America, baby. Even in the face of an economic crisis, rising inflation, and record fuel prices, the United States still produces some of the coolest, most fun machines on the planet. The latest example of that is the much-anticipated Ford F-150 Raptor R. It’s everything all at once, and if you can afford it, you’ll giving your neighbor with the Ram TRX a hell of a time. Ordering for the 2023 Ford F-150 Raptor R opens today, with production starting this fall at Dearborn Truck Plant in Michigan.
2023 Ford F-150 Raptor R: Pricing, Power
Before we get into the more minor details, we should start with two big things you need to know. The first is that the 2023 Ford F-150 Raptor R starts at $109,145, including destination and delivery charges. Yes, it’s more expensive than even the Ram 1500 TRX, which delivers 702 horsepower. The Raptor R delivers 700 horsepower on the nose and 640 lb-ft of torque, thanks to a variant of the 5.2L supercharged Predator V8 engine that was first seen in the S550 Ford Mustang Shelby GT500. Its exhaust note is a howling roar. No angry kazoo noises from an EcoBoost V6 here. The Raptor R exhaust features a true pass-through muffler and active valve system, with modes for Normal, Sport, Quiet and Baja. The top speed? Just 112 mph, but that’s due to the tire speed limits of the Raptor R’s standard 37-inch BFG KO2 tires.
Ford Performance didn’t just drop the Predator V8 in the F-150 Raptor R and call it a day. The engineers took the time to upgrade the original engine’s exhaust manifolds to a cast stainless steel design, including a unique oil cooler and filter, plus a deeper oil pan enabling it to tackle aggressive grades while keeping the engine oil cool. Air intake volume is also increased 66% compared to the Mustang GT500, via a wider air intake inlet and a higher-flow, higher-efficiency conical air filter. The 10R90 transmission and driveline were also fortified to withstand the violence of high-speed off-roading. The 10-speed now shifts even faster thanks to a specially tuned torque converter with heavy-duty turbine damper and four-pinion rear output assembly, while the front axle features a more robust, higher-strength carrier casting and an aluminum-ribbed structural cover to manage the powertrain’s added torque, as well as a unique larger diameter aluminum driveshaft.
The 2023 Ford F-150 Raptor R maintains its five-link rear suspension, with extra-long trailing arms to better maintain axle position on rough terrain, a Panhard rod, and 24-inch coil springs. Electronically controlled Fox Live Valve shocks get their own unique calibration (the front spring rate is increased 5% compared to standard F-150 Raptor), and continue to use suspension height sensors and other devices to monitor terrain conditions hundreds of times a second, which can adjust suspension tuning on-the-fly. Wheel travel for the F-150 Raptor R is listed as 13 inches in front and 14.1 inches in the rear. Ground clearance is over a foot, at 13.1 inches.
Super Truck Design
To tell the 2023 Ford F-150 Raptor R apart from the standard one, differences are subtle but easy to spot. The big giveaway are the Code Orange tow hooks and other accents, along with a more flamboyant hood insert that Ford is calling a “power dome.” The grille, bumpers and fender flares are all painted black. There’s also a unique “R” badge on the grille, hood and tailgate, while unique graphics decorate the side of the truck bed. On the inside we see standard Recaro seats with black leather and Alcantara suede inserts. Genuine carbon fiber also festoons the cabin with a unique tri-axial weave. F-150 Raptor R will be available in eight color options, including new Avalanche and Azure Gray Tri-Coat exterior paint.
The 2023 Ford F-150 Raptor R also features Trail Turn Assist, Ford Trail Control, and 1-Pedal Drive. All of which can be activated via a standard 12-inch touch screen that also features SYNC 4 technology, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. Software updates and new calibrations can be beamed directly to the super truck via OTA updates.