• Everything We Know About The 2022 Ford F-150 Raptor R

The Ford Raptor R needs to be a pitch-perfect product to go up against the Ram 1500 TRX

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When the Ram TRX came out back in 2020, it was touted as a Raptor-killer. Everyone patiently waited for the third-gen Ford F-150 Raptor to arrive, which took longer than anticipated since the 14th-gen 2021 F-150 was out for quite some time. The anticipation was because the TRX had the one major thing the F-150 Raptor didn’t – a V-8 engine. When the third-gen F-150 Raptor was finally revealed, it still didn’t feature a V-8. But, little did anyone know that the Raptor with a V-8 was in the reckoning, and, in fact, the Blue Oval announced it at the very same event

As it turns out, Ford decided to branch it out as a standalone model called the F-150 Raptor R. The highlight – obviously, the V-8! It’s been about 15 months since this news broke. With the launch expected sometime in 2022, here’s all we know about the upcoming F-150 Raptor R V-8!

The Ford F-150 Raptor R Will Have the 5.2-liter V-8 ‘Predator’ From The Mustang GT500

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Well, why not cut right to the chase and talk about the powerhouse. The first-gen Raptor was offered with not one, but two different V-8 engines – a 5.4-liter V-8 and a 6.2-liter V-8. The automaker retired both these engines and we don’t see any new engine being developed specifically for this. Ford has a variety of V-8s to choose from, but let’s face it; anything other than the 5.2-liter ’Predator’ V-8 from the Mustang GT500 would’ve besmirched the Raptor R’s brand – even though it is technically a new model.

The 5.2-liter, supercharged V-8 ‘Predator’ engine is currently serving in the Mustang GT500. It makes 760 horses and 625 pound-feet of twist, and is mated to a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic gearbox. This is the most powerful engine Ford currently has. Considering that the 2023 Raptor R will be the company’s flagship truck, it was pretty much a no-brainer. But, we obviously had to have some reasoning to tick the other options off. A little more torque than the tune in the GT500 and Ford should be good to go. Even if offered in the same state of tune as the Mustang, which looks unlikely though, we won’t complain.

How do we know it’s going to be this mill, you ask? This leak right here, which seems pretty legit:

What Other Engine Could The Ford Raptor R Have?

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While the leak above confirms the Predator V-8 from the Mustang GT500 will find its way under the Raptor V-8’s hood, let’s see what other options Ford has if it chooses not to go with the Predator V-8:

Right off the bat, Ford had four options to choose from:

  • 5.0-liter, V-8 Coyote
  • 6.8-liter, V-8 Pushrod
  • 7.3-liter, V-8 Godzilla
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The Coyote engine was ruled out right away. It is offered in the standard F-150 and has been way too long in the tooth. There’s no way Ford is going to make use of this in a supercharged form to take on Ram’s red-hot Hellcat HEMI V-8.

Then there’s the 6.8-liter, V-8 pushrod engine which Ford has been working on and was rumored to plonk it in the F-150 and the Mustang. It ticks all the boxes and seems like a good fit here if Ford can equip it with a supercharger and make it a high-power output mill. But, will Ford risk offering a new engine in a performance off-road truck without knowing its long-term reliability? Perhaps not in its debut run.

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This brings us to the other V-8 that Ford has been offering in its trucks – the 7.3-liter Godzilla. Currently seen in the Super Duty Series, Ford would be tempted to plonk it with a supercharger and go up against the Ram performance truck. In fact, Ford has teamed up with Whipple to develop a supercharger for this mill. The company has developed a 3.0-liter, Gen V, twin-screw supercharger head unit that makes 700 ponies and 750 pound-feet of torque with a Stage 2 kit. This is the second-most-likeliest option that Ford has in its arsenal. So, if for some reason the automaker decides not to offer the 5.2-liter V-8, this is the one that could make an appearance.

The Raptor R Could Feature Mustang GT500’s Seven-Speed DCT

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As for the transmission, Ford has two ways to go. One’s to stick with the seven-speed dual-clutch automatic from the GT500, and the other, to pair it with the 10-speed SelectShift automatic transmission that F-150s are used to seeing. While the 10-speed SelectShift automatic transmission with a few tweaks could make perfect sense since it will be helpful while off-roading and towing, it looks like Ford will go with the seven-speed dual-clutch.

