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Factory Five XTF Revolutionizes the Discussion on Trucks

If you find the Ford Raptor to be too practical, Factory Five XTF offers an alternative with their tube-frame, desert-racer solution.

In the November 2023 edition of Car and Driver, we present an exciting opportunity for all the automotive enthusiasts out there. Are you skilled with tools and have a passion for trucks? Have you ever thought that the Ford F-150 Raptor could be even better with an enhanced suspension? Well, here’s some good news for you. Factory Five Racing has introduced their latest kit called the XTF, specifically designed to transform a standard F-150 into a formidable vehicle capable of participating in the renowned Baja 1000 race in Ensenada. And the best part? If you have a late-model Ford F-150 and an additional $25,000 to spare, this project is perfect for you. With the XTF kit, you’ll no longer need the original stock F-150 frame, giving you ample time to research which class your modified truck would fit into. So get ready to embark on an exciting journey and unleash the true potential of your Ford F-150!

Advantages: Impressive appearance, exceptional suspension travel like a trophy truck, sense of fulfillment from building it personally.


ADVANTAGES: Impressive appearance, impressive suspension travel like a trophy truck, sense of accomplishment from building it yourself. In the past, Factory Five typically followed the traditional kit-car approach of repurposing components from a production car to create a unique vehicle – for example, using Subaru WRX parts for the 818 or Corvette components for the GTM supercar. However, the XTF takes a different approach. Instead of starting with a different vehicle and ending up with something completely distinct, you begin with an F-150 and transform it into an F-150 with enhanced off-road capabilities. This involves constructing the truck from scratch, starting with the frame.

If your idea of a proper suspension involves 16 inches of front travel and 20 inches at the rear, the stock Ford frame is not sufficient in terms of width and strength. To put it into perspective, a Raptor R only manages 13.0 inches of front travel and 14.1 inches at the rear. That’s why the XTF kit from Factory Five features a completely new tube frame that replaces the stock ladder frame. According to Factory Five, their frame weighs approximately 100 pounds more than the original Ford frame but is almost twice as strong, utilizing a total of 327 feet of tubing. Surprisingly, installing the new frame may not be as difficult as you might think. The cab of the 2015 and later F-150 is a self-contained unit, so you can simply unbolt it, disconnect the wiring harnesses, and remove it with an engine hoist or lift. The cab is watertight, allowing XTF owners who are short on space to keep it outside while working on the frame and suspension in their garage.

The $24,990 package is designed for 2015–20 F-150 four-wheel drive models equipped with either the 5.0-liter V-8 or the turbocharged 3.5-liter V-6 engines (newer trucks have modifications that make Factory Five’s package incompatible). Specifically, you will need the crew cab with the 5.5-foot bed and a 26-gallon fuel tank. Although the ideal prerunner truck would typically be a two-wheel-drive regular cab with the V-8, Factory Five chose to create the package around a truck that is commonly purchased by people. As a result, this first completed XTF is based on an everyday 3.-liter EcoBoost Lariat, originally rolled off the assembly line in Dearborn as a standard family truck. However, it has been transformed into something quite different.

At first glance, the XTF may be mistaken for a Raptor R due to its flared fenders and 37-inch tires. However, upon closer inspection, the tube frame reveals its true nature, with its welded latticework visible beneath the rocker panels and leading to the four-link, coil-spring rear suspension featuring large remote-reservoir Fox dampers. The bed is made of aluminum and on this particular truck, it is mostly occupied by the optional spare tire (the mount is priced at $199). The fiberglass fenders are included in the package and increase the XTF’s width to a considerable 90 inches, which is three inches wider than a Raptor R. Consequently, the hood, grille, and tailgate are all Factory Five components as well.

