The 700 Horsepower V8 2023 Ford F-150 Raptor R Screams Like A Mustang GT-500 Off-Road

2023 F 150 Raptor R Exterior

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.

2023 F 150 Raptor R Exterior

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.

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56 Responses

  1. This thing is awesome for just being an absolute caricature of a vehicle and those of you whining about it are a bunch of ninnies. FFS how could a 700hp pre-runner-in-leather be anything but a hilarious fun time? If you don’t want to share the road with it I suggest you lobby for “high kinetic energy” lanes and we can mix semi-trucks and overloaded ClassV’s with novice drivers in there too.

  2. The price seems like an attempt by Ford to get their hands on some of that dealer markup money (people were paying $100K or more for regular Raptors). Since the dealers obviously aren’t going to give their cut up, will we reach a breaking point, or will people actually shell out $150,000+ for an F150?

    1. While I don’t believe a manufacturer should be able to tell a dealer how much the dealer is allowed to make on a vehicle, dealer markups have gone way further than I thought they would ever go. This is because dealerships have consolidated into the hands of fewer owners, and don’t really compete with each other as much as they should.

      Also, I think the manufacturers have been leaving huge stacks of money on the table when it comes to pricing vehicles like this. Dealer markups are undeniable proof of this.

      This is an outrageous extravagance. You don’t price those for affordability. Those should always be priced to remove as much money from the buyers’ wallets as possible. And now Ford seems to be realizing this fact.

      Yes, people will pay $150,000 for a Ford F-150. There are at least a few that will pay over $200,000 for an F-150. Ford should concentrate on building something specific for those buyers, too.

      They can take the Porsche route by removing a bunch of features and sound deadening, and reworking a few parts in lighter, stronger materials. Then they can double the price. A nylon strap for an inner door handle is on its way, for only $2,000 extra!

      1. I remember seeing a 2004 Trans Am 6-speed at a dealership with an enormous “Market Adjustment” added to the sticker price. Then Pontiac discontinued it citing low sales. Yeah, no shit. Nobody’s paying that kind of money over MSRP.

        Even if I had the means to afford this kind of vehicle, it’d be pretty far down the list of ridiculous toys I’d want to buy.

        1. Around that time I saw a manual Hyundai Elantra GT (the original fastback one) on the lot with a $1500 “Market Adjustment”; the Ford lot a few doors down had a Focus ZX5 with a $1500 rebate offer. If that’s not the “market” what is?

      2. “Also, I think the manufacturers have been leaving huge stacks of money on the table when it comes to pricing vehicles like this. Dealer markups are undeniable proof of this.”

        Yes, and I don’t think it’s a coincidence that the Z06 pricing came out a few days ago and was ~$20K higher than expected too. There is a balancing act required though; no one wants a repeat of the Gen 5 Viper ($15,000 across the board reduction in MSRP after slow sales) or the NSX (reportedly $20,000+ in rebates, at least as of a couple years ago). I think parts shortages + inflation + 10 years of a good economy for the upper middle class + perceived last gasp for ICE performance have created an extremely weird environment for these halo vehicles. I’m just hopeful some sanity returns before the electric apocalypse descends.

    2. Oh, they will. What I can never get over is the fact that the core of this thing is shared with a configuration that costs $40k. I know it received a lot of upgrades underneath, but damn. It is hard to reconcile on its face. Of course this comes from a guy who has neither the cash nor interest in such a rig.

    1. Apply that comment to 99% of articles about any new, performance-oriented car. Even if it is something in my price range, chances of finding one are nil. It has really taken the fun out of reading about this stuff lately, to be honest. Sorry for being a downer…

  3. I love this. Was Ford ever planning on dropping this engine in the Raptor? Probably not, until the Ram provided a reason to and sold well. Gotta love competition breeding better products. Shame that GM and Toyota hasn’t followed suit. Toyota literally has no reason NOT to build something like this (or at least the regular Raptor).

  4. Objectively speaking, the draw and awe for this truck is the aspect of technological pièce de résistance. When considered strictly on its own for what it is, it’s certainly impressive. It’s when you introduce real world factors like practicality, daily drivability, and possibly, just maybe, the type of child-like moments behind the wheel that a truck like this might encourage, it can dull the charm a little. And I get it. I see both sides, the appreciation we can have for what Ford pulled off and the other folks who also have to live with it on the road.

