Spoiler alert: America wins.
Autozaurus editors Andrew Ganz and yours truly took a 2017 Ford F-150 Raptor and a 2017 Dodge Challenger Hellcat to Boulder, Colorado, for the least “green” race that city has ever seen.
At stake was a point of pride for gearheads: Is the ability to conquer physical objects better than the ability to conquer physical limits? Regardless of obstacle, we found the right tools for the jobs.
The 2017 Ford F-150 Raptor has already made a name for itself as one of the fastest ways over tricky terrain. Its twin-turbocharged V-6 engine pumps out 450 horsepower, and its generous suspension travel and specialized internal bypass shocks by Fox help make this unique pickup a formidable foe for sand dunes everywhere and an ultra-capable off-roader.
The 2017 Dodge Challenger Hellcat is an established pavement punisher. With 707 horsepower, a 0-60-mph time of less than 4.0 seconds, and a top speed in excess of 200 mph, it has been a tour de force for American muscle and an instant classic since it hit the streets.
Our routes took us around—and over—Sugarloaf Mountain near Boulder. The truck’s route followed Sugarloaf Road to the popular Switzerland Trail that winds through the tiny town of Gold Hill, and into Lefthand Canyon.
The Challenger Hellcat followed Boulder Canyon Road connecting to the scenic Peak to Peak byway through the town of Nederland, before descending into Lefthand Canyon.
In all, the routes were timed to within minutes of each other—with the goal of keeping it a close race.
While the Raptor’s wide stance and countless inches stem-to-stern were liabilities on the trail, the Challenger Hellcat’s famous straight-line-only speed kept it from making up ground on the curvy scenic byway.
The finish was closer than you might think, and we’re clear on one thing that we learned in the end. Watch the video to find out which piece of American engineering won, and what we took away from the experience.