Ford has finally done what we all secretly wanted them to do all along – plonk a massive V8 into its Raptor pick-up. No one can say that the F-150 Raptor’s twin-turbo V6 is slow but with Dodge upping the performance stakes with its Ram 1500 TRX, an answer had to be fired back. Ford went ahead and chose its most potent powertrain being the ‘Predator’ 5.2-litre supercharged V8 knicked from the Mustang Shelby GT500. Hence, this monster of an engine kicks out 700 horsepower and 640 lb.-ft. of torque- up from 450 horsepower and 510 lb.-ft. of torque from the standard Raptor. Sheesh.
Ford is coy about revealing the performance numbers for the new car but we expect a sub-4-second 0-60-mph time and that’s utterly bonkers for such a mammoth pick-up. Compared to the Mustang Shelby GT500, there is slightly less power but more torque and the focus is on off-road performance rather than doing quarter-mile drag races.
The engine has been recalibrated for more torque delivery at the low-end and mid-range with the 10-speed SelectShift transmission also being beefed up to handle all that extra power. Plus, while dune bashing, drivers can treat themselves to some V8 music via a dual exhaust system with a true pass-through muffler and an active valve system.
Huge 37-inch BFGoodrich All-Terrain tyres are standard on the Raptor R and the five-link rear suspension features extra-long trailing arms for better axle position on rough terrain, a Panhard rod and 24-inch coil springs. The wheel travel is also now 13 inches in front and 14.1 inches at the back.
If not for those crazy huge tyres, you can also identify the Raptor R via its more aggressively styled power dome which now sits 1 inch taller than on the base Raptor while the grille, bumpers and fender flares are now painted black.
Inside, you have a black interior with a sportier undertone thanks to Recaro sports seats, suede and lashings of carbon fibre. In fact, the weave of the carbon fibre trim is reminiscent of a supercar and there is also a ‘R’ button on the steering wheel to let the driver customise various settings.
Overall, the F-150 Raptor R is a potent cocktail of too much power being reigned in with a distinct off-road focus and like the Ram 1500 TRX, expect this new version to be one of the most popular models within the Raptor range.
Even at a starting price of $109,145, expect the Raptor R to have a swarm of takers and with such huge demand in its native market, don’t expect it to be launched in Australia soon with the car-maker focusing on getting the standard F-150 here first.
2023 Ford F-150 Raptor R Pricing & Specs
Model: F-150 Raptor R
Release Date: 2023
Engine: 5.2-litre V8
Torque: 640 lb-ft
Transmission: 10-speed automatic transmission
Weight: 5,950 lb