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Ford F-150 2023: covers come off the Baja-bashing, high performance Raptor R super truck


It’s the first time since 2014 that the Raptor R super-ute has been released with a V8 powertrain

If you thought the Ford F-150 Lightning was the coolest new truck to come out of the United States in recent memory, you might want to think again once you have seen Ford’s latest creation. 

This is the Ford Raptor R, likely to be the most powerful Raptor model ever made. Powered by the same engine that is currently fitted to the Shelby GT500 Mustang, the F-150 Raptor R has slightly less power than the GT500, but not by much. 

The F-150 Raptor R has not been confirmed for Australia, however, order books do open today for the variant in the United States. 

Ford F-150 Raptor R 2022 front grille
Meet the Ford F-150 Raptor R – it’s aggressive!

Chasing Cars is unsure as to whether Ford Australia will decide to bring the high performance F-150 to local shores, however the popularity of the Ranger Raptor could be a big influence on what Ford brings to the country next!

Cool factor: the Raptor R is a serious bit of performance kit 

The new Raptor R produces 700 brake horsepower, or 521kW of power in Australian terms – and 868Nm of torque.

Although it produces 44kW (60hp) less than the GT500 Mustang, the supercharged V8 engine in the Raptor R has been built to take a punishing on and off-road with features such as a revised air intake system with 66 percent greater air flow, new stainless steel exhaust manifolds, a new pulley for the supercharger, a larger oil cooler and a deeper oil pan. 

Ford F-150 Raptor R 2022 duo shot
The Raptor R will have an extremely powerful supercharged V8 under the bonnet

But the engine is far from the only highlight, with the 10-speed automatic transmission getting overhauled to handle the extra grunt and is now fitted with a heavy duty torque-converter.

The engine also features a dual-mode exhaust system that can go from quiet to unruly in the span of seconds, which Ford says also features “a true pass-through muffler and active valve system, which are now common in many modern performance vehicles such as the Ford Mustang and the new Ford Ranger Raptor that is coming to Australia in August 2022. 

Other cars of note with such a system are the Jaguar F-Type, Mercedes-AMG C63 S and the Volkswagen Golf R

Ford F-150 Raptor R 2022 exhaust pipe
The exhaust system is valved for quiet or loud modes

What about suspension features?

The Raptor R gains suspension enhancements which is pretty commonplace for these kinds of high-performance off-road utes. 

Fox live-valve shocks are located on each wheel, and the rear goes to a five-link rear suspension setup over the standard F-150s agricultural leaf-spring rear end. 24-inch coil springs are in place of the leaf springs in the Raptor R. 

Ford F-150 Raptor R 2022 jumping
Jumping a Raptor R is surprisingly something it will be good at

What will the Raptor R be like to live with?

Inside the Ford F-150 Raptor R, it will be a strictly leather and alcantara affair, with carbon trim for the doors, centre console and parts of the dashboard. Recaro seats will feature, also, which should keep you in place when jumping sand dunes (in a safe and controlled environment).

A lot of the same functions that the standard F-150 has will likely carry over for this special Raptor R model, however what those are is still unclear at this time. 

Ford F-150 Raptor R 2022 downhill sand
Orders open in the US for the Raptor R today

From the photos, it looks like a smaller central touchscreen will be fitted to the Raptor R and not the same one fitted to the higher spec Ranger Raptor that is coming to Australia in August. 

In the launch video, Ford displayed the retracting gear shift lever which is a pretty neat little moment of detail in a car that will be anything but sensible.