GRR

Ford F-150 Raptor R is a 700PS monster

17th July 2022
Bob Murray

Ford has restored the roar and put the R into the Raptor. For the first time in years there’s a bent-eight under the bonnet of the off-road performance pickup – and not just any old V8 either.

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The Ford F-150 Raptor R gets the 5.2-litre supercharged V8 from the Mustang Shelby GT500. The bad news? In the Raptor R it gets 60 fewer horses. The good news? It’s still got seven hundred of them. Yep, 700PS (522kW) with 868Nm (640lb ft) of torque. That, along with a host of other upgrades, makes it the fastest, most powerful and most extreme version of the Baja-inspired desert racing truck yet, according to Ford. And before you ask, no, this is not the same Raptor we get over here.

It has been suggested that the huge and heavy four-wheel-drive machine will be as quick off the line as a Porsche 911, but Ford is yet to confirm performance stats. All they say is that the Raptor R will offer the closest performance to a full-on Baja 1000 racing trophy truck. Ford Performance’s Carl Widman tells us: “The performance in the desert makes the hairs on the back of your neck stand up.”

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As you might imagine, installing a Mustang engine in an off-road truck able to withstand the harshest desert conditions required a bit of reworking. A supercharger recalibrated for more low and mid-range torque, new stainless-steel manifolds, a new oil cooler, larger air intake and upgraded ten-speed transmission were all on Ford’s to-do list.

The underneath didn’t escape either. Long-travel suspension, a new front axle, beefed up driveshaft, new exhaust and 37-inch tyres have all been added to a machine that was already built to go fast across rough terrain.

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Outside there are new graphics and a bigger new power dome on the bonnet. Inside there are Recaro seats and a smattering of carbon-fibre trims. And everywhere are Ford Performance’s signature Code Orange trim accents. You’ll see this baby coming as well as hear it. F-150 Raptor drivers have been clamouring for a return to V8 power since 2014 when Ford chose to go down the V6 route. The Raptor R has been a long time coming. “We’ve heard our customers demanding the sound and power of a V8 back in Raptor,” says Carl Widmann. “That’s not something we were going to rush.”

Unsurprisingly, arrival of the Raptor R in the US is big news. Specialists like Hennessey may do more with the Raptor than this, but in full production terms this is the ultimate. For the Blue Oval, it regains the performance high ground from rivals like the Ram 1500. It’s not cheap though: US list is $109,000 or around £91,000, which is a lot more than the best Ram. Somebody in the UK will think it worth getting one, and when they do, can we have a go in it please?

  • Ford

  • F-150

  • Raptor

  • R

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