Powered by
Subscribe to the only car newsletter you’ll ever need

Australia unlikely to get the Ford F-150 Raptor R 2023 – a 521kW super-truck that dwarfs the Ranger Raptor!

John Law

While the regular F-150 ute has been confirmed for Australian sale next year, Ford’s Australian operation has no plans to bring the flagship Raptor R down under

Last week Ford opened up North American order books for its new dune-bashing F-150 Raptor R super-truck – a menacing off-road pick-up that employs Ford’s 521kW Predator petrol V8 engine.

With Ford Australia committing in April to remanufacturing the ‘basic’ F-150 for Australian release in 2023, initially it seemed more plausible that the flagship performance ute could make it to our market. 

However, Ford Australia product communications manager Ben Nightingale told Chasing Cars that the brand had “no news to share on any plans to introduce the F-150 Raptor R to Australia.”

2023 F-150 Raptor R exterior
The hardcore Raptor R probably won’t come to Australia any time soon

There is plenty of love for Ford’s Raptor products in Australia, with the Ranger’s flagship variant – set to launch next month – accounting for 21 percent of 19,000 total orders.

Australians are also showing plenty of interest into the F-150, with Nightingale confirming Ford Australia is “very pleased with the response to our announcement, with excellent enquiry in our Ford dealerships for F-150.”

The Blue Oval has confirmed that it will sell the F-150 in XLT and Lariat guise in Australia next year – with both packing a 298kW turbocharged petrol V6 engine and four-wheel drive.

Ford will build the vehicles for Australia in the United States in left-hand drive, but they will be converted locally by RMA Automotive before being sold through Ford’s dealer network – to compete with GMSV’s converted Chevrolet Silverado (from $106,990 before on-road costs).

2023 F-150 Raptor R exterior
With over 500kW on tap, the Raptor R is a serious beast

Were a Raptor R to arrive in Australia some time in the future, a buyer would be unlikely to see much change from $200K

The Raptor R’s direct rival – RAM’s 523kW supercharged V8-powered RAM 1500 TRX, which is confirmed for Australia – starts from $199,959 (before on-road costs) at Ateco dealers, and that’s before options. 

With an official F-150 Raptor off the cards, punters could look to Brisbane-based conversion specialist Performax to get their Raptor fix.

How much grunt does the Raptor R have?

Under the Raptor R’s 25mm taller bonnet bulge, Ford has fitted a tweaked version of the Shelby GT500 5.2-litre supercharged petrol V8 producing 521kW of power and 868Nm of torque. 

2023 F-150 Raptor R exterior
The Raptor R scores a Mustang heart transplant

Power is down by 44kW compared to the GT500 Mustang, though the 2.3-litre supercharger has been re-tuned, and in combination with a 66 percent more air flow, the Raptor R’s torque figure is up 20Nm.

Ford made these choices to increase low-speed drivability of the Raptor R to better match its off-road credentials.

As in the regular 335kW/691Nm V6 Raptor, the Raptor R uses a 10-speed automatic transmission and a full-time 4WD system. 

Much like the smaller Ranger Raptor coming to Aus this year, the F-150 Raptor R employs Fox Live Valve adaptive dampers. 

Ford F-150 Raptor R 2022 duo shot
Here’s hoping that one day Aussies get to sample how ferocious the F-150 Raptor R is

The Raptor R’s ground clearance is raised to 333mm (up significantly from the standard F-150’s 250mm clearance) while drivers can select ‘Baja’ mode that stiffens the suspension and adjusts ESP, throttle and gearbox calibration. 

Adding further to the Raptor R’s capabilities are 17-inch beadlock capable tyres – an option on the Ranger Raptor – shod in 37-inch BF Goodrich K02 all-terrain tyres. 

Given there are no federal emissions mandates or CO2 targets for passenger cars in Australia, the F-150 Raptor R would not face any major issues from environmental legislation downunder.

At this time, Ford Australia has no plans to introduce the F-150 in Raptor or guise Raptor R to the Australian market.