Behold the Mighty 700-HP Ford F-150 Raptor R

Ford finally delivers the supercharged V8 power that Raptor fans have craved.

Dan Carney, Senior Editor

July 19, 2022

6 Slides

What happens when you bolt the fire-breathing supercharged 5.2-liter V8 from the Ford Mustang Shelby GT500 into Ford’s foremost high-speed desert racing pickup truck? The 700 horsepower, 640 lb.-ft. 2023 Ford F-150 Raptor R.

The regular Raptor is powered by Ford’s twin-turbocharged EcoBoost V6 engine, which produces an impressive 450 hp and 510 lb.-ft. torque. But enthusiasts have clamored for a V8 since the second-generation Raptor replaced the original V8-powered model and now Ford has answered their call.

The duty cycle for an off-road desert runner is different from that of Ford’s track-ready GT500, so naturally, engineers have tweaked the Shelby’s engine for truck duty. That means a different pulley diameter for its supercharger that boosts low-end torque.

The engine also gains upgraded stainless steel exhaust manifolds, a unique oil cooler and filter, and a deeper oil pan that maintains oil supply even on steep terrain. The Raptor’s V8 inhales through an enlarged intake system with a 66 percent larger inlet and a higher-flow air filter.

“We’ve heard our customers demanding the sound and power of a V8 back in Raptor,” said Carl Widmann, Ford Performance chief engineer. “That’s not something we were going to rush. This supercharged 5.2-liter V8 is the ideal fusion of high-density power paired with the third generation Raptor’s all-new rear suspension and shocks to deliver a one-two punch that goes far beyond the sum of its parts.”

Related:Engineering Solutions by Design News Talks Ford Raptor

As with the V6 Raptor, the Raptor R delivers its power through a 10-speed automatic transmission to a rear axle with independent suspension. The transmission incorporates a new heavy-duty turbine damper and four-pinion rear output assembly, which Ford says contribute to smoother powertrain feel.

As Ford suspension engineer Sean Conway told Design News, that rear suspension required some clever re-engineering to accommodate the factory’s requirements for manufacturing. Nevertheless, the team was able to incorporate extra-long trailing arms, a Panhard rod, 24-inch coil springs, and electronically controlled Fox Live Valve racing shock absorbers for maximum off-road performance.

The Raptor R gains a new front axle with a higher-strength carrier casting, aluminum-ribbed structural cover, and a larger-diameter driveshaft to handle the V8’s fury. The front spring rate is 5 percent stiffer to accommodate the heavier engine.

Drivers get to hear that engine through a dual exhaust system that incorporates a pass-through muffler with an active valve system whose operation is controlled by the Raptor’s MyMode feature. That lets drivers customize settings for the engine, steering, and suspension as well as the muffler’s Normal, Sport, Quiet, and Baja modes. They can program a single preferred configuration of all of these settings to be activated by the truck’s steering wheel-mounted “R” button for convenience.

Related:2021 Ford F-150 Raptor Launches into Action

While Raptor is best known for its high-speed desert prowess, Ford has added low-speed trail and rock crawling features that debuted with the Bronco, such as Trail Turn Assist and Trail 1-Pedal Drive. These help the truck make tight turns and climb over obstacles more easily, as we experienced in the Bronco previously.

F-150 Raptor R will be available in eight color options, including new Avalanche and Azure Gray Tri-Coat exterior paint. Ordering for F-150 Raptor R is open now and production starts in late 2022.



About the Author(s)

Dan Carney

Senior Editor, Design News

Dan’s coverage of the auto industry over three decades has taken him to the racetracks, automotive engineering centers, vehicle simulators, wind tunnels, and crash-test labs of the world.

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