In probably the most American answer potential, 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 beneath 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 can purchase.
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 turned 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 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 positively annoy the neighbors and perhaps alert any native police.
Laughing maniacally I mentioned to nobody, “Hey! Ford fastened 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 satisfactory 450 hp and 510 lb-ft of torque, has been forged apart for R responsibility. Bye, Felicia.
2023 Ford F-150 Raptor R includes a 2.7-liter supercharger slapped onto of the V-8 engine
After I requested Carl Widmann, chief engineer of Ford’s Efficiency division, if it actually would’ve been that huge 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 smart after spending time each on- and off-road within the Raptor R. A couple of additional 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 basic trip high quality.
Whereas the engine makes use of the identical 2.7-liter, water-cooled, inverted supercharger spinning as much as 12 psi of increase because the muscle automotive, it’s been revised for off-road truck responsibility. Mustangs don’t soar 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 – 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 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 value huge cash even after spending six figures to purchase the Raptor R. Whereas off-roading, the supercharged V-8 guzzled gasoline 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 pc mentioned I averaged 11.9 mpg. EPA gasoline economic system rankings aren’t accessible but. As a actuality examine, these are just 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 cope with the additional energy, however like in the usual Raptor, the gear shifts are speedy, all the time on level, and turn into 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 (customary Raptors run a 4.5-inch driveshaft) together with a pinion snubber to maintain issues from shifting an excessive amount of throughout exhausting launches.
Talking of launches, the Raptor R lacks launch management. The TRX has it, however Widmann advised MA the workforce 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 loads of squish on its comfortable 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 additional 100 lb or so on the entrance axle.
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 may take into account excessive however restricted testing, two different journalists and I drag raced by means of the sand repeatedly for practically half-hour. I persistently pushed the Raptor R to about 70 mph earlier than working out of area and slamming on the brakes. The brakes by no means light, however I may scent them after repeatedly hauling practically 6,000 lb of pickup again to actuality.
To make sure the entrance axle handles the elevated pace 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 – 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 pace that potential risks arrive shortly. In two of the three situations, 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 pace. 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 kind), the R mannequin solely comes on squishy 37-inch tires. There is no such thing as a 35-inch rubber choice, which on the non-R mannequin is the extra enjoyable choice due to 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 – Picture by Perry Stern
Sure, it may be loud
After spending a day blasting over and thru sand dunes, I believe the Raptor R is perhaps too loud. I have to be getting previous.
Widdman advised me at full throttle in Baja mode (which has the lively 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 fastened that concern 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 combined with a Z.
2023 Ford F-150 Raptor R’s exhaust options
The Raptor R dumps the turbo V-6 truck’s trumpet and includes a straight design with “packed ideas.” Widdman defined the packed ideas function 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 would default to Regular mode until programmed to begin in Quiet mode. Whereas Regular mode positively gives 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 might probably 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 actually decide that.
2023 Ford F-150 Raptor R can be exhausting to identify from a typical Raptor
A sleeper Raptor?
It appears 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 typical Raptor.
Visually, the one variations between a Raptor R and a typical 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 inside will really feel acquainted to anybody having frolicked in a F-150
Inside, the Raptor R is supplied 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 simply needs 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 variety of options the R has. Apples-to-apples, there’s a $25,245 worth delta between a comparably outfitted Raptor and Raptor R. That’s some huge cash for a supercharged V-8. Then once more, can you actually put a worth 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 may deliver you this primary drive evaluation.