“We’re not quite done with Raptor yet. We do have one more thing for you,” Ford’s PR guy Sam told journalists last week at the end of the Ford Bronco Raptor drive in the California desert. “If you turn around you’ll see what’s coming next,” he concluded, as a V8 supercharged Ford F-150 Raptor R blasted towards us on the dry lakebed, its supercharger whining over the throaty yell of a V8. It then began ripping some absolutely disgusting donuts. Here, have a look.
I realize that I’m supposed to be a perfectly “professional” journalist who, when an automaker shows something awesome, just looks down his nose at a notebook while slowly jotting down a few words with a quill. “Irresponsible,” the first line should read. “Climate change liability,” the next bullet should say. “Pedestrian safety,” the last note should read before I underline it twice, with vigor, and chuckle in the snootiest way possible. I am a professional — a sophisticated man who feels he always has to put the social and moral implications of every subject at the forefront of his reporting. I’m objective, and will never show things like “delight” to an automobile company. I will eat up their shrimp, but certainly not their PR bullshit.
Maybe I’m a bit of a simple man, because, One: I don’t even own a quill. And Two: When Ford showed the Ford F-150 Raptor R I couldn’t help but giggle. “Ohhhh god yes,” I cried. “Dude, a freakin’ blown V8. Shit. Oh my god that’s freakin’ epic!” I continued. I’m glad that, despite having witnessed the launch of some of the coolest vehicles ever to hit the American market, I still find joy in a big-ass, V8-powered, blown race truck. It’s almost like a simpler part of my mind was triggered that afternoon in the desert, and you’ll understand why when you listen to this:
You may be wondering what that glorious V8 is under the hood. I’m not really sure, though some think it’s a version of the 760 horsepower 5.2-liter V8 from the Ford Mustang Shelby GT500. That would be epic.
dear Lord all the killjoys here..
Ugh, see, this is why nearly all my friends hate cars–massive, ineffecient, ready to eat pedestrians and squish cyclists, definitely going to be taken and jacked up even further making all the prior points even worse… And like, I get it! I am exactly the person who can’t mentally set aside social and material concerns while evaluating vehicles, I’m 100% pro-public transport, I too am deeply and painfully concerned about climate change, I regularly have to dodge idiots driving these things (I’ve actually been hit multiple times and I live in a much safer traffic area than most of the US), etc., etc., etc.
So what baffles me is that somehow I end up trying to explain to my friends how ineffably fucking cool machines like this are, every, single, time. Like, c’mon–y’all see that, right? It’s absolutely ripping it up. It’s a giant, complicated machine made out of barely controlled explosions and high-strength steel, and we use it to make ourselves giggle. It’s precisely what I love about automotive passion–none of it makes sense. It’s emotional and tickles the stupid part of our lizard brains, and it’s fucking AWESOME.
As it says on my profile, these machines have a place in a liberated, ecological future. We’ll make it happen, because I refuse not to take at least a moment of joy in this before I nearly get squashed in a crosswalk again later today.
Sounds like you need new friends and to be more careful at crosswalks if you have been hit “multiple times”. I pretty much “Mr Magoo” my way through life and have somehow managed to not get hit by any vehicle in my twenty years living in the heart of Los Angeles.
Are you sure you are not that douche that likes to write about bicycles from that formerly interesting Car website that will remain nameless.
I think a lot of us have hobbies that can be tricky to justify. I too have plenty of friends who decry inefficient trucks, yet they tend to be the ones who travel the most, often internationally. And the carbon footprint there is also a really tricky thing to reconcile. There are lots of conflicted folks out there right now; it ain’t just you.
It’s a hobby. Justification isn’t a requirement.
This is a big part of why I enjoy my RC trucks so much. I can be as lizard-brained “durr hurr truck go fast” as I want, but it’s in 1/10 scale and contained to my driveway.
It doesn’t make that sound, though…
A bit harder to pull those donut Gs with the RC. 😉
Still fun though.
The best is when the people telling us to reduce our carbon footprint are flying private, also known as Al Gore, Barack Obama, and John Kerry. This blatant elitism is what drives the political divide over the climate change issue. Climate change is happening, and the burning of fossil fuels is contributing to it. The question is what do we do about it? Do we give up our lifestyle and become much poorer hoping the world will follow suit, or do we adapt to it by building seawalls etc etc.
