If you’re looking for a performance-oriented F-150, look elsewhere

We generally see sports cars and hatches in any tuner’s garage. But nowadays, tuners seems to have taken a liking for pickup trucks as well. This one particular company called RTR Vehicles has been tweaking the Ford Mustang for over a decade now. The company has such a good reputation that Ford got into an agreement with them to sell RTR-modified Mustangs at Ford dealerships. Now, RTR has decided to add the F-150 to its lineup which will be also be sold through Ford. This product comes with louder exhaust notes and beefed up looks to differentiate itself from the standard F-150s. Do you think it will sell well?

Ford F-150 pickup truck by RTR - Overview

Ford F-150 by RTR Vehicles
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Americans love trucks and there’s no denying that. Even though the market has seen automakers try to grab their share of the pie, no one has been able to touch Ford’s share for as long as one can remember. Ford sold almost a million units of the F-Series in the U.S. in 2018, thus becoming the best-selling vehicle here for the 42nd time in a row. You read that right. Ford F-Series has been dominating the U.S. market for over four decades now. Although carmakers like Chevrolet and Ram have tried to steal its thunder, none of them have managed to get anywhere near it.

The truck scene in the States has gone through a paradigm shift in itself. People started to expect more out their trucks and automakers have strived to give them that. Trucks were known to be these bare bone vehicles notorious for their butch presence and loading capabilities.

Today, however, these trucks can give luxury cars a run for their money when it comes to luxurious interior and features. The most recent reckoning for them has been trucks that are not just powerful, smart, and feature-rich; but also fast. Take the Ram Rebel TRX for instance. Ford realized how important this segment-in-a-segment is and has began working on a V-8 engine for its sporty pickup truck - the F-150 Raptor. However, there’s another tuner out there (no, not Hennessey) that has worked on the F-150 truck . Unlike many other aftermarket players, RTR’s F-150 is actually authorized by Ford and can be purchased though Ford dealerships.

Wait, who is RTR?

Ford F-150 by RTR Vehicles
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RTR stands for Ready-To-Rock and it was founded by professional drifter Vaughn Gittin Jr. in 2007. What inspired Vaughn to start this company was the fact that despite there being a camaraderie amongst the Mustang owners, they generally favored the ’import’ culture and everything was focused on the import scene. So, Vaughn decided to take it on himself to infuse the American muscle with European-inspired styling and the result was the 2009 Mustang RTR. The very next year, RTR and Ford signed an agreement that made RTR a semi-official Ford Performance division and the RTR Mustang being sold through Ford dealerships. RTR brought the Ford F-150 RTR to the SEMA 2017, but it took the company two years to roll out the production version truck.

Ford F-150 by RTR - Exterior

Ford F-150 by RTR Vehicles
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  • RTR Grille With Integrated LEDs
  • A Functional Skid Plate
  • Factory Bumpers Retained
  • Flared Wheel Arches
  • 20-inch RTR Tires
  • Black Performance Lug Nuts
  • Tire Pressure Monitoring System

Let’s make one thing clear before we get to the details: the Ford F-150 RTR looks slightly more aggressive than the standard F-150. Upfront, the signature black RTR grille differentiates it from the regular F-150. It is integrated with LEDs that looks unique and pretty cool. I know looks are subjective, but I find the whole grille to be good-looking only in certain shades. For instance, it looks good on gray, but not on red. Nevertheless, it looks better than the fat chrome stripes on the original F-150.

The grille is not a mere styling cue; it also increases air flow to the radiator that helps cool the engine better and aid performance.

The F-150 RTR also comes with a Tactical Skid Plate that increases the approach angle, thus qualifying this to be a better off-roader than the standard truck.

Unlike other after-market modification companies, RTR has not changed the factory bumpers. That’s quite surprising since this is the first thing that paves way to make a truck look customized. When viewed from the side, the most evident change is the flared up wheel arches. These black flares eat up more than half the fenders. The fenders also slapped with RTR Badges on both the sides. As for the rollers, the F-150 RTR comes rides on 20-inch RTR Tech 6 wheels wrapped in 295/55/R20 Nitto Ridge Grappler tires. These tires are screwed using Black Performance Lug Nuts and they come with Tire Pressure Monitoring System as well.

left right

RTR has not fiddled around much with the rear. The tailgate is slapped with black plastic that wears the Ford badge in the middle and the RTR logo on the right side corner. A bit of the plastic extends to the side as well. The bumper is attached with step-on and also has parking sensors installed. Coming back to the tailgate, it is nowhere as exciting and functional as the ones seen on rival trucks. This is one of the very few places where Ford has not been able to trump the competitions. The GMC trucks are offered with the MultiPro tailgate, whereas the Ram trucks come with Multifunctional tailgate. A Silverado was also spotted recently with the MultiPro tailgate, so it’s safe to say that even the Chevy trucks are covered. Hope Ford comes up with something more than the ’Power Tailgate’ soon.

