Shelby F-150 and Baja Raptor Head to the Sands of the Middle East

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Shelby Baja Raptor F-150 Front

Shelby’s high performance F-150 packages will be loads of fun in one of the world’s biggest deserts.

According to Wikipedia, the Arabian Desert is the fifth-largest desert in the world, but that includes Antarctica and the Arctic Circle, both of which are “polar ice and tundra”. When it comes to sandy dunes, perfect for playing with a high performance off-road pickup, the Arabian Peninsula is the center of the world’s third-largest desert. With all of that sand and plenty of vast, open spaces, off-road trucks are a popular toy for the wealthy and with that in mind, it makes perfect sense that Shelby American would be interested in marketing their high-performance pickups in that market.

According to DriveArabia, limited numbers of the Shelby F-150 and the Shelby Baja Raptor will be shipped to the United Arab Emerites, bringing big American pickup power to the Middle East.

Shelby F-150 Front Corner

The Shelby F-150 Pickups

Shelby American will sell two trucks in the UAE; the Shelby F-150 that is based on the V8-powered “normal” Ford F-150 and the Shelby Baja Raptor that is based on the EcoBoost-powered Ford Raptor.

Those of you who are familiar with these trucks likely recall that the Shelby F-150 was introduced prior to the arrival of Raptor and prior to the introduction of the Ford-built performance truck, the Shelby F-150 was the best option for a turnkey, off-road, high performance pickup. Once Ford rolled out the Raptor, Shelby American offered up their Baja package, taking a slightly different approach than their V8-powered trucks.

Shelby F-150 Rear

Shelby F-150

The Shelby F-150 (shown above with the white stripes) is powered by the 5.0-liter V8, but thanks to a supercharger and a handful of other engine upgrades, this truck delivers 755 horsepower. The package also adds unique bodywork from front to back, big wheels and tires, rear traction bard and the Shelby-engineered Fox suspension system upgrade.

Shelby F-150 Engine

Shelby Baja Raptor

The Shelby Baja Raptor is based on the Ford F-150 Raptor, so it is powered by the highest-performance variant of the 3.5-liter EcoBoost V6. Shelby has increased the output from 450 horsepower and 510 lb-ft of torque to 525 horsepower and 610 lb-ft of torque.

Shelby Baja Raptor Enigne

More importantly, The Baja Raptor package adds adjustable Fox Racing Stage 2 suspension at all four corners along with 18-inch wheels wrapped in high performance off-road rubber.

Shelby Baja Raptor Driver's Side

Of course, like all Shelby vehicles, the Baja Raptor has unique bodywork and plenty of branding all around, including front bucket seats with custom embroidery.

Shelby Baja Raptor F-150 Seats

The Shelby F-150 with the 755-horsepower V8 starts at Dhs 446,145 in the UAE, or around $122,000 US dollars while the Shelby Baja Raptor with the worked EcoBoost V6 starts at Dhs 524,895, or around $143,000 USD. With prices like that, these are not trucks that the average driver in the UAE will run out and buy, but for the rich kids who leave their wrecked Ferraris on the side of the street, the Shelby pickups might prove to be a bit more durable for blasting through the sand.

Join the F-150 Online forums now!

"Before I was old enough to walk, my dad was taking me to various types of racing events, from local drag racing to the Daytona 500," says Patrick Rall, a lifetime automotive expert, diehard Dodge fan, and respected auto journalist for over 10 years. "He owned a repair shop and had a variety of performance cars when I was young, but by the time I was 16, he was ready to build me my first drag car – a 1983 Dodge Mirada that ran low 12s. I spent 10 years traveling around the country, racing with my dad by my side. While we live in different areas of the country, my dad still drag races at 80 years old in the car that he built when I was 16 while I race other vehicles, including my 2017 Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat and my 1972 Dodge Demon 340.

"Although I went to college for accounting, my time in my dad’s shop growing up allowed me the knowledge to spend time working as a mechanic before getting my accounting degree, at which point I worked in the office of a dealership group. While I was working in the accounting world, I continued racing and taking pictures of cars at the track. Over time, I began showing off those pictures online and that led to my writing.

"Ten years ago, I left the accounting world to become a full-time automotive writer and I am living proof that if you love what you do, you will never “work” a day in your life," adds Rall, who has clocked in time as an auto mechanic, longtime drag racer and now automotive journalist who contributes to nearly a dozen popular auto websites dedicated to fellow enthusiasts.

"I love covering the automotive industry and everything involved with the job. I was fortunate to turn my love of the automotive world into a hobby that led to an exciting career, with my past of working as a mechanic and as an accountant in the automotive world provides me with a unique perspective of the industry.

"My experience drag racing for more than 20 years coupled with a newfound interest in road racing over the past decade allows me to push performance cars to their limit, while my role as a horse stable manager gives me vast experience towing and hauling with all of the newest trucks on the market today.

"Being based on Detroit," says Rall, "I never miss the North American International Auto Show, the Woodward Dream Cruise and Roadkill Nights, along with spending plenty of time raising hell on Detroit's Woodward Avenue with the best muscle car crowd in the world.

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