The body components can be purchased in clear-coat carbon fiber for a price of $6990. Opting for this option may be a cost-effective alternative to painting the fiberglass panels to match the cab. It is important to note that the nose panel is made of carbon fiber regardless of the choice. Additional options available include a rear anti-roll bar priced at $465 and a tow package priced at $675. The tow package includes more than just a hitch, as it also includes axle-limiting straps and a Panhard rod to help stabilize the rear suspension while towing.

CONS: Bulky size, increased heaviness, challenges involved in DIY assembly.

By incorporating carbon-fiber parts, the weight of the build is reduced by 34 pounds. This helps compensate for the 388-pound increase in weight compared to a 2017 F-150 crew cab with the same powertrain and options. The total weight of the Factory Five truck is 5862 pounds, with 130 pounds being accounted for by the spare-tire assembly and its bed mount. Therefore, it’s not surprising that the XTF performed slightly slower than the stock truck at the drag strip. Even with a mild tune that added approximately 60 horsepower, the XTF recorded a 5.9-second time to reach 60 mph, which was 0.2 seconds slower than the stock truck. The larger frontal area of the Factory Five truck becomes more noticeable at higher speeds, as evidenced by its quarter-mile time of 14.8 seconds at 88 mph, compared to the stock truck’s time of 14.3 seconds at 97 mph. However, the XTF had no trouble reaching its top speed limiter of 110 mph. It is worth noting that our acceleration tests do not take place in fields filled with loose cinder blocks. However, if they did, it is highly likely that the XTF would have a significant advantage.

In order to truly test the capabilities of the XTF, we decided to take it on a road trip from Factory Five’s headquarters in Wareham, Massachusetts to the Team O’Neil rally school in Dalton, New Hampshire. Throughout the 200-plus miles of highway driving, the truck demonstrated its prowess as a comfortable pavement cruiser, similar to a Raptor. Thanks to its generous tire sidewall and suspension travel, the XTF provided a smooth ride, while still maintaining its stock interior with luxurious features such as ventilated seats and a panoramic roof. With the rear anti-roll bar installed, the truck handled well on pavement, although its all-terrain 37-inch Toyo Open Country M/T tires did contribute to a 0.70-g skidpad result and a 201-foot stopping distance from 70 mph. However, once the rear anti-roll bar was manually disconnected, the truck showcased its extreme off-road capabilities, especially in terms of axle articulation. The main challenge we faced, both on-road and off-road, was the width of the XTF. We quickly discovered that street parking spaces in Portsmouth, New Hampshire were slightly narrower than 90 inches. On the trail, the only obstacle that could halt an XTF was two trees spaced exactly 89 inches apart. Eager to test the suspension travel of the XTF, we handed the truck over to rally driver Wyatt Knox and instructed him to seek out the nearest jump. After some initial familiarization on the dirt skidpad and slalom course, he directed the truck uphill towards a steep crest that typically launches rally cars into the air. However, unlike rally cars, the XTF’s suspension extended to its maximum droop, resembling a cat clinging to a fabric sofa, and the front tires barely left the ground. Knox commented, “Well, normally that would be a jump.”

Disappointed by our previous failure, we proceeded towards a purpose-built mudhole designed to challenge the suspension and tires of vehicles, training drivers to navigate such off-road scenarios. However, once again, the XTF showed its rebellious nature by defying the expected outcome. Instead of conforming, it pushed its rear tire, located on the high side, up under the fender, while the low side hung precariously deep into the rut, unable to maintain contact with the ground. If the rear axle possessed any more flexibility, it could very well be presenting a thesis on the juxtaposition between the patriarchal monarchy and the American frontier, exemplified by King Ranch.

CONCLUSION: The Raptor’s aspirations for its future self.

Small manufacturers face a potential danger when searching for a specialized market, as an original equipment manufacturer (OEM) might opt to produce a similar concept on their factory assembly line. This was evident with the demise of the AEV Brute due to the introduction of the Jeep Gladiator, and Factory Five’s GTM being overshadowed by the release of a mid-engine Corvette by GM. However, the XTF takes the off-road racing truck idea to new heights that are unlikely to be reached by anyone else. Although Ford has no plans to manufacture this vehicle, you have the opportunity to do so.