Ford F-150 by RTR - Interior

Ford F-150 by RTR Vehicles
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  • RTR All-Weather Floor Mats
  • Vaughn Gittin Jr. Signed Serialized Dash Plaques
  • RTR Embroidered Seats

The interior receives subtle changes. For starters, the F-150 RTR receives exclusive floor liners at the front and back. These all-weather mats are extremely useful and add a touch of customization. RTR is also offering the F-150 with serialized dash plaque that is personally autographed by the founder, Vaughn Gittin Jr. Apart from this, there’s nothing much different on the inside. The F-150, in general, is a spacious truck. There is oodles of space and storage all around the cabin and is arguably one of the most comfortable spaces to be in, in this segment.

The lower trims can go for the leather seats embroidered with the RTR logo, but the higher trims that come with leather seats will retain the stock upholstery.

Move up the variant hierarchy and you will be treated to equipment like massaging seats and panoramic sunroof, to name a few. RTR followed the ’Don’t fix if it ain’t broken’ philosophy, which is a good thing in this case.

Ford F-150 by RTR - Drivetrain

Ford F-150 by RTR Vehicles
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  • Fox Performance Coilovers 2.0
  • No Power Bumps
  • Ford Performance Cat-Back Exhaust
  • Available Only On EcoBoost Twin Engines and 5.0-liter Mill
  • Seems To Be Raised A Little

The F-150 RTR is not a new truck overall; it is just a package for the standard F-150. So, it goes unsaid that there is no increase in the power figures. The biggest change is the inclusion of Fox Performance Series 2.0 Suspension components. This suspension setup is tuned to cater to both, the off-road, as well as the tarmac rides. Although RTR has not mentioned this specifically, it appears to be slightly more lifted than the stock F-150.

The F-150 RTR also comes with a Ford Performance cat-back exhaust for a more aggressive tone. However, this can be had only on the trucks equipped with the 5.0-liter V-8 mill, or the 2.7-liter and 3.5-liter EcoBoost V-6 twin engines. Talking about the engine, Ford offers the F-150 with six drivetrains in total. But I’ll be talking about the three engines which offer the cat-back exhaust. The first one is the 2.7-liter, turbocharged V-6 EcoBoost engine that produces 325 ponies and 400 pound-feet of twist. Power is sent to the wheels through a 10-speed automatic transmission. The second EcoBoost engine is the 3.5-liter, V-6 mill that churns out 375 horses and 470 pound-feet of torque. This engine is also mated to the same 10-speed automatic gearbox that is found in the 2.7-liter engine. The largest of the lot is the 5.0-liter, V-8 mill that develops 395 horsepower and 400 pound-feet of torque. Although the power figures do not seem as strong as they should have when compared to the EcoBoost engine, let’s just say that there’s no replacement for displacement, and real-life driving experience will show you why.

Ford F-150 Engine Options

V-6 EcoBoost 2.7 liters 325 horsepower 400 pound-feet
V-6 EcoBoost 3.5 liters 375 horsepower 470 pound-feet
V-8 5.0 liters 395 horsepower 400 pound-feet

Ford F-150 by RTR - Pricing

Ford F-150 by RTR Vehicles
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The RTR package can be had on any of the trims, other than the Raptor, for $12,750. For what it offers, it is not cheap by any means.

Prices for the standard F-150 models are:

XL $28,155
XLT $34,160
Lariat $41,700
King Ranch $52,390
Platinum $54,920
Limited $67,135

Ford F-150 by RTR - Final Thoughts

Ford F-150 by RTR Vehicles
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It makes sense to go for the RTR package if you are opting for starting trims - XL, XLT, or Lariat. If you are buying any of the top three trims - King Ranch, Platinum, or Limited - you could rather buy the Raptor which stands out from the rest of the lineup, and is a strong performer overall. Not to mention, a V-8 engine is in the works as well. For the Mustang, RTR offers parts separately that customers can buy instead of opting for the whole package. We’ll have to wait and watch if RTR has any plans to do the same with the F-150 or not. Although you can get similar stuff done after-market too, but the benefit of opting the RTR package is that the original warranty is retained. I think Ford has included this package to take on the Ram Rebel and Silverado Trailboss. If you’re looking for other options, check out the versions launched by Hennessey, Shelby, and Roush. If you want something extraordinary, check out Hennessey’s six-wheeled version of the F-150 Raptor.

  • Leave it
    • Not Worth The Moolah
    • Should Have Offered Higher Power Outputs
    • Package Includes Only Cosmetic Changes At The End Of The Day

Further reading

2017 Ford F-150 Raptor High Resolution Exterior
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Read our full review on the 2017 Ford F-150 Raptor.

First Ride: 2017 Ford F-150 Raptor High Resolution Exterior
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Read our full driven review on the 2017 Ford F-150 Raptor.

2017 Ford F-150 High Resolution Exterior
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Read our full review on the 2017 Ford F-150.

2014 Ford F-150 High Resolution Exterior
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Read our full review on the 2014 Ford F-150.

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