monstrously-sized BF Goodrich rubbed secured by the minimalist beadlock wheels (more on this below).
The hardware ensuring the noticeable lift of the vehicle is portrayed in detail which is only fitting given that the suspension is basically the heart of such a motorsport toy. Judging from what we can see here, it looks like the rear suspension extends past the limits of the fender, but we’ll be able to enjoy a clearer view once more renders arrive.
And, as somebody keeping an eye on Thorp’s projects (as far as I know, I was the first to spot his style on the Batmobile on March 5, 2020, with the artist subsequently confirming the involvement), I can tell you that extra eye candy is headed our way.
The Raptor-R Baja runner is an M.H.C. (Make Haste Corp) creature
The relatively restrained body—sans for the cabin extensions and the air intakes that are the rear side windows—appears to ride on a tubular chassis, which would put the development on par with the Bronco R.
Now, if the wheels and tires mentioned above seem familiar, that’s because the creator introduced the vehicle under the M.H.C. umbrella. This is a label created by Thorp and fellow digital artist colorsponge and they love to release tandem virtual builds.
In this case, the other part of the development is a BMW M off-roading proposal dubbed META, which colorsponge modeled from scratch. And the two not only share the wheels/tires, but also the side exhaust.
There’s plenty of carbon on the Raptor-R, but it wouldn’t surprise us to see some vivid colors in a future release. After all, this is Thorp’s MO, which he also used when designing another one of Ken Block’s machines, namely the Hoonifox, a Zeitgeist-capturing Fox Body Mustang proposal that’s expected to come to life in the near future.