• Everything You Need to Know About The 2023 Ford F-150 Raptor R

Ford has finally taken the wraps off the Raptor R, and it’s a $110,000, 700-horsepower TRX-killer!

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More than a year after announcing its intentions of building a TRX-killer, Ford finally took the wraps off the highly-anticipated F-150 Raptor R. Powered by the GT500’s supercharged ’Predator’ V-8, the F-150 Raptor R comes with major upgrades over the standard Raptor. The truck churns out 700 horsepower, two horses shy of the TRX, and boasts a price tag of almost $30,000 more than the latter. While the Raptor R is nothing short of amazing, will Ford be able to outsell its American rival with such a big price difference?

The Seeds Were Sown Many Years Back

Everything You Need to Know About The 2023 Ford F-150 Raptor R Exterior
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Ford was happily enjoying dominating the off-road pickup truck segment with the F-150 Raptor for a long time until Ram decided to gatecrash the party. The automaker decided to up the ante to incredible extents and came out with a truck that wasn’t just built to eat the beaten paths, but also establishes itself as a performance-oriented beast. Although this meant there was no major cannibalization between the two, Ford wasn’t going to sit quiet.

At the brink of 2021, the company announced the new F-150 Raptor based on the 14th-gen F-150. Everyone expected Ford to put up a fight, but there was no sign of a V-8 and the Raptor made just as much power as before, way less than the Ram TRX’s – 450 vs 702 horsepower. However, at the end of the launch, the automaker dropped a bomb that gave an orgasm to all Ford fanboys – a V-8-powered TRX-killer is in the reckoning!

There were a lot of leaks and speculations all this while, and now, 1.5 years later, Ford has finally taken the wraps of the most powerful F-Series truck ever. As we speculated, Ford has sandwiched the TRX with the standard Raptor on one side and the Raptor R on the other, thus making this a 2-on-1 handicap match that the TRX may or may not survive.

A 700-Horsepower, Supercharged V-8 Under The Hood

Everything You Need to Know About The 2023 Ford F-150 Raptor R Exterior
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Ford had a plethora of V-8s at its disposal to plonk under the Raptor R’s hood:

  • 5.0-liter, V-8 Coyote
  • 5.2-liter V-8 Predator
  • 7.3-liter, V-8 Godzilla

The obvious choice was the Predator from the Shelby GT500, and it is the same one that made it here. It was already leaked, so no surprises really.

This 5.2-liter, supercharged V-8 engine churns out 700 horses at 6,650 rpm and 640 pound-feet of torque at 4,250 rpm. It makes less horsepower than the GT500, but more torque (760 horses/625 pound-feet in the muscle car). To put things into perspective, it makes 250 horses and 130 pound-feet of torque more than the standard Raptor, but two horses and 10 pound-feet of torque less than the Ram TRX.

The automaker recalibrated the supercharger and installed a new pulley that’s six mm smaller than the one in the GT500 to make it more suited for off-roading. The loss of 60 horses helped Ford gain 15 pound-feet of torque, which will be delivered in the low- and mid-range. Ford has also made use of cast stainless steel exhaust manifolds, a deeper oil pan, and a new oil cooler and filter.

Everything You Need to Know About The 2023 Ford F-150 Raptor R Exterior
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While the engine is borrowed from the muscle car, the transmission is not. The Raptor R features a 10-speed SelectShift automatic gearbox as seen on the other F-150s, including the standard Raptor. However, it has a new calibration and an updated torque converter. We expected the Raptor R to boast a full-time active transfer case. However, it comes with a two-speed hi-lock transfer case with a 4H drive ratio of 1:1, 4LO drive ratio of 2.64:1, and a final drive ratio of 4.10:1

Ford hasn’t revealed the performance figures yet, but it could be just as quick as the TRX. It is a smidge less powerful than the TRX, but is significantly lighter – 5,950 pounds vs the TRX’s 6,350-pound curb weight. This gives the Raptor R a much better power-to-weight ratio. However, if Ford was quicker and faster than the TRX, it would go after its rival, which, to quote Ram, is the “Quickest, Fastest and Most Powerful Mass-produced Truck in the World”. The Ram TRX can sprint to 60 mph in just 4.5 seconds and on to 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.

How Is The Raptor R Different From The Raptor?

Everything You Need to Know About The 2023 Ford F-150 Raptor R Exterior
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Let’s jump straight to the biggest difference on the exterior – the tires. The Ford F-150 Raptor R rides on 37-inch, BFGoodrich All-Terrain T/A KO2 tires from the factory as standard. They are wrapped around 17-inch forged aluminum beadlock-capable wheels. As standard, they are painted in Matte Black with Magnetic-painted ring, but you can have this ring painted in signature-Raptor Code Orange shade as well. Although they add a lot of character to the truck, they won’t be too comfortable in the daily driving standard conditions. But, hey, this truck isn’t meant to be your typical urban commuter now, is it?

Everything You Need to Know About The 2023 Ford F-150 Raptor R Exterior
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There aren’t a whole lot of differentiating factors. Up front, the Raptor R will feature the trademark FORD grille as usual. It is painted in black and gels with the bumpers and fenders that are also finished in the same color. You’ll find Code Orange ‘R’ badges on the grille, power dome, and tailgate to remind the onlookers that this isn’t your ordinary Raptor. Speaking of the power dome on the hood, it has been made a lot more aggressive and is an inch taller than the one you see on the standard Raptor. Courtesy of the wide air intakes and filter, the Raptor R can inhale 66-percent more air compared to the Raptor. Apart from this, you’ll find a special graphics package on the rear fenders.

Everything You Need to Know About The 2023 Ford F-150 Raptor R Exterior
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The Raptor comes with a 5.5-foot bed in a SuperCrew body style, 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.

