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Breathtaking Ford unleashes 700hp F-150 Raptor R

Breathtaking Ford unleashes 700hp F-150 Raptor R.

After more than a decade spent braving harsh conditions and conquering massive desert dunes over three generations of off-road trucks, Ford unleashes the new F-150® Raptor R™ – the fastest, most powerful, most extreme high-performance off-road desert Raptor yet.

All three generations of F-150 Raptor have been inspired by the extreme desert-racing trophy trucks that compete in the Baja 1000.

Designed and engineered by Ford Performance, the 2023 F-150 Raptor R is the closest yet to delivering this type of performance.

“Raptor R is our ultimate Raptor,” said Carl Widmann, Ford Performance chief engineer.

“When customers experience Raptor R in the desert and beyond, it will make the hairs on the back of their necks stand up – and they’ll love every second of it.”

Raptor R is powered by a 5.2-litre supercharged V8. And not just any V8; it’s the same unit already taking pride of place in the Mustang Shelby GT500.

Which means you get 700hp and – courtesy of some optimisation and a new pulley for the blower – 640lb ft of torque.

Elsewhere there’s cast stainless steel exhaust manifolds and a unique oil cooler (all to aid durability), but it’s the sheer presence of the V8, loitering under a 1-inch taller power dome, which makes the R special.

“We’ve heard our customers demanding the sound and power of a V8 back in Raptor,” said Carl Widmann, Ford Performance chief engineer.

“That’s not something we were going to rush.

This supercharged 5.2-liter V8 is the ideal fusion of high-density power paired with the third-generation Raptor’s all-new rear suspension and shocks to deliver a one-two punch that goes far beyond the sum of its parts.”

Ford unleashes 700hp F-150 Raptor R

Breathtaking Ford unleashes 700hp F-150 Raptor R
Breathtaking Ford unleashes 700hp F-150 Raptor R

Breathtaking Ford unleashes 700hp F-150 Raptor R

The new power figures are a result of Ford’s tailoring the truck’s engine for optimal performance in conditions that it’ll actually be driven in.

Think pounding across the desert or crawling over obstacles rather than racing around a track or operating at triple-digit speeds.

The Raptor’s new engine still pairs with a 10-speed automatic transmission and all-wheel drive.

However, the transmission has a new calibration and an upgraded torque converter.

The Raptor R also has a new, stronger front axle and a thicker driveshaft.

Ford says the changes that sacrificed 60 horsepower also helped discover 15 pound-feet.

And—most important—the Raptor R’s 640 pound-feet of twist is delivered at the low and middle sections of the rev range.

We’re told this is primarily caused by the recalibrated supercharger and its smaller-diameter pulley.

And the Predator engine in the pickup truck features unique exhaust manifolds made of cast stainless steel, a different oil cooler and filter, and a deeper oil pan.

Plus, it inhales 66 percent more air thanks to a wider intake as well as a filter that Ford says is more efficient and allows more airflow.

F-150 Raptor is about more than going fast – it must conquer brutal off-road environments. Its capability and durability comes from more than a decade of Ford expertise in engineering and torture testing high-performance trucks.

Ford Performance upgraded the base truck’s transmission and driveline to help ensure Raptor R can smoothly handle what this V8 can throw at it.

Raptor R delivers a 10-speed SelectShift® transmission with improved calibration.

The truck features a new front axle with a more robust, higher-strength carrier casting and an aluminum-ribbed structural cover to manage the powertrain’s added torque, as well as a unique larger-diameter aluminum driveshaft.

A new, specially tuned torque converter with heavy-duty turbine damper and four-pinion rear output assembly makes the truck even better equipped to transfer torque and provide a smoother powertrain feel when driving both on- and off-road.

Drivers get even more control over how their Raptor R expresses its additional power, courtesy of a unique dual exhaust system with a true pass-through muffler and active valve system, with modes for Normal, Sport, Quiet and Baja.

These can be adjusted in the MyMode™ feature, allowing drivers to customize multiple settings – including drive, steering, suspension modes and others – and save one as a single mode easily accessed with the press of the “R” button on the steering wheel.

