Ford Introduces 2023 F-150 Raptor R

Ford recently introduced the new F-150 Raptor R – the fastest and most powerful high-performance off-road desert Raptor yet.

“Raptor R is our ultimate Raptor,” said Carl Widmann, Ford Performance chief engineer. “When customers experience Raptor R in the desert and beyond, it will make the hairs on the back of their necks stand up – and they’ll love every second of it.”

The Raptor R is powered by a new 5.2-liter supercharged V8 engine that delivers 700 hp and 640 lb.-ft. of torque. Ford Performance enlisted the most powerful engine in its lineup – previously seen in the Mustang Shelby GT500 – and optimized it for Raptor-level off-road performance.

Ford Performance recalibrated this V8 engine’s supercharger and installed a new pulley to optimize its power for off-road use, Ford engineers said, increasing torque delivery at the low-end and mid-range.

To maintain the extreme off-road durability the Raptor brand is known for, Ford Performance upgraded 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. To help the engine breathe better, air intake volume is increased 66% via a wider air intake inlet and a higher-flow, higher-efficiency conical air filter.

Ford Performance also upgraded the base truck’s transmission and driveline to help ensure the Raptor R’s durability. The Raptor R is equipped with a 10-speed SelectShift transmission with improved calibration and features a new front axle with 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. A new, specially tuned torque converter with heavy-duty turbine damper and four-pinion rear output assembly makes the truck even better equipped to transfer torque and provide a smoother powertrain feel when driving both on- and off-road, designers said.

The truck also features a dual exhaust system with a true pass-through muffler and active valve system, with modes for Normal, Sport, Quiet and Baja that can be adjusted by the driver.

Paired with Raptor R’s supercharged V8, a five-link rear suspension features extra-long trailing arms to better maintain axle position on rough terrain, a Panhard rod and 24-inch coil springs – all optimized for traversing desert terrain at high speeds, engineers said. Advanced FOX Live Valve shocks are tuned to balance ride quality and roll control on- and off-road. These electronically controlled dampers use suspension height sensors and other sensors to monitor terrain conditions independently while adjusting suspension tuning accordingly, and offers wheel travel of 13 inches in front and 14.1 inches in back.

Each drive mode is tuned to account for the added power of the supercharged V8, including an optimized Baja mode for maximum performance and control in high-speed off-roading. A 5% increase in the front spring rate helps maintain comfortable ride quality, while Raptor R boasts 13.1-inch ground clearance and standard 37-inch tires straight from the factory.

The most powerful Raptor yet also offers unique styling. A larger, more aggressively styled power dome on the hood sits nearly 1 inch taller than on the base Raptor, helping extract warm air from underneath.

Ford Performance-exclusive Code Orange accents include a unique “R” badge on the grille, power dome and tailgate, as well as a special graphics package on the rear fenders.

Standard Recaro seats sport a combination of black leather and Alcantara suede. Genuine carbon fiber adorns the doors, media bin door and upper parts of the instrument panel, featuring 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 offered on the Raptor lineup for the first time.

Production for the 2023 F-150 Raptor R starts late 2022 at Dearborn Truck Plant.

A.J. Hecht

A.J. Hecht is the managing editor of THE SHOP and host of the In Gear with THE SHOP podcast. Have an idea, a tip, or a question you’d like to see answered? Contact A.J. at ahecht@cahabamedia.com.

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