Who knew supertrucks would become such a thing? We are definitely in a golden age of horsepower with the increase in the number of extremely fast cars. But not too long ago, if you wanted a truck with an extremely high horsepower rating, you had to go to a niche tuner like Hennessey or Shelby for a build that fit your needs. The original Raptor which debuted over a decade ago began the itch for more powerful trucks, but it did not give these absolutely insane power numbers.
When the Ram TRX came onto the scene, everything changed. Its 702 horsepower Hellcat V8 absolutely blew the Raptors paltry 450 horsepower V6 out of the water. The TRX has had a lot of good press and there are plenty of fanboys out there that are now team TRX. Of course, Ford couldn’t stand this for long. After all, the brand had been on top of the truck food chain for so long, hence, it couldn’t give up so easily. This is how the Raptor R comes into play. It doesn’t mess around with any small V6, rather, it rises to the occasion with a supercharged V8 as well. It may be two years late, but the 2023 Ford F-150 Raptor R is here, and it wants its crown back.
Here is everything we have learned about Ford’s newest addition to the Raptor family.
The New Ford F-150 Raptor R: Size Means Everything
Today, so many internal combustion engines are moving to smaller displacements. Ford even did this while going from the first to the second-generation Raptor. The V8 found in the first iteration gave way to a twin turbocharged V6 for the second-generation Raptor to the chagrin of many enthusiasts. Now, Ford has repented of its sins and realized they’ll just be left in the dust if they don’t have a glorious V8 to grace the pinnacle of its Raptor lineup.
So, that is exactly what Ford did. The brand looked for the most viable V8 candidate in its lineup which was naturally the Predator V8 that is found under the hood of the Shelby GT500. Thankfully, it gets the job done beautifully. In the Raptor R, it produces 700 horsepower and 640 pound-feet of torque. Aspects of this powertrain had to be adjusted to make it more accommodating to the Raptor R. This included a new supercharger pulley that is specialized to deliver more power off-road. This adjustment gives the Raptor more low end and mid-range torque delivery.
More power also means more air intake. Ford included a new air intake system that allows for the Raptor R to take in two thirds more air than it previously could. To give the Raptor R a larger and “in charge” presence, Ford included a prominent hood air extractor as well.
The New Ford F-150 Raptor R Still Faces An Uphill Battle
The F-150 Raptor R is no doubt a very compelling truck. But there is still a lot of proving that it has to do in order to be crowned as the ultimate truck. It has competitors coming at it from all angles. Of course, its closest competitor is the Ram TRX, and technically, the TRX makes more power than the Raptor R, still. It makes two more horsepower and ten more pound-feet of torque. Ram definitely has not let Ford forget this as they were quick to go to Twitter after the Raptor R was announced to proclaim that they still have best in class V8 horsepower.
There is also the whole electric truck segment which is growing at a rapid pace. You have competitors like the GMC Hummer EV truck that have 1000 horsepower and a blistering 0-60 mph speed. The Rivian R1T has up to 835 horsepower, and it’s closely priced to what we believe the Raptor R might cost. Automakers in the truck market are racing to have the most powerful offering out there. It begs the question of where the Raptor R will fit in.
Overall, the F-150 Raptor R seems to be a very impressive truck. It gives us a soulful V8 and the power that rockets this truck into the big leagues. It takes everything that made the standard Raptor amazing, and Ford just turned it up a notch. By returning to its roots, the Predator V8 gives the Raptor enthusiasts something to be excited about again. It has its work cut out with the other very compelling trucks that are already either out or are on the horizon. But if Ford has proven anything, it is that they know trucks. They have been in the performance truck business since the beginning. We have a good feeling that the Raptor R will be able to hold its own.