If the heart of Raptor R is the supercharged V8, the soul remains its incredibly capable suspension.

The five-link rear suspension features extra-long trailing arms to better maintain axle position on rough terrain, a Panhard rod and 24-inch coil springs – all optimized for outstanding stability while traversing desert terrain at high speeds.

Advanced FOX Live Valve shocks are tuned to balance ride quality and roll control on- and off-road.

These electronically controlled dampers use suspension height sensors and other sensors to monitor terrain conditions independently, hundreds of times a second, while adjusting suspension tuning accordingly.

Wheel travel of 13 inches in front and 14.1 inches in back facilitates Raptor R’s ability to traverse sand and rocks with outstanding capability.

“We’ve heard our customers demanding the sound and power of a V8 back in Raptor,” said Widmann.

“That’s not something we were going to rush. This supercharged 5.2-liter V8 is the ideal fusion of high-density power paired with the third generation Raptor’s all-new rear suspension and shocks to deliver a one-two punch that goes far beyond the sum of its parts.”

Each drive mode is tuned to account for the added power of the supercharged V8, including an optimized Baja mode for maximum performance and control in high-speed off-roading.

A 5% increase in the front spring rate helps maintain comfortable ride quality, while Raptor R boasts class-leading* 13.1-inch ground clearance and standard class-exclusive* 37-inch tires straight from the factory for improved obstacle clearing.

Ford unleashes 700hp F-150 Raptor R

Breathtaking Ford unleashes 700hp F-150 Raptor R
Breathtaking Ford unleashes 700hp F-150 Raptor R Ford unleashes 700hp F-150 Raptor R

Breathtaking Ford unleashes 700hp F-150 Raptor R

Big Power Comes with the Biggest Tires

By now, Ram stans are probably gloating about the fact that the TRX is still more powerful than the V-8 Raptor.

While that is true, it’s not that simple. The 5.2-liter Predator engine has a lighter aluminum block; the 6.2-liter Hellcat engine has a heavier iron block.

Ford says the Raptor R is 100 pounds heavier than the regular version, which puts it at roughly 6050 pounds.

The Ram TRXs tested weighed about 6800 pounds.

Based on those figures, the V-8–powered Raptor should have a better power-to-weight ratio of about 8.6 pounds per horsepower versus the TRX’s approximately 9.7 pounds per horsepower.

Also, when it comes to off-road trucks named after prehistoric killing machines, the Raptor R has bigger claws.

Massive 37-inch BFGoodrich All-Terrain T/A KO2 tires are fitted to every Raptor R. You won’t currently find rubber that tall on the Ram TRX or any other factory-built truck.

The huge BFGs are the same ones that are available on the V-6 Raptor. In fact, with the 37s included, the two models have the same 13.1 inches of ground clearance and virtually identical suspension setups.

The biggest difference is that Ford gives the R version specially tuned dampers and 5 percent stiffer front springs to better handle the extra weight of the V-8.

How to Spot an F-150 Raptor R in the Wild

Because Ford didn’t want regular Raptor owners to regret not having the more powerful version, it chose not to make the two trucks look vastly different.

However, the company still wanted Raptor R owners to have something that distinguished their trucks as the big-motor models.

One of the most telltale signs is the taller power dome on the hood, which sits about an inch higher than on V-6 versions.

Obviously the new model is intended to standout, even when stationary. “Raptor R is visually designed like a desert predator to catch the attention of Raptor customers and off-road enthusiasts,” said Tom Liu, Raptor R lead designer.

“There are details big and small – from the more aggressive hood air extractor to the Code Orange ‘R’ badges – that visually communicate next level off-road performance under the Raptor R banner.”

Next level everything seems virtually assured for a pickup you can order today ahead of production starting before the end of the year.

No word on price, but expect it to be at least tripled for any example (unofficially) imported into the UK. Still, you would.

Ford unleashes 700hp F-150 Raptor R Ford unleashes 700hp F-150 Raptor R

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Ford unleashes 700hp F-150 Raptor R Ford unleashes 700hp F-150 Raptor R

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