  5. I’ll be waiting to see the argument for how this is worth $30k more than the TRX.. my wife and I had a good laugh this weekend at the fact used TRXs are still $85k+ which was absurd enough!

  6. With how long they dragged this out and it ends up less than the TRX in power (I know it is 400 lbs lighter – many people don’t look at weight)…this thing is a big resounding MEH to me.

  7. Honest non-trunk guy question: what’s with the 3 orange lights in the middle of the hood on these big trucks?

    I’ve see likewise on the I think RAM TRXs?

    Is the reason regulatory, or badass, or ??

      1. Thanks!

        I can imagine though people who buy these really like ’em as even further signifiers to all that these are *not* normal trucks. At least there’s a driving reason for them/they’re not like the Challenger’s yellow lower splitter shipping protectors.

      2. Regulations when over a certain width but usually they are on the roof. Think big rigs. But the first gen Raptor was first to put the three middle lights in the grill and the two outer lights on the fenders. RAM TRX is just a copycat.

  8. So now we (sorry, you because Oz won’t get this or the Bronco) have the Ranger Raptor (well…we do), the Bronco Raptor and the F-150 Raptor…and they are all intended to do much the same thing: look sharp in a shopping mall and very occasionally get lost in the desert…at speed. At which point, one idly wonders as to which of this trio are going to give you the best bang for buck. And I can’t help thinking that the F-150 might not be the best of the polished turds in this case nor the one with the best desert/mall running specifications…

  9. Eviscerate me if you must, but I’m fucking sick of the horsepower wars. 700hp behemoths riding on 37s should not be on public streets. This neverending quest for “more” is simultaneously scary and boring.

    1. I think it’s okay if you’re not into it. You’re certainly not the only one complaining about big, powerful trucks and SUVs these days. I personally think they’re epic, especially given the crossover-rich car landscape these days.

      1. I fully admit that a large part of my sentiment is a function of getting old(er), and perhaps grumpier. My 17 year old self would surely nut-tap me for the above post. At least this thing is counterbalanced with the F-150 Lightning.

    2. I agree. I am oh-so-tired of vehicles that exist as a balm for the faux-masculine in such difficult times (for them). While I’m sure this thing would be fun if cut loose on an offroad track, it’s pretty pointless 99% of the time.
      We really don’t need more dick measuring contests in this world by those who, without such prosthetics, would certainly not measure up. If you want to prove that you’re manly, try driving a white fleet pickup to an actual job every day where you have to bust your ass to make a buck. These things are nothing more than the toys of idiots with more money than sense.

      1. Come on now. Let’s not call all people who drive these trucks idiots.

        Some of the coolest vehicles ever are totally illogical to drive daily. Old Beetles are slow and unsafe, new 911s are tiny and inefficient, Miatas have the same size issue, old Grand Wagoneers suck gas like mad, Jeep Wranglers don’t ride great, etc etc.

        Car-buying is often an emotional decision, and taste varies. I think it’s okay, even if I’d never buy this vehicle (or any new car, really).

        1. How many old Beetles and Miatas are off the road now because drivers recognize the reality that they are little more than a speed bump when stacked up against a 700hp truck with 37″ tires? How many trails are there that Wagoneers and Wranglers can’t do, but this truck could? This truck is a wrecking ball in a finishing hammer world. Sure it is badass and full of cool tech and capabilities, but it isn’t any more practical than any of the vehicles you listed. It is actively hostile to them, even.

          1. This reminds me of how in 1995, if you wanted to buy a Mustang Cobra R, you had to have a valid SCCA competition license.

            It was fully street-legal, but there seemed to be some understanding by Ford of the danger these things posed, especially in the wrong hands. Interesting way of dealing with that while still making them available.

            But by the time the next iteration came out in 2000 (IIRC), that requirement was dropped I believe.

            1. The intent with the license requirement was to ensure that the cars actually went racing because Ford wanted to show what the SVT team could do. They ran like 14s quarter miles, you can hardly call that posing much danger.