If they (government, politicians, et al) were really serious about lowering emissions, they’d ground a lot of planes. But they’re virtue-signalers from the “do as I say, not as I do” crowd. These are the same people who tell us how precious the world is, how we must preserve humanity, while trotting the globe, burning up copious volumes of fossil fuel in the process, treating other countries like it’s pearl opened just for them.
I apologize in advance for being a killjoy, but I am just baffled by trucks like these. These just seem so over the top that I can’t look past the things you point out to tut about as a Serious Journalist. Does it offroad better than the bronco? Does it muscle car better than the Shelby Mustang? I don’t want either for myself and have major qualms about their place in modern society, but I can at least see why they’re cool and people like them. It seems like this is just feeding the bro-dozer thing and is otherwise a worse answer to a question that maybe shouldn’t be asked.
Sorry again for being negative, but conceptually I can’t see how this is any different than when they put a spoiler and alloys on a windstar to make the windstar sport, except massively wasteful and dangerous to pedestrians, other drivers, and the environment.
I’m baffled by the appeal of putting go fast parts on a cheap crappy car, ala tuner Civics or even factory efforts like the GTI or Type R, but one of the neat parts of being a car enthusiast is being exposed to people who think totally differently from you.
I’m the kind of person this truck appeals to, even if I have no practical need for it. I think one of the oddest blind spots I find among my fellow enthusiasts is not understanding that some people simply like to drive trucks. That lightness and handling are not the be all and end all of every type of vehicle.
I’ve learned so much about weird corners of the automotive world from the authors of this site that I hope this can be a more welcoming and open place than other nameless sites that have more gatekeeping of what is “acceptable” to like.
That’s fair enough about the gatekeeping. I like it here because of the broad scope of genuine interest in different facets of car enthusiasm, enthusiasts, and related endeavors.
I’m certainly not trying to come at anyone, and I appreciate that some (most) people like different things from me, which is fine, and some things are just irrationally, lizard-brain cool as talked about in the original post.
Something like this particular type of performance truck is hard for me to reconcile, though, because of the negative externalities and sociopolitical baggage. I don’t want to tell anyone they can’t or shouldn’t like it, but since it exists in the world it’s not just a cool engineering exercise.
I do hope that we can discuss stuff like this openly and civilly, though.
I got bad news for ya, EV trucks are going to get the brodozer treatment just like ICE trucks do and you have an endless supply of idiots that will drive them in a reckless manner.
they tried, but ford is losing the fight to the TRX. Nevermind that the Stella group has said point blank there will not be hellcat anything after 2023. This one is for bragging rights and to get the people that previously bought raptors and were not happy to be pushed aside by a superior super truck.
But to answer your few questions, that really don’t matter since this is not built for the likes of you, this does in fact off road and tow better than the Bronco in all forms. Hell the Bronco is basically a drop Hummer H3, and even those were probably better than the bronco Considering powertrain options. It also probably will out run a Shelby gt350, AWD is a big deal when handling that much HP. Maybe not a GT500 though. But again this means nothing as the drivers of super trucks tend not to be focused on Pony CARS.
Watching DT’s reaction was even more fun than the donuts. The sheer joy of all things automotive is the big reason we all hang out here.
Maybe I’m getting to be an old man, but I just don’t care. The coolest cars today are getting absolutely atrocious mpg. I can’t wait to be fully drowning in electric pickups.
It sounds oddly sythnetic.
Right? Is that partly due to -what i assume is- a flat plane crank?
Yeah, it’s gotta be the 5.2 in there.
OK, different eras, different motors, etc., but…
I used to have a Thunderbird SC with the 5 speed. I used to love when the supercharger came on boost. Most of the time, the car sounded like a plain ol’ 3.8 V6, but when that lower went out of vacuum and started applying pressure to the intake air, it sounded pretty cool. This vid remined me of that for some reason.
I also want to read the Bronco Raptor review.
I like a blown V8 as much as anyone and I like responsible hooning too, but I also grew up in the Nevada desert and it makes me cringe to see them doing donuts like that because I know that they just did 50 to 100 years of damage in a few seconds, maybe more since in seldom rains anymore. People who aren’t from the desert think that it is an empty playground with no life, but it is not. There is a lot of small, delicate plants and animals in the desert, many of which only appear when it rains and then for a brief time, and many of them are endangered. Other, like desert tortoises, which are themselves critically endangered, will out live all of us assuming they aren’t run over by someone who just thinks they are a rock. Please play in the desert in a responsible way. I will get off my soapbox now.