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To think of it, if the 2022 Raptor R has to take on the TRX successfully, it needs to prove itself to be a performance truck as well. Ram boasted that the TRX is the “Quickest, Fastest and Most Powerful Mass-produced Truck in the World” when it was launched. The figures were rated at just 4.5 seconds to hit the 60 mph mark from a standstill, and a top speed of 118 mph. It also comes with a Launch Control that allows the truck to cover a quarter-mile distance in just 12.9 seconds at 108 mph. To match numbers close to this, a 10-speed transmission will most likely not do the trick. If you look at it from this point of view, it could be the seven-speed DCT. Let’s wait and watch which gearbox Ford decides to mate the V-8 to.

What Makes the F-150 Raptor R Different From the Regular Raptor?

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The Raptor R will be based on the standard Raptor, but it will be beefier and bulkier. The design elements could feature new bumpers with tow hooks and winches, bigger power doom on the hood, and a slightly different new grille that differentiates it from the standard Raptor, but doesn’t look like a whole new vehicle altogether. Considering it will have a big V-8 that will be pushed to the limits, a whole new air induction system and multiple vents on the fenders, around the wheel wells, on the bumper, etc., could be expected.

Just like the Raptor and the TRX, the Raptor R 2022 will also come with 35-inch tires as standard and 37-inch as optional. At least 15-inch brakes on all four corners should be offered to take care of the braking duties. Beadlock wheels along with the standard set could make the cut. Off-road side steps, rock rails, and so on could also be available both as standard and as optional accessories.

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The Raptor comes with a 5.5-foot bed whereas the TRX with a 5.7-foot bed. But, Ford has gone through a lot of trouble to plonk the 37-inch spare under the body, and it gives it a massive edge over the Ram TRX, which has to be purchased with a bed-mounted spare tires carrier. So, we expect the same 5.5-foot bed to feature on the Raptor R, too. Expect a lot of rad stickers and decals on the side to distinguish it from the standard Raptor.

Logic dictates that the dimensions will be on par with the new Raptor, which itself is almost as big as the TRX. But, stuff like aggressive bumpers, flared wheel arches and wide fenders, and sticker jobs on the truck would make it look bigger and beefier.

The angles and the water wading depth will be much better than the Raptor. We expect it to weigh anywhere between 6,000 and 6,300 pounds, courtesy of a heavy V-8 engine under the hood and other changes and additions made to the body. Ford Authority has reported that the Raptor R will also be offered in the Area 51 exterior shade option. It is currently offered on the Bronco, the Bronco Sport, and the Maverick.

Everything We Know About The 2022 Ford F-150 Raptor R Interior
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Ford vehicles are generally quite premium in their top trims and the Raptor R will be no exception. You wouldn’t need such luxurious interiors in an off-road-oriented truck, but Ram has set the benchmark quite high. Heavily-bolstered seats or sport seats could be offered here. Carbon fiber elements in and around might be part of optional packages, but leather upholstery and suede stuff around the cabin could be standard stuff. However, waterproof interiors like on the Bronco could be a good option.

The F-150 Raptor R Could Borrow Technology From The Bronco Raptor

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The Ford Raptor R will have at least a 12-inch digital instrument cluster and a 12-inch touchscreen on the center console that runs on the SYNC4 infotainment system, similar to the Bronco Raptor. By the time the truck goes into production, we could have the SYNC5, too. A plethora of off-road wizardry like quarter-mile times, G-force meter, 0-60 mph times, etc. will certainly be offered.

An enhanced version of the Terrain Management System, probably one that combines the top tech from the Raptor and the Bronco, might be made available. Stuff like a 360-degree camera, one-pedal drive, Trail Control, and so on will be offered. Pro Power Onboard mobile generator would be a nice addition, too.

F-150 Raptor R - Towing Capability

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The towing capacity is rated at 8,200 pounds and the payload capacity at 1,400 pounds for the standard Raptor, which is around 100 pounds more than the Ram TRX on both counts anyway. So, we don’t expect any changes here.

Ford F-150 Raptor R Suspension - Inspired by the Ram TRX

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This is going to play a big role and Ford needs to hit the bull’s eye to make it the ultimate off-road truck. For the new Ford Raptor, the automaker redesigned the suspension system. It comes with an independent front suspension and a new five-link rear suspension setup, just like the TRX. The rear setup includes 24-inch coil springs and a Panhard rod. Expect a similar setup, perhaps tweaked to perform even better in the Raptor R. Electronic locking rear differential and front limited-slip differential needs to be offered as standard.

Unlike the Raptor two-speed transfer case, the Raptor should be offered with a full-time active transfer case Large internal bypass dampers with position-sensitive adjustability, measuring at least three inches in diameter, needs to be the bare minimum here.

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A travel range of 13-15 inches, depending on the tires, can be expected.

