Ever since the F-150 Raptor’s 2009 debut, Ford and its hometown rivals have continued to push the off-roading segment to its limits. And while there is no denying the impressive capability from the likes of the Ram 1500 TRX or the Raptor, those range-toppers are far out of reach for the average 4x4 enthusiast. Ford recognized this predicament, and just unveiled a rather sensible solution. Meet the all-new 2023 F-150 Rattler, the Blue Oval’s most accessible off-road F-150 yet.
Unlike the Raptor or Tremor, the new F-150 Rattler is truly entry-level. That’s not because this truck can’t handle itself on the trails, but rather because the Rattler package is exclusive to Ford’s base XL trim. While the Rattler won’t have the overt niceties of the other trucks, it will reach as many new off-road fans as possible.
“We wanted to make sure that any aspiring off-roaders had a product that they could enter into the off-road market with,” F-150 marketing manager Kelly Lewis said in an interview with R&T. “The intention of the Rattler is really to combine those ethics for off-road features with the expressive styling of an off-road vehicle that customers are looking for.”
The Rattler’s off-road features naturally start with four-wheel drive, as well as goodies from the FX4 package like skid plates, an electronic rear-locking differential, and specially-tuned shock absorbers. Larger 18-inch wheels are included as well, and come wrapped in a set of all-terrain rubber. A unique dual exhaust setup will make sure your ears can differentiate the Rattler from other road-focused XL models.
The truck also features a unique rattlesnake-inspired graphics package, which evoque the large motifs found on the Raptor models. This rattlesnake theme continues inside, where Onyx seats offset with bronze accents do their best snakeskin impression. The design is less egregious than it initially sounds, and could easily be overlooked by an unaware observer. Customers will have eight exterior colors to choose from: Oxford White, Avalanche, Iconic Silver, Carbonized Gray, Antimatter Blue, Stone Gray, Agate Black and Rapid Red TriCoat.
According to Lewis, the Rattler package will be able to be ordered with every XL powertrain option except the 3.3-liter V-6. That of course means you can finally have the 5.0-liter V-8-powered off-roader you’ve been waiting for. Because the package is tied to the 145-inch wheelbase, customers can also choose between a SuperCab and SuperCrew bodystyle.
Ford isn’t quite ready to share pricing details, but we do know it will slot well below the Tremor’s $52,235 base price. Based on content alone, we wouldn’t expect this truck to be massively more expensive than a regular FX4-equipped XL model, but we’ll have to wait and see. What we do know is that the Rattler will hit dealers this fall. It will be interesting to see if 4x4 fans are ready for an entry-level F-150, or if the appeal of the range-toppers will prove too much to overcome.
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