The extreme desert-racing trophy trucks participating in the Baja 1000 have inspired all three iterations of the F-150 Raptor. The 2023 Ford F-150 Raptor R, designed and manufactured by Ford Performance, comes the closest yet to providing this level of performance.
Ford releases the new F-150 Raptor R, the fastest, most powerful, and most extreme high-performance off-road desert Raptor ever, after over ten years of overcoming challenging terrain and scaling enormous desert dune systems.
“Raptor R is our ultimate Raptor. 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,” said Carl Widmann, Ford Performance chief engineer.
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Ford F-150 Raptor R engine
The new 5.2-liter supercharged V8 engine at the heart of the Raptor R gives it exceptional desert-running ability with 700 horsepower and 640 lb.-ft. of torque.
The most potent engine in the Ford Performance range, which was formerly found in the Mustang Shelby GT500, was used, and it was modified to achieve Raptor-level off-road performance and Built Ford Tough durability. The end result is the factory pickup with the most torque-dense supercharged V8 to date.
In order to maximize this V8 engine’s power for off-road usage, Ford Performance adjusted the supercharger and added a new pulley, which improved low- and mid-range torque delivery. These modifications enable Raptor R to provide improved performance at the highway speeds where most users travel.
Ford Performance upgraded the original engine’s exhaust manifolds to a cast stainless steel design in order to maintain the extreme off-road durability the Raptor brand is known for.
This upgrade also included a unique oil cooler and filter as well as a deeper oil pan that allowed it to handle challenging grades while maintaining engine oil cooling. A bigger air intake inlet and a higher-flow, higher-efficiency conical air filter enhance air intake volume by 66 percent to aid the engine’s ability to breathe more effectively.
The ultimate desert monster
The F-150 Raptor must overcome challenging off-road terrain in addition to being speedy. Ford has more than ten years of experience in developing and rigorously testing high-performance vehicles, which contributes to their endurance and capabilities.
The gearbox and driveline of the original vehicle were improved by Ford Performance to assist guarantee that Raptor R can easily handle everything this V8 can throw at it.
The 10-speed SelectShift gearbox on the Raptor R has been calibrated better. The vehicle has a redesigned front axle with an improved, higher-strength carrier casting, an aluminum-ribbed structural cover, and a special, larger-diameter aluminum driveshaft to handle the extra torque from the motor.
The vehicle is now even better suited to transmit torque and provide a smoother powertrain feel while driving both on- and off-road thanks to a new, carefully tuned torque converter with a heavy-duty turbine damper and four-pinion rear output assembly.
Due to the Raptor R’s innovative dual exhaust system, which has a genuine pass-through muffler and an active valve system with settings for Normal, Sport, Quiet, and Baja, drivers have even more choice over how their vehicle expresses its increased power.
The MyMode function lets drivers personalize a variety of settings, including driving, steering, and suspension modes, and store one as a single mode that can be quickly accessed by pressing the “R” button on the steering wheel.
If the Raptor R’s supercharged V8 is its heart, its immensely strong suspension is its soul. Extra-long trailing arms, a Panhard rod, and 24-inch coil springs are all part of the five-link rear suspension, which is designed for great stability while traveling across desert terrain at high speeds. These characteristics help to better maintain axle position on rocky terrain.
Modern FOX Live Valve shocks are calibrated to balance on- and off-road roll control and ride quality. These electronically controlled dampers monitor the terrain independently, hundreds of times per second, and alter the suspension setting as necessary using suspension height sensors and other sensors.
The Raptor R can negotiate sand and rocks with exceptional performance thanks to wheel travel of 13 inches up front and 14.1 inches rear.
Every driving option, including a specialized Baja mode for optimal performance and control in high-speed off-roading, is tailored to take into account the additional power of the supercharged V8.
While Raptor R has a class-leading 13.1-inch ground clearance and standard class-exclusive 37-inch tires straight from the factory for increased obstacle clearing, a 5% increase in the front spring rate aids in maintaining pleasant ride quality.
“We’ve heard our customers demanding the sound and power of a V8 back in Raptor. 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,” continued Widmann.
Styling to match the performance
The most powerful Raptor yet ups the ante on the off-road truck’s tradition of purpose-built design, with distinctive aesthetics that further emphasizes its supercharged capabilities. The hood has a bigger, more obnoxious power dome that helps draw warm air from underneath and is roughly an inch higher than on the standard Raptor.
Its intimidating appearance is emphasized by the iconic F O R D grille, bumpers, and fender flares being painted black.
a Ford Performance-only product Code Orange highlights may be seen on the power dome, tailgate, and a special “R” emblem on the grille. The Raptor R is designed to survive in environments like these, and its distinctive graphics package on the rear fenders reinforces this. It has a pattern that mimics the arid, cracked soil.
The inside, which is all black, retains that forceful feeling. Black leather and Alcantara suede are strategically positioned in the standard Recaro seats to enhance traction when the going becomes rough.
The doors, media bin door, and top portions of the instrument panel are covered in genuine carbon fiber with a special tri-axial weave that highlights the Raptor R’s blend of performance, toughness, and longevity.
Like the other members of the Raptor family, the Raptor R has a variety of smart technologies as standard equipment to facilitate off-roading. With Trail Turn Assist, drivers may make even tighter turns and go farther off-road.
Ford Trail Control enables drivers to set a certain pace and maneuver over difficult terrain while the vehicle manages the throttle and brakes. Think of it as cruise control for off-road driving. Customers who choose Trail 1-Pedal Drive may operate the throttle and brake with only one pedal, making difficult off-roading like rock crawling even simpler.
A standard 12-inch touch screen with SYNC 4 technology, Apple CarPlay, and Android Auto compatibility keeps you connected. The Ford Power-Up over-the-air software upgrade feature is advantageous for Raptor R as well.
The SYNC system, as well as the vehicle’s expanded quality, capabilities, and convenience enhancements may all be improved with these wireless updates, which will eventually enhance the ownership experience.
Eight color choices, including new Avalanche and Azure Gray Tri-Coat exterior paint introduced on the Raptor range for the first time, will be offered for the F-150 Raptor R.
Ordering for F-150 Raptor R is open and production starts in late 2022.