The 2023 Ford Raptor R will be offered in eight exterior shades, including new Avalanche and Azure Gray Tri-Coat exterior paint offered on the Raptor lineup for the first time. Surprisingly, there’s no word on the Area 51 exterior shade option that was expected to be offered. It is currently offered on the Bronco, the Bronco Sport, and the Maverick.

F-150 Raptor R – Towing and Payload Capabilities, Dimensions, and Off-Road Angles

Everything You Need to Know About The 2023 Ford F-150 Raptor R Exterior
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The towing capacity on the Raptor 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. The Raptor R does even better with a towing capacity of 8,700 pounds. The maximum payload capacity remains the same at 1,400 pounds.

As for the dimensions, it measures the same as the standard Raptor, except for the height. The Raptor R is 0.8 inches taller, which is because of the bigger tires. It must be noted that the Raptor with 37-inch tires and the Raptor R have the exact dimensions. The Raptor R is 232.6 inches long, 96 inches wide, 80.6 tall, and has a 145.4-inch long wheelbase. It sits 13.1 inches off the ground.

Everything You Need to Know About The 2023 Ford F-150 Raptor R Exterior
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The 2023 F-150 Raptor R boasts an approach angle of 33.1 degrees, breakover angle of 24.4 degrees, and a departure angle of 24.9 degrees. In comparison, the standard Raptor with 35-inch tires boasts an approach angle of 31 degrees, breakover angle of 22.7 degrees, and a departure angle of 23.9 degrees.

A Tough Truck With A Sporty Cabin

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Although the cabin isn’t luxurious, it is quite sporty. The black theme continues on the inside as well. Recaro seats come as standard and they are upholstered in black leather and Alcantara suede. You’ll find genuine carbon fiber elements on the doors, media bin door, and upper parts of the instrument panel. The instrument panel features a unique tri-axial weave design that is a subtle touch, but looks pretty cool. In terms of tech features here, the F-150 Raptor R comes with a 12-inch touchscreen as standard. It is powered by SYNC 4 technology and supports Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. The Raptor R will also come with Ford Power-Up over-the-air software update capability.

What It Loses In Power, It Makes Up In Off-Road Gear

Everything You Need to Know About The 2023 Ford F-150 Raptor R
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For the new Ford Raptor, the automaker redesigned the suspension system, and has now offered the same on the Raptor R as well. This includes 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. 3.1-inch Fox Shocks are also present here. The Raptor R also boasts a front wheel travel range of 13 inches and a rear wheel travel range of 14.1 inches.

Everything You Need to Know About The 2023 Ford F-150 Raptor R Exterior
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The F-150 Raptor R features a dual-exhaust system with a true pass-through muffler and active valve system. For the Raptor, 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’s system comes with four modes – Normal, Sport, Quiet, and Baja.

The Raptor R also comes with Trail Turn Assist, Trail Control, and Trail One-pedal Drive as well. For those of you unaware, Trail Turn Assist helps reduce the turning radius. The Trail Control is essentially cruise control for off-roading. Trail One-Pedal, on the other hand, allows customers to control throttle and braking with just one pedal to make extreme off-roading and rock crawling easier.

It Is Way Costlier Than The Ram TRX

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Ford hasn’t officially announced the pricing of the 2023 Raptor R, but it will bear a starting price tag of $109,145.

We were pretty sure it wouldn’t be cheaper than the TRX, but this is nearly $30,000 costlier than the 2022 Ram TRX, which starts at $78,890. At the onset, it might give a notion that the TRX offers a better bang for the buck, but sub-consciously, it also gives the impression that the F-150 Raptor R might be a superior product. We’ll know for sure once the deliveries begin and we hear ownership reviews about the same. This is a subjective way of thinking, perhaps a little biased towards Ford, but to each his own. For your information, the third-gen 2022 F-150 Raptor starts at $69,905.

Ford Raptor R Aftermarket Accessories and Packages

Everything You Need to Know About The 2023 Ford F-150 Raptor R Exterior
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Ford upped its game in this department by 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. Ford still hasn’t announced anything in this regard, but we’ll be disappointed if the automaker doesn’t talk about it by the time the production of the truck begins.

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. So far we’ve not heard about this either. 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

Everything You Need to Know About The 2023 Ford F-150 Raptor R Exterior
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We believe the 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 than the Raptor it replaced.

Everything You Need to Know About The 2023 Ford F-150 Raptor R Exterior
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Instead of taking on the TRX head-on, the automaker developed the third-gen Raptor in the same price bracket and announced the 2022 Ford Raptor R as its answer to the TRX. So, to sum it up – Ford now 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 ends, offers a V-8 alternative to the TRX with the Raptor badge, and covers all the bases people look for in 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. 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!

The order books for the 2023 Ford F-150 Raptor R have opened with the production slated to begin in late 2022 at the company’s Dearborn Truck Plant. Expect the deliveries to begin in early 2023.

FAQs:

How Much is the Raptor R?

The 2023 Ford F-150 Raptor R will start at $109,145.

How much HP will the Raptor R have?

The 2023 Ford F-150 Raptor R will be powered by a 5.2-liter, supercharged ‘Predator’ V-8 engine that makes 700 horsepower and 640 pound-feet of torque.

Is the Raptor R all-wheel-drive?

The Raptor R comes with an all-wheel-drive system and a 10-speed automatic transmission.

Can you order the Ford Raptor R?

The bookings for the 2023 Ford F-150 Raptor R are now open. The production is slated to begin in late 2022 at the company’s Dearborn Truck Plant.

Sidd Dhimaan
Sidd Dhimaan
Managing Editor, Truck Expert, EV Expert - siddhantdhimaan@gmail.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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