Raptor Fighter: Digging Deeper into the Silverado-Based Lingenfelter Reaper
You may not find them practical, or particularly pretty, but for many buyers, the desert off road truck is a kind of supercar. Capable of traveling across dirt and sand at speeds that rival highway travel, these desert pickups have long wheel travel and impressively powerful motors. Right now, the Ford F-150 Raptor is the only one of these trucks you can buy from a dealership, but GM tuner Lingenfelter is trying to level the playing field with the Silverado-based “Reaper.”
Commonly known as a Corvette tuner, Lingenfelter seems to be interested in any vehicle with a Chevy V8– having tuned vehicles like the CTS-V. Its latest creation has the Ford F-150 Raptor square in its sights, and so we wanted to get more info from President of Operations at Lingenfelter, Mike Copland.
“The goal was to build an aggressive off road truck at higher speeds,” said Copland, “And frankly, build a competitor to the Raptor but based on a GM truck.” Copland’s team had wanted to build a truck like this since 2012, but the GMT900-generation Silverado was getting near the end of its life. They wanted to wait for the new truck.
The Reaper made its world debut at the National Automobile Dealers Association’s annual meeting in New Orleans, which hardly seems like the ideal location for such a specialized vehicle. But Lingenfelter had their reasons: “Our partner on this project is Southern Comfort Automotive,” said Copland. “They are a GM outfitter, and are in 100-plus GM dealerships.” Getting the distribution network in place was key to take on the Raptor. Following NADA, the Reaper made its more press-centric debut at the recent Chicago Auto Show.
Southern Comfort (not the booze) was not a partner from the get-go, and the original plan was to have a stock-looking front end. But when the two companies came together, the decision was to re-do the front body work– something done completely by Southern Comfort. This new front end is more than just an aesthetic choice, as it offers some advantages. “The new front adds 8 additional inches of ground clearance.” said Copland. “The lower bumper is all steel zinc plated and powder coated– so it’s tougher. It features integrated LED off road light strips, which the custom truck buyer will want.”
Buyers also want power, and the Reaper has it in spades. The base setup is a supercharged 5.3-liter V8 that makes 475 horsepower. If, for some reason, that’s not enough power, a supercharged 6.2-liter V8 is available making 550 horsepower.