Ford once offered not one, but two F-150 Raptors with a V8 engine, and then – in what felt like a cruel move – took them from us, replacing them with a 3.5-liter EcoBoost V6 truck. Well, finally the world has been brought into balance, as a V8 is back. And holy crap is it powerful.
Ford let me see and hear the new F-150 Raptor R last month, but only from a distance. The thing sounded great, but that’s about all I could surmise from the short sprint across the desert floor a few hundred yards from where I then stood. Now, finally, we’ve got more details. Let’s start with the important bits: A supercharged 5.2-liter V8 – the same one from the Mustang GT-500 – pumps out 700 horsepower and 640 lb-ft of torque through a 10-speed automatic.
That transmission sends power to a coil-sprung solid axle out back and a front differential up front wedged between long-travel independent A-arms.
Connecting that suspension to the dirt are standard 37-inch all-terrain tires. That’s the same size as the tires on the Bronco Raptor, which is to say: They’re enormous.
Per a number of news outlets, the Raptor R will cost about $110,000, or roughly 30 large more than the Ram TRX, which makes 2 HP more.
Obviously, less horsepower for more dollars seems like a step backwards, but that’s only if your brain functions very, very simply. There’s much more to performance than just power, which is why I’m excited to drive the two trucks back-to-back.
This story is being updated. I wrote it from my phone in downtown Munich because in the media business, if you’re not first, you’re last. Unrelated: I see Renault Twingos everywhere. Related: Here’s the press release.