2023 Ford F-150 Raptor R shoves extra energy on the downside


The 2021 Ford F-150 Raptor arrived with an issue. It had been surpassed by the Ram TRX and now not marked peak truck.

In probably the most American resolution doable, Ford has thrown extra energy on the Raptor to create the 2023 Ford F-150 Raptor R and thus solved the difficulty.

That roar you heard Final Monday was me within the 700-hp Raptor R. Sorry, not sorry.

The Raptor R shoves a supercharged V-8 underneath the hood of the Blue Oval’s absolutely loaded, Baja-inspired pickup and supersizes the value to $109,375 to place the Raptor again within the hunt as some of the ridiculous vehicles cash should buy.

Ford unleashed me in a Raptor R at Michigan’s Silver Lake State Park to tear by means of sand dunes and fly by means of the air. It grew to become a contest of which limits could be reached first: mine or the truck’s.

2023 Ford F-150 Raptor R brings a V-8 engine back to the Raptor lineup

2023 Ford F-150 Raptor R brings a V-8 engine again to the Raptor lineup

Lastly, V-8 hearth and fury

Because the hole between the lead Raptor R and mine widened on the pitch black freeway at 6:15 am, I mashed the Raptor R’s go pedal. The truck’s entrance finish visibly lifted because the rear squatted and the truck shot ahead. Working in Baja mode with the exhaust baffles open, the exhaust roared to decibel ranges that might undoubtedly annoy the neighbors and possibly alert any native police.

Laughing maniacally I stated to nobody, “Hey! Ford mounted the Raptor’s energy downside.” The Raptor R is terrific in its outrageousness.

The Raptor’s twin-turbo 3.5-liter V-6, with its completely ample 450 hp and 510 lb-ft of torque, has been solid apart for R responsibility. Bye, Felicia.

2023 Ford F-150 Raptor R features a 2.7-liter supercharger slapped onto of the V-8 engine

2023 Ford F-150 Raptor R encompasses a 2.7-liter supercharger slapped onto of the V-8 engine

As an alternative is the Mustang Shelby GT500’s supercharged 5.2-liter V-8 rated at 700 hp and 640 lb-ft of torque. Sure, that’s 2 hp lower than the Ram TRX.

After I requested Carl Widmann, chief engineer of Ford’s Efficiency division, if it actually would’ve been that massive a deal to tune the engine to 705 hp, he simply laughed. In any case, the Raptor R weighs roughly 400 lb lower than the TRX.

Widmann’s response is sensible after spending time each on- and off-road within the Raptor R. A number of further horsepower would’ve solely been for bragging rights. The Raptor R feels noticeably lighter on its rubber toes than the TRX in each dynamic transitions and normal experience high quality.

Whereas the engine makes use of the identical 2.7-liter, water-cooled, inverted supercharger spinning as much as 12 psi of enhance because the muscle automobile, it’s been revised for off-road truck responsibility. Mustangs don’t leap into the air, deal with steep grades, or tear by means of the desert on sand at excessive speeds.

2023 Ford F-150 Raptor R - Photo by Perry Stern

2023 Ford F-150 Raptor R – Picture by Perry Stern

A brand new supercharger pulley will increase low- and mid-range torque in comparison with the Shelby. In contrast to the TRX, supercharger whine isn’t all the time current within the cabin and might solely be heard when particularly listening for it. The Raptor R’s energy additionally doesn’t whack immediately, nevertheless it hits exhausting and shoves occupants, together with every little thing else within the truck, backward after a slight beat for the supercharger to spool.

To maintain issues lubed and cooled, Ford put in a brand new oil cooler and filter, together with a deeper oil pan. For higher respiration, a brand new, wider air consumption is paired with a high-flow conical air filter, translating to 66% extra consumption quantity than the Mustang.

It’s no shock, however the supercharged V-8’s hearth and fury will price massive cash even after spending six figures to purchase the Raptor R. Whereas off-roading, the supercharged V-8 guzzled gas at a speedy fee of lower than 3 mpg. For individuals who really feel that may not be a good evaluation, throughout 85 miles of freeway driving, the journey laptop stated I averaged 11.9 mpg. EPA gas economic system scores aren’t accessible but. As a actuality test, these are much like the numbers we’ve seen in a TRX, and never that a lot worse than a turbo V-6 Raptor. Keep tuned for extra real-world testing sooner or later.

The ten-speed automated transmission has a brand new calibration to take care of the additional energy, however like in the usual Raptor, the gear shifts are speedy, all the time on level, and grow to be sharper in Sport and Baja modes. To make sure issues don’t go growth, a heavy-duty turbine damper and four-pinion rear output meeting have been added to the torque converter. Ford additionally swapped in a 5.0-inch aluminum driveshaft (commonplace Raptors run a 4.5-inch driveshaft) together with a pinion snubber to maintain issues from transferring an excessive amount of throughout exhausting launches.

Talking of launches, the Raptor R lacks launch management. The TRX has it, however Widmann instructed MA the group is concentrated on off-road efficiency: “Why would you need launch management?” This isn’t a dragstrip truck, the engineer famous.

2023 Ford F-150 Raptor R has plenty of squish on its soft suspension and 37-inch tires

2023 Ford F-150 Raptor R has loads of squish on its mushy suspension and 37-inch tires

Dive, squat, thrash, repeat

With its enhanced energy the Raptor R squats, dives, and rolls just like the street-legal trophy truck it emulates. All it took was one other two cylinders, a supercharger, and 250 hp.