  • Factory Five XTF 3.5-liter EcoBoost
  • Vehicle Type: front-engine, rear/4-wheel-drive, 5-passenger, 4-door pickup


Base/As Tested: $96,562/$97,226


  • twin-turbocharged and intercooled DOHC 24-valve V-6, aluminum block and heads, port and direct fuel injection
  • Displacement: 213 in3, 3496 cm3
  • Power: 435 hp @ 5750 rpm
  • Torque: 480 lb-ft @ 3100 rpm


10-speed automatic


  • Suspension, F/R: control arms/live axle
  • Tires: Toyo Open Country M/T
  • 37×12.50R-20LT 126Q M+S


  • Wheelbase: 145.0 in
  • Length: 231.9 in
  • Width: 90.0 in
  • Height: 77.2 in
  • Curb Weight: 5862 lb


  • 60 mph: 5.9 sec
  • 1/4-Mile: 14.8 sec @ 88 mph
  • 100 mph: 21.8 sec
  • Results above omit 1-ft rollout of 0.3 sec.
  • Rolling Start, 5–60 mph: 7.0 sec
  • Top Gear, 30–50 mph: 3.6 sec
  • Top Gear, 50–70 mph: 4.6 sec
  • Top Speed (gov ltd): 110 mph
  • Braking, 70–0 mph: 201 ft
  • Roadholding, 300-ft Skidpad: 0.70 g

Observed: 12 mpg
75-mph Highway Driving: 15 mpg
75-mph Highway Range: 390 mi


  • Displacement: 5.0L V8 or 3.5L Twin Turbo V6
  • Induction: Multi-Port Fuel Injection
  • Drivetrain/Suspension: Automatic Transmission with Transfer Case
  • Front Suspension Type: Inboard Independent Double Arm
  • Rear Suspension Type: Solid Rear 4-Link
  • Shock-Springs: Fox Coil Over
  • Steering: OEM Ford Specs
  • Brakes: OEM Ford Specs

Construction Layout

  • Layout: Front Engine 4WD
  • Frame: Tubular Space Frame


  • Weight: 5,500 lbs. Est.
  • Weight Distribution F/R: 55.5/44.5 (Percent)
  • Wheelbase: 145 in.
  • Overall Length: 234 in.
  • Front Track: 77.5 in.
  • Rear Track: 78 in.
  • Overall Height: 77 in. (depending on ride height)
  • Overall Width: 90.0 in.
  • Ground Clearance: Adjustable 10 – 14 in.
  • Fuel Capacity: 26 Gallons
  • Tow Capacity (with 70590 – Trailer Hitch Option) – 5,000 lbs.

More Specifics & Options

There are some things you need to have on your F-150. Our chassis was designed to use the 4-door Super Crew Cab only. The F-150 bed needs to be the standard 5-½’ bed. The fuel tank is used and moved to allow longer suspension travel so your F-150 needs to have the standard 26 gallon fuel tank, not the
larger optional 36 gallon fuel tank.

You can use F-150 trucks powered by either the twin turbo 6 EcoBoost engine or the 5.0L Coyote engine. F-150 trucks have either the super 8.8” rear end or the larger 9.75” rear ends. Truck bed power port may be used, but requires drilling.

  • The XTF is designed to run 37” diameter tires. The tires on this truck are Toyo Open Country MT in size 37” x 12.50” x 20”. The wheels are Fuel Brand 20” x 10” front and rear.
  • Optional complete carbon fiber panel upgrade – Price $6,990, Available October 2023.
  • Optional rear sway bars – Price $399.
  • Optional spare tire mount – Price $199.
  • Optional tow package includes hitch, panhard bar, and axle limiting straps – Price $699.
  • Optional race cage for F-150 cab – Price TBD.
  • Optional off-road/race box section lower control arms – Price TBD.
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