It’s kinda like seeing the atv and dirtbike tracks in the shrub-steppe out in Eastern WA closer to me…I don’t want to say it should be banned, but the harm being done will take centuries to fix. It’s not just sagebrush and sand, there’s vibrant ecosystems that are hard to observe and understand the value of when we’re busy shredding them with AT tires.
Granted, the expansion of massive suburbia is arguably more threatening to these spaces, but I’d love to see continued involvement in ecological conservation by folks who do like to hoon vehicles. There’s enough space to integrate our playgrounds while effectively stewarding the vast majority of the space for the unique diversities of life that we’re lucky enough to find around us.
So they just showed the Raptor R to you all, but didn’t let you rip around in it?
Knowing DTs history with ripping massive burnouts/drifting I might not hand him the keys to that one.
I’d also worry about rust suddenly appearing on it…
Nice sounding motor… but I wouldn’t buy one of these for myself. When I hear that supercharged V8 sound, I keep seeing an image in my mind of the cost of fuel the last time I filled up…
I was hoping for a Godzilla raptor R but I knew it wouldn’t happen. I honestly think a manual transmission Bronco Badlands with the 33’s is the more fun vehicle, especially after Mr. Tracy’s endorsement of the suspension.
My post was in reaction to another post. Somehow I lost the original comment I was replying to.
I have no kids. Decided that at the end of the ’70’s because of overpopulation. So while I decided to not to add any more super polluters to this overcrowded planet, all kind of short minded people are judging me, telling me that my Italian oldtimer reaching the age of 60 and I are a distaster to the climate. After going out that way they turn around and walk with their 4 kids to their RV (for the foodtruckfestivals they like to visit every weekend, preferably diesel and old because of lower taxes while driving their company EV’s/Hybrid’s during the week), fucking hypocrits!
The real climate problem has a name: Overpopulation!
I don’t really understand this vehicle. I mean, sure. it has a warranty. But things like this exist:
and are available with a twin turbo V8, custom painted carbon fiber body, and various upgraded shock packages. Why do donuts when you can do wheelies?
OK, I love the damn Raptor R. You caught me.
That was awesome. Of course, this is the likely catalyst for FCA to cue up the 797 HP Redeye version of the TRX some time in the 2023 model year., right?
For all you naysayers, automotive manufacturers are having their final go at big stupid horsepower trucks for another year or two at best.
I say let them (and the few buyers who love this stuff and have the money to buy) have their fun before we all are relegated to soulless EVs that perform even better, are even heavier, and will beat the snot out of TRX and Raptors by any performance measure. THAT will make these dinosaurs disappear.
Until then, let’s go out with a hair on fire internal combustion bang.
These print money. They’ll be one of the last things to amble off the sales floor, even if they switch to “commercial” 3/4 or 1 ton platforms first.
And as the new Hummer shows, smarter vehicles allow an escalation in dumber decisions. The hilarity of tractor pulling with electric trucks will be off the charts.
Really not digging the tone of comments around here lately. If you can’t get excited about this whether you want to buy one or not, how can an electric car that goes 0-60 in 1.9 seconds be interesting either? Both are excessive and testaments to human ingenuity and the desire to generate g-force induced neurotransmitters. You can’t virtue signal your way out of this unless you optimize everyone for maximum mass transit efficiency and minimum fun.
If you want one of these, can afford it, can afford the gas, I’m happy for you. It looks cool, sounds cool and probably does amazing things off of public roads.
I like all the cars. Quirky, ugly, pretty, fast, slow, big, small, ICE, electric, whatever. Thought this was a place for like minded folks.
Just about as uncool as a car can possibly get for me, honestly.
Starting to sound alot like that ” other site” in the comments…
I’ll add my 2 cents..
Not just “that other site”, more like “pretty much every other site”.
I almost don’t care – I feel like it’s been too long since the TRX came out and they (and all the Ford fans) went “Oh yeah, well wait for the Raptor R”…and we’ve all been waiting.
Not to mention recent fuel prices ruining the party…
This is cool, but I really can’t wait for the Bronco Raptor review!