          2. As a owner of a 73 Beetle and 04 Honda Insight, I avoid using the highway as much as I can, big pick ups (Lifted ones specially) in metro Detroit tend to be aggressive as soon they see a small car, they dont care about their surroundings. Truckers in the other hand, they will wave or laugh at you while you struggle to do +70mph to pass and they are doing 65 in the middle lane lol

        2. Well, they kind of are engaging in a form of idiocy by letting their emotions take such enormous priority over any practical concerns.

          I get the emotional connections of vehicles. I embrace it, to a large degree. But there’s a point where selfish childishness and boorishness take over one’s choice of vehicles, and we’ve reached beyond that many times over the last ten years or so.

          It think it’s time we step back a little bit from excusing blatantly antisocial behavior in vehicle choice, because our policies aren’t catching up and being adjusted to bill people in any way for the additional costs they burden everyone else with.

          1. I “daily drive” (that’s in quotes because I don’t have a commute) a 1985 Jeep J10, and I’m not ashamed of it. I love it despite its 13 MPG. I’m sure some folks would criticize me for it, just as they’d criticize me for driving my brother’s 1966 Ford Mustang or my old 1965 Valiant, both of which are not particularly efficient. Many of the people who criticize me for driving old, inefficient cars tend to be the same people who take lots of international flights (I do, too, admittedly), which are also not great for the planet. In large part, it’s people criticizing things they don’t understand. “Why drive such an old efficient car?” “Why fly around the world so often?” Because it’s awesome to me/you — a part of a quality of life that we’ve come to expect.

            It’s a complex thing, no doubt, and the real answer is that we all should make compromises. But I don’t think banning certain cars is the answer. The fact that the whole industry is going EV for new cars is great, and I think in due time vehicles like this Raptor R will be classics — blips in the rearview mirror that we’ll find novel when we see them on the streets in the future.

            1. I think what most people see as offensive about these trucks is that the are not legally required nor engineered to meet any kind of safety requirements for pedestrians, bicyclists, or other cars. Prior to about 10 years ago, vehicles with a six-foot tall flat front end were pretty rare, and mostly limited to HD trucks used for work, and semis which require a CDL. It’s not really about the conspicuous consumption, but about the disregard for anyone else’s safety that is communicated both in design and behavior. That’s why you don’t see the same kind of hate for most Jeeps or Land Rovers even though they chug fuel.

            2. The difference in your case is that you’re driving things already built long ago. Most of the societal costs have already been absorbed and the fact that you’re getting more use out of what would otherwise be garbage is a good thing.

              The energy required to produce something new is quite large. Steel doesn’t melt itself… I’m arguing about the choices we are making today about what we produce.

        3. One reason you’re seeing Renault Twingoes everywhere is because not so many people are buying those ginormous SUVs with 37-inch tires that would obliterate Twingoes in what could normally be simple (& survivable!!) fender-benders. Given the widespread ineptitude (not to mention aggressive road manners) among ‘Murican drivers the potential proliferation of such 700-HP SUVs is indeed cause for concern regardless of taste. Between a landscape full of Twingoes & a landscape of giant-ass overpowered SUVs the choice doesn’t seem terribly hard to make…

        4. The problem with these things is they are death traps for other people. I have no problem if it is a death trap for the driver but they should really be required to have a special license or something. It is bullshit how huge and fast these have gotten.

        5. No they are idiots. I tried explaining to a driver of stupid monstrosities that they have to share the road with smaller cars and the huge trucks are dangerous and they literally told me “You should by a bigger vehicle then.” This is not only an idiotic statement but also an enormously selfish one. The people who buy these things are a perfect example of how selfish our society has become.

    3. Scary, boring, and dangerous. Do we really need 5 ton hummers that can go from 0-60 in 2 seconds? Fuck no we don’t. You shouldn’t need 115 cameras and a fucking drone to follow you around to know what is right in front of your hood or behind your rear bumper.

      I’d say we just need to wait for the day when a texting driver accidentally rips a school bus in half to make these kinds of vehicles illegal (or at least worthy of a special licensing requirement), but since we have collectively agreed as a society that kids have no right to safety in the classroom, why should they be safe on the way to the classroom either?

      You can buy off-road motorcycles. They don’t have turn signals, you can’t legally ride them on the road. This truck should be the same.

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