Ford truck fans need not lament the lack of an F-150 Raptor option for 2015 (and don’t worry, we’re betting that wildly successful off-road model will be back soon). As long as shops like Addictive Desert Designs are on the case, Ford’s all-new 2015 F-150 platform can easily be converted to extreme off-road duty.
Addictive Desert Designs had a beautifully tricked-out version of the all aluminum-bodied F-150 XLT SuperCrew, dubbed the Baja XT, on display on the Ford stage at the 2014 SEMA Show in Las Vegas, and the aggressive-appearing truck was an immediate hit with show attendees. Addictive Desert Designs’ owner Jared Hare and General Manager Greg Foutz collaborated on the Baja XT, which will be available as a house-built, limited-edition machine, although Addictive will also offer parts and complete kits for sale to customers who want to take the piecemeal approach and build it themselves.
If anyone knows how to make a Ford rip through the desert, it’s Foutz, a driver with the original factory Ford Baja Raptor team that shocked skeptics by placing third against the fire-breathing trucks of Class 8 in a basically stock Raptor at the 2008 Baja 1000. Foutz says that the new truck is even easier to modify than the previous generation of F-150s.
“They start with a good DNA,” Foutz says. “The frames are high-strength steel. The new aluminum bodies weigh 800 pounds less than the body of last year’s truck. So they take to modification easily. Ford does a good job of giving you a platform that you can upgrade and modify without destroying the original platform. Other manufacturers have missed that mark. Ford has always been involved with trucks, and they’ve always been involved in racing. The whole truck platform has always evolved around what we learned at the racetrack.”
The Baja XT is based on a 2015 Ford F-150 with the 2.7-liter EcoBoost engine, crew cab and short bed chassis. Foutz says that Addictive’s vision was to build on top of that already capable platform and build a true off-road enthusiast version of the truck.
“If you look closely at this truck, it’s actually 7 inches wider than a stock F-150,” Foutz says. “We’ve put all of our heavy duty front suspension—lower arm, fabricated spindle, upper arm, billet tierod kit and longer axles in the front to get the width out of it. We’ve also put Fox 3-inch internal bypass shocks up front, giving it slightly more than 12 inches in the front of the truck. In the rear, we have a Currie F9 full-floater rear-end housing, and we have Fox 3-inch internal bypass shocks in the rear also, with 2.5-inch bump stops. We also fabricated different shock mounts to help us pick up a little extra travel in the rear. Again, the platform of the truck is so good, that we can do all that.”
Foutz says that the engine in the Baja XT display model is the very same 2.7 liter EcoBoost that was in the factory racetruck at the Baja 1000 last year.
“From the factory, the engine makes 350 horsepower and over 300 lb.-ft. of torque, stock, but with just some minor tuning and exhaust upgrades, it’s easy to get it up between 400 and 440 horsepower. The motors are very capable with just a few changes, and the reliability will still be there.”
Other modifications include custom body panels, which include flared fenders front and rear. Addictive Desert Designs has also built two different series of bumpers and sidesteps for the truck. Most noticeable are Addictive’s proprietary chase rack, complete with folding lightbar, and its Baja Chase Organizer, which has room for two spare tires, gas cans, a jack and a toolbox.
Naturally, all of this high-performance sweetness is going to pound on your wallet like a series of Baja whoop-de-doos. Plan on spending in the neighborhood of $27,000 for the complete Addictive Desert Designs Kit after you buy a new F-150 from your local Ford dealer. So, be sure to make a good deal on the stock truck!
The beauty of the Addictive Desert Designs components, is that you get what you pay for. All of the parts are all Solidworks 3d-modeled, CAD/CAM pieces that are guaranteed to fit your 2015 Ford F-150 perfectly.