Coming to the exhaust system, Ford developed a new equal-length exhaust system with active valves for the standard Raptor mainly to make it grunt and roar like a V-8. The Raptor R wouldn’t require such a setup, so we can see something different here that focuses more on the performance.

How Much Will The Ford Raptor R Cost?

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As for the 2022 Ford Raptor R price, we speculate a starting price of around $85,000.

Logically, it wouldn’t make sense for Ford to price the Raptor R lower than the Ram TRX. The 2022 Ram TRX starts at $78,890, so a starting price of around $85,000 seems fair. It might give a notion that the TRX offer better back for the buck, but sub-consciously, it also gives the impression that the F-150 Raptor R might be a superior product. This is a subjective way of thinking, so to each his own.

Pricing it lower than the TRX would also lead to cannibalization without the Ford stable. The third-gen 2022 F-150 Raptor starts at $69,905; a huge increase over the model it replaces. Pricing it at around $85,000 would give enough gap for both the models to overlap each other. But, it’s not just the F-150 Raptor that might get affected; even the Bronco Raptor R could. The 2022 Bronco Raptor starts at $68,500. Although they are different animals, pricing the F-150 Raptor R around the Bronco Raptor’s price range could make the former look like a lucrative package, thus eating into the Bronco Raptor’s sales as well. Also, this pricing strategy would mean that there is an option for customers to choose a model that’s cheaper than the TRX as well as costlier than it.

Aftermarket Accessories and Packages

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Ford upped its game in this department to a huge extent with the launch of the Bronco. Optional accessories are a big hit when it comes to such niches and Ford would want to capitalize on the same. FCA products are untouched when it comes to aftermarket support, thanks to the in-house supplier, Mopar. Companies make big bucks from accessories and packages and expect Ford to launch 100s of aftermarket accessories right from the launch.

A First Edition or a Launch Edition could also be on the cards, which will be a limited-production model but will be the best that Ford has to offer.

The Blue Oval did it with the Bronco and Ram did it with the 1500 TRX; both of which have been successful implementations. We don’t see why Ford won’t be tempted to do the same with the Raptor R. An exclusive color, new touches inside out, carbon fiber elements, special badges, etc. are some things you can expect from this.

Final Thoughts

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Despite the lack of clarity at this point, we believe the 2022 Raptor R is a masterstroke from Ford. The F-150 Raptor was in a league of its own since its inception with none of the offerings from GM or Ram able to take it on. It needed a strong contender like the 2021 Ram 1500 TRX to break the monopoly. No wonder the TRX was touted as the ‘Raptor-killer’. It came with a ton of features that could put the Raptor in trouble, but Ram priced it at 70 big ones at launch (close to $80,000 at the time of penning this) which made it much more expensive than the second-gen Raptor.

The Raptor was due for a model change this year and everyone had their eyes on it. Ford took its own sweet time, launching it six months after debuting the 2021 F-150. In hindsight, it was worth the wait because Ford made major changes to the suspension system, the exhaust system, and even equipped the truck with 37-inch tires from the factory. But, it was still not on TRX’s level solely for one reason – a missing V-8. Oh, and not to mention, it got WAY more expensive that the Raptor it replaced.

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Instead of taking on the TRX head-on, the automaker developed the third-gen in the same price bracket and announced the 2022 Ford Raptor R as its answer to the TRX.

So, to sum it up – Ford has two Raptors for the customers to choose from, both priced significantly more than the second-gen Raptor that increases profits for the automaker, puts the screws on the TRX from both the ends, offers a V-8 alternative to the TRX with the Raptor badge, and covers all the bases people look for for a truck from this segment, without cramping it all into one single model – which, let’s be honest, wouldn’t have been possible anyway.

And, all this further elevates the Raptor brand that anyway seems to be Ford’s priority. If this isn’t genius, I don’t know what is.

The Ford Raptor R’s release date is not announced yet, but it will come out in 2022 and we are sure to hear more about it in the coming months. The Raptor R will try to one-up the TRX in every way possible, thus setting up a battle that will be remembered for ages. Had Ram not upped the ante in such a manner, we probably wouldn’t have a performance, off-road truck war we didn’t know we needed!

Sidd Dhimaan
Sidd Dhimaan
Managing Editor, Truck Expert, EV Expert - siddhant.d@topspeed.com
Sidd joined the Topspeed.com team in 2017 as an intern and in less than a year he earned a full-time position as an associate editor and junior automotive expert. Fast forward to today, and he is currently serving as a managing editor, pickup truck expert, and EV expert.  Read full bio
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