The Factory Five XTF: A Wilder Version of the Ford F-150 Raptor
Are you a fan of the Ford F-150 Raptor but wish it had a better suspension? Do you have an extra $25,000 and a late-model Ford F-150 lying around? If so, Factory Five Racing has the perfect project for you. Their latest kit, the XTF, can transform your stock F-150 into a beast that’s ready to take on the Baja 1000 race. You’ll enjoy the satisfaction of building it yourself and end up with a truck that looks badass and boasts trophy-truck suspension travel.
Factory Five Racing is known for their kit cars that utilize donor hardware from production vehicles to create something unique. However, the XTF is different. Instead of starting from scratch, you get to keep the F-150 DNA. The key to the XTF kit is an entirely new tube frame that replaces the stock ladder frame. This new frame is stronger and wider than the original, allowing for an impressive 16 inches of front suspension travel and 20 inches at the rear (compared to the Raptor R’s 13.0 inches of front travel and 14.1 inches at the rear). The transformation process involves building the truck from the ground up, starting with the removal of the cab.
The XTF kit is designed for 2015–20 F-150 four-by-fours with the 5.0-liter V-8 or the turbocharged 3.5-liter V-6. You’ll need the crew cab with the 5.5-foot bed and 26-gallon fuel tank. Factory Five intentionally based the kit around a truck that people actually buy, rather than a specialized prerunner truck. The finished XTF we tested was originally a 3.5-liter EcoBoost Lariat, a truck that left the Dearborn factory as a family-friendly vehicle. But after the XTF conversion, it’s a whole different beast.
At first glance, the XTF closely resembles the Raptor R, with its flared fenders and massive 37-inch tires. But upon closer inspection, you’ll notice the telltale sign of a tube frame. The welded latticework can be seen peeking out from below the rocker panels and extending to the four-link, coil-spring rear suspension with towering remote-reservoir Fox dampers. Other XTF-specific modifications include Factory Five items such as the bed, fiberglass fenders, hood, grille, and tailgate.
Factory Five offers carbon-fiber body components for an additional $6,990, which can save 34 pounds compared to the standard fiberglass panels (though paint-matching the fiberglass panels would cost a similar amount). The XTF also offers options like a rear anti-roll bar for $465 and a tow package for $675, which includes axle-limiting straps and a Panhard rod to help manage the contortionist rear suspension during towing.
When it comes to performance, the XTF does come with some trade-offs. While it gains wild off-road capability, it also packs on some extra weight. We found that the XTF weighed 5,862 pounds, which is 388 pounds heavier than a similarly optioned 2017 F-150 crew cab. With a mild tune adding about 60 horsepower, the XTF recorded a 5.9-second 0-60 mph time, slightly slower than the stock F-150 crew cab. The XTF’s wider stance also affects its performance at higher speeds, with a quarter-mile time of 14.8 seconds at 88 mph compared to the stock truck’s 14.3 seconds at 97 mph. However, the XTF had no trouble reaching its top speed limiter of 110 mph.
To put the XTF’s off-road capabilities to the test, we took it to the Team O’Neil rally school in New Hampshire. The truck proved to be competent on the highway, offering a comfortable ride thanks to its ample tire sidewall and suspension travel. The stock interior retains its factory features and refinement, including ventilated seats and a panoramic roof. With the rear anti-roll bar installed, the XTF handles pavement well. However, disconnecting the anti-roll bar allows for extreme off-road axle articulation.
One of the major challenges of the XTF is its width. At 90 inches wide, it can be a struggle to navigate tight parking spaces and off-road trails with narrow paths. However, if you’re looking for a truck with extreme off-road capability, the XTF delivers. Its suspension travel is so impressive that it makes traditional jumps and axle-crossing obstacles seem like child’s play.
The XTF kit offers an intriguing value proposition for those with mechanical skills. For a similar price to a Raptor, you can build a truck with even wilder looks and capability while maintaining the stock Ford interior amenities and powertrain reliability. Keep in mind that hiring someone to build the XTF kit will significantly increase the cost. Additionally, Factory Five is already experimenting with a supercharged V-8 truck, so there are even greater performance possibilities on the horizon.
While small manufacturers like Factory Five always face the risk of OEMs producing similar vehicles on a factory line, the XTF pushes the boundaries of the desert-racer truck concept further than any factory-built truck is likely to go. For fans of off-road adventures and DIY projects, the XTF provides the opportunity to build your own ultimate off-road truck that’s ready to conquer any terrain. Ford may not build it, but now you have the chance to make it a reality.