The Raptor’s Fox shocks with distant reservoirs carry over to the R, however the supercharged mannequin sees the entrance spring fee elevated by 5% to account for the V-8 powertrain’s further 100 lb or so on the entrance axle.

2023 Ford F-150 Raptor R features the same brake system as the standard Raptor

2023 Ford F-150 Raptor R options the identical brake system as the usual Raptor

Ford hasn’t upgraded the brakes from the usual Raptor regardless of the elevated energy. In what I might contemplate excessive however restricted testing, two different journalists and I drag raced by means of the sand constantly for practically half-hour. I constantly pushed the Raptor R to about 70 mph earlier than operating out of area and slamming on the brakes. The brakes by no means pale, however I might scent them after repeatedly hauling practically 6,000 lb of pickup again to actuality.

To make sure the entrance axle handles the elevated velocity that can include the elevated energy, Ford makes use of a finned aluminum entrance differential cowl to dissipate warmth. Ford additionally swaps in stiffer entrance axle bushings and an inner journey limiter.

2023 Ford F-150 Raptor R - Photo by Perry Stern

2023 Ford F-150 Raptor R – Picture by Perry Stern

Even with 13 inches of journey up entrance and 14.1 inches within the rear, I bottomed out the Raptor R’s entrance finish thrice in about 5 hours of off-roading. It’s capable of carry a lot velocity that potential risks arrive rapidly. In two of the three cases, I launched the truck into the air, and the opposite occurred after cresting a sand dune and heading into one other whereas carrying far an excessive amount of velocity. The truck didn’t care and neither did Ford engineers who famous that’s what bash plates are for.

In contrast to the extra pedestrian Raptor (phrases I by no means thought I’d sort), the R mannequin solely comes on squishy 37-inch tires. There isn’t a 35-inch rubber choice, which on the non-R mannequin is the extra enjoyable choice because of much less tire weight and the power to rotate faster within the sand. The additional energy of the R solves most of that downside as the additional weight of the 37s isn’t felt as a lot whereas giving the truck an method angle of 33 levels and an additional 1.3 inches of floor clearance over a Raptor on 35s.

2023 Ford F-150 Raptor R - Photo by Perry Stern

2023 Ford F-150 Raptor R – Picture by Perry Stern

Sure, it may be loud

After spending a day blasting over and thru sand dunes, I feel the Raptor R may be too loud. I should be getting previous.

Widdman instructed me at full throttle in Baja mode (which has the energetic exhaust dumps open) the exhaust reaches 80 db within the cab and 130 db on the ideas. As a degree of reference, Silver Lake State Park’s exhaust noise restrict is 94 db, not that anybody however me appeared to note that bullet level on the map with the park guidelines.

The second-generation Raptor constructed from 2017 to 2020, with its twin-turbo V-6, didn’t sound good. Ford knew it, and we knew it. The present gen-three truck mounted that difficulty with a brand new exhaust system that includes a “trumpet” design and equal-length tubing. The result’s a sound virtually like a straight-piped Nissan GT-R blended with a Z.

2023 Ford F-150 Raptor R's exhaust features

2023 Ford F-150 Raptor R’s exhaust options

The Raptor R dumps the turbo V-6 truck’s trumpet and encompasses a straight design with “packed ideas.” Widdman defined the packed ideas characteristic baffling and muffler filler-like materials that mix to assist take out high-frequency noise and sizzle.

With Quiet, Regular, Sport, and Baja modes, the truck can run with the baffles fully closed, barely open, extra open, or absolutely open, and the baffles are all the time open above 4,000 rpm no matter mode. It’ll default to Regular mode except programmed to begin in Quiet mode. Whereas Regular mode undoubtedly supplies a bark upon startup, it’s tame in comparison with the TRX, and at idle it’s downright mellow. Opening up the dumps in Baja mode sounds higher usually, however it may border on tiring as I skilled whereas burying the throttle time and again off-road. On street, even in Baja mode, the exhaust doesn’t appear to growth or drone, however we’ll want extra time with the truck in the actual world to really decide that.

2023 Ford F-150 Raptor R will be hard to spot from a standard Raptor

2023 Ford F-150 Raptor R might be exhausting to identify from a regular Raptor

A sleeper Raptor?

It seems like a stretch to name any Raptor a sleeper, however it’s going to take a eager eye to inform an R mannequin from a regular Raptor.

Visually, the one variations between a Raptor R and a regular Raptor are blacked-out trim, orange tow hooks, a 1.0-inch taller hood vent, tiny R badges on the grille and tailgate, and accessible R-specific fender and hood graphics with V-8 slathered throughout them.

2023 Ford F-150 Raptor R's interior will feel familiar to anyone having spent time in a F-150

2023 Ford F-150 Raptor R’s inside will really feel acquainted to anybody having hung out in a F-150

Inside, the Raptor R is provided like a loaded Raptor, together with the Recaro entrance seats, suede and leather-based seating surfaces, carbon-fiber trim, a 12.0-inch digital gauge cluster, and a 12.0-inch touchscreen.

2023 Ford F-150 Raptor R just wants to be king

2023 Ford F-150 Raptor R simply desires to be king

What’s the underside line?

At $109,145, the Raptor R addsa $37,445 premium over the bottom Raptor, although that truck lacks a whole lot of options the R has. Apples-to-apples, there’s a $25,245 value delta between a comparably geared up Raptor and Raptor R. That’s some huge cash for a supercharged V-8. Then once more, can you actually put a value on being king?

Ford flew Motor Authority to chilly, windy, and moist western Michigan and put us up in a small-town Marriott so we might carry you this primary drive overview.


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