The 2023 Ford F-150 Raptor R stands as a market-driven proof point that well-heeled customers continue to seek out an ever-bolder, rowdier, louder and more capable pickup truck that’s just as much fun at the Silver Lake Sand Dunes as it is the Home Depot parking lot.
We already know that Ford Performance engineers calibrated the Predator V8 to make it more oriented for a truck, delivering higher low end torque instead of all-out horsepower (700 hp in the truck vs 760 hp in the S550 Mustang Shelby GT500). The F-150 Raptor R is speed limited to 112 mph anyway, so it’s not like the truck is going to be winning a lot of trophies at the drag strip. Off the road, however, that’s a different story.
As noted in the video from Engineering Explained, Ford has done a lot to make this engine better suited to accomplish what the ultimate F-150 Raptor was made for; racing over dunes at extravagant speeds for as long as the owner sees fit. Oh, and it was codenamed “Carnivore” internally, just as the Bronco Raptor was codenamed “Warthog.” Neat.
From the intake, supercharger, cylinders, and block to the exhaust, Ford has given Engineering Explained an inside look at the strategies behind the engine design to ensure it makes for the most fantastic truck possible. And compared to when the 5.2L V8 engine architecture originally debuted in the discontinued Ford Mustang Shelby GT350, this variant of the DOHC V8 only shares commonality with the intake and exhaust valves, that’s it.
Is this juiced up V8 engine enough to be crowned King of the Dinosaurs? While the Raptor R doesn’t state that it has more power than the Ram TRX, it weighs almost several hundred pounds less than the TRX, giving it a considerable power-to-weight advantage over the competition.
Of course, you’ll have to pay for it. The Ford F-150 Raptor R costs $109,145 USD while the Ram TRX is priced from $80,685 USD. Granted, the Raptor R comes with more premium standard content, and a loaded up TRX can easily cross the six figure threshold.