V8 Ford F-150 Raptor R Roars In With 700 Horsepower
Ford invented the super-truck when it premiered the F-150 Raptor back in 2010. But Ram laid down a gauntlet when it answered with the 702-horsepower Ram TRX in 2021.
Now, Ford has an answer. It’s 2 horsepower shy of matching the TRX but should bring enough suspension travel and attitude to make that difference irrelevant.
Ford has already begun accepting orders for the 2023 F-150 Raptor R. It starts at $107,350, plus a $1,795 delivery fee. That’s a hefty premium over the 2022 Raptor’s $69,905 point of entry.
The Heart of a Shelby Mustang
The F-150 Raptor R boasts a 5.2-liter supercharged V8 engine making 700 horsepower and 640 pound-feet of torque. It’s the same engine found in Ford’s signature muscle car, the Mustang Shelby GT500, retuned for muscle truck duty.
Wider air intakes help keep it cool in rough conditions, while a deeper oil pan keeps it lubricated on aggressive grades.
Power goes through a 10-speed automatic transmission Ford says it upgraded “to help ensure Raptor R can smoothly handle what this V8 can throw at it.”
As with all Raptors, though, the magic is in the suspension. The Raptor R rides on enormous 37-inch tires and uses long-travel Fox live-valve shocks “tuned to balance ride quality and roll control on- and off-road.” Ford claims a class-leading 13.1-inches of ground clearance.
The suspension use sensors to monitor terrain conditions and adjust “hundreds of times a second,” Ford promises. Wheel travel is an impressive 13 inches up front and 14.1 in the back.
Trail Turn Assist can give the truck a smaller turning radius in tight situations off the pavement. Trail Control – Ford’s unique off-road cruise control system – can accelerate and brake to maintain a steady speed on the trail, letting the diver focus on negotiating tight passages.
“Visually Designed Like A Desert Predator”
The standard Raptor is an intimidating enough sight in your rearview mirror. But the Raptor R turns that up a notch.
“Raptor R is visually designed like a desert predator to catch the attention of Raptor customers and off-road enthusiasts,” said Tom Liu, Raptor R lead designer.
Changes include a taller power dome on the hood and unmissable Code Orange “R” badges. Graphics on the rear fenders, Ford says, “feature a unique design that mirrors the harsh, cracked desert earth, reinforcing the type of environment Raptor R is built to conquer.”
Inside, the theme is black. Standard Recaro performance seats come lined in black leather and grippy Alcantara faux suede. Carbon fiber interior trim is the real thing, featuring a unique tri-axial weave. A 12-inch central touchscreen running Ford’s Sync 4 infotainment system is standard.