The 2021 Ford F-150 Raptor made its big debut today. The new pickup truck promises new levels of off-road capability with its trick new Fox shocks, as well as optional 37-inch tires. But some would argue that it’s missing something: an engine powerful enough to eclipse the 702 horsepower Ram TRX. Because truck customers can never have too much power or capabilities. That’s probably why Ram chirped at Ford’s Twitter page the other day. Because, at least for this year, the TRX remains the power and cylinder-count King of the Dinosaurs. That may soon change with the 2022 Ford F-150 Raptor R.
The design sketch above may tease the 2022 Ford Raptor R. Compared to the standard F-150 Raptor that was previewed today, it features red extraction hooks, and two letterbox slits above the grille, which could signal improved airflow for a certain supercharged engine: the 5.2L Predator V8 with what’s expected to be around 760 horsepower, as seen in the S550 Mustang Shelby GT500.
According to a report from Roadshow, the 2022 Ford F-150 Raptor R may not even be road legal, citing an industry analyst. The report outlines a few reasons for this.
The first, it’s speculated, is that the Ford Raptor R will be able to integrate more motorsport-oriented safety measures, such as a five-point harness, a roll cage, racing seats, and perhaps even deleting the airbags. Airbags have a risk of deploying during the violent and sudden events that happen during hard off-roading, so replacing them with harnesses and roll cages might be the smart move.
Secondly, designating the F-150 Raptor R as an ORV could potentially allow for more creative freedom around pesky bumper-height regulations, pedestrian impact regulations, exhaust noise requirements, or factory beadlock wheels.
Thirdly, the 2022 Ford F-150 Raptor R may get single-digit fuel economy numbers if it were to go through EPA testing. Especially if there’s a Predator V8 under the hood. That doesn’t mash up very well with Ford’s CAFE targets, nor does it necessarily mash up with the philosophies of the Biden Administration.
Update: Ford has clarified to The Drive that the 2022 Ford Raptor R will indeed be street legal. So there’s no need to worry. Perhaps some intel got cross-wired, and there’s something still off-road only in the works, but we can’t say either way.
What actually powers the Raptor R remains unconfirmed by Ford, but does actually support the claim that the Ford F-150 Raptor will offer two engines. Just not in the base 2021 Ford F-150 Raptor, as was eluded by an early dealer order guide leak, and verified by today’s unveiling.
The 2021 Ford F-150 Raptor features the high-output 3.5L EcoBoost V6 engine with a special exhaust system that truly allows the off-road pickup truck to clear its throat with the press of the throttle.
The 2022 Ford F-150 Raptor R is rumored to be a limited-edition super truck, and will likely have the price tag to support this. Consider that its only rival, the 2021 Ram 1500 TRX, comes in at basically $70,000, while the second-generation Raptor can be had for over $16,500 less. Pricing on the 2021 F-150 Raptor hasn’t been confirmed yet, but we can be sure that it will likely undercut the might 2022 Ford F-150 Raptor R when we learn more about this awesome new truck later this year.