We are big fans of pick-up trucks here at wheels HQ and there are many models that really do it for us – none more so than the F-150 Raptor. Ford has been testing the all-new model in our very own backyard and if you had a dune-bashing weekend planned, you better cancel it; the newbie appears to have flattened all those sandbanks out there!

Ford has been hot-weather testing its tough pick-up and from the images that just landed in our inbox, the truck looks like it is even more capable than ever before, if a little tame in appearance when compared to Hennessey's example. It’s taken loose sand, dust and extreme temperatures in its giant stride and looks like it will go down very well with fans when it is launched in the first quarter of 2017.

Everything is being inspected about the new model from its ground clearance, approach and departure angles, cooling systems, tractive capability and passenger comfort and it sure looks like it’s been ‘Built Ford Tough’. Don Ufford, director of vehicle engineering, Ford Motor Company says, “The Raptor is important for our brand, with the tough capability we deliver with our trucks. It has Ford Motor Company’s heritage: it’s rugged, it’s tough, and it’s very capable – the most capable off-road truck we have.”

Packing an all-new 3.5-litre twin-turbo high-output Ecoboost engine making 421 horsepower and 678Nm of torque, it shouldn’t have any problem when drivers venture off the beaten track.

“We’re looking to confirm that our cooling system, our engine, our transmission, our driveline systems, and also our passenger comfort are all robust to temperatures like this – 50 degrees Celsius – out here”, Ufford adds. We really can’t wait to have a go with this one.