Off Road

The Ford F-150 Raptor R Brings Back the V8

  • The 2023 F-150 Raptor R represents Ford’s most powerful pickup.
  • Ford stuffed the 5.2-liter supercharged V8 from its Mustang Shelby GT500 under the hood and retuned it to make 700 hp and 640 lb-ft of torque.
  • The Ford F-150 Raptor R is available to order now.

    The F-150 Raptor launched into the Ford lineup and off of desert jumps all the way back in 2010. The trophy-truck-inspired Raptor’s suspension was the star of the show, but its growling 6.2-liter V8 wasn’t far behind. As Ford pivoted away from V8s and toward smaller turbocharged engines, the Raptor lost its V8. Even though the EcoBoost-powered Raptor made more power than its predecessor, that V8 vacuum helped open the door for the Hellcat-powered Ram TRX. Well, it seems like the folks at Ford have listened to the fans, and have officially brought the V8 Raptor back as the long-expected F-150 Raptor R.

    Powering this Raptor R is, effectively, the same Predator V8 found under the hood of the Ford Mustang Shelby GT500. This supercharged 5.2-liter DOHC V8 sends 700 hp and 640 lb-ft of torque through a ten-speed automatic transmission and into the Raptor’s four-wheel-drive system. This is obviously down compared to the GT500’s figures, but it’s in lockstep with Ram’s desert racer’s 702 hp and 650 lb-ft of torque—likely, that’s not an accident.

    Part of the dip in power could be due to the revised supercharger and altered pulley diameter that work to boost mid- and low-range power. Finishing off the engine is a set of cast stainless-steel exhaust manifolds and a conical air filter. Those manifolds feed an active exhaust system that features a pass-through muffler design.

    While the V8 is the star of the Raptor R, it’s not the only upgrade over the standard F-150 Raptor. Ford says it recalibrated the 10-speed automatic to work better with the 5.2-liter V8. The company also upgraded the front axle, with a more robust carrier casting and a structural aluminum cover. Ford also employed a heavier-duty torque converter between the engine and transmission.

    Controlling the standard 37-inch tall tires is a five-link suspension at the rear and double-wishbone suspension at the front. This is the same basic design found on the standard F-150 Raptor. Fox Live Valve shocks control the bumps and dips while adjusting on the fly based on inputs from various sensors. Surprisingly, the Raptor R sees a 5% increase in spring rate from the front springs.

    The interior is basically the same as the standard-issue Raptor. Notable exceptions are the Recaro seats are now standard, and the Raptor R introduces customizable drive modes that can be triggered by the R button on the steering wheel. Extra badging on the interior will also remind you that you’re in the Raptor R, but the same 12-inch Sync 4 touchscreen jumps between models.

    The Ford Raptor R is set to launch at a staggering $109,145, which puts a little ahead of a loaded Ram TRX. That’s a lot of money for a pickup, but not that shocking when you think about quickly rising pickup prices, and the cost of the 5.2-liter engine. If you want to add one of these to your stable, Ford says you can order one today.

    Do you think the Ford F-150 Raptor R can make up lost ground from the Ram TRX? Let us know your thoughts below.

    Wesley Wren has spent his entire life around cars, whether it’s dressing up as his father’s 1954 Ford for Halloween as a child, repairing cars in college or collecting frustrating pieces of history—and most things in between.

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