The Ford F-150 Raptor is a SCORE off-road trophy truck living in an asphalt world. It wears extra-wide fenders, long-travel suspension, big tires, and the high-performance demeanor of a Baja-bashing race truck. Most Raptors are powered by a twin-turbo 450-hp V-6 bolted to a 10-speed automatic transmission and will remain so in 2023. However, an even wilder, more powerful Raptor R is coming for 2023 using a version 700-hp version of the Mustang Shelby GT500’s supercharged 5.2-liter V-8, which will finally give the 702-hp Ram TRX something equally intimidating to snort at. While the R comes standard with 37-inch BFGoodrich K02 tires, standard rubber for twin-turbo V-6 models measures at 35 inches, but 37s are optional. Despite the Raptor’s enormity, it has one of the smoothest rides we’ve experienced in a full-size pickup. That long-travel suspension, which is specifically designed to absorb the bumps, dips, and jumps of high-speed off-roading, is wonderfully soft and forgiving over everyday potholes and lumpy pavement. Rocks and dunes aside, fitting this size-XXL F-150 down a narrow road or into a parking spot might well be the Raptor’s biggest obstacle.
Ford adds the mega-horsepower F-150 Raptor R for 2023. The Raptor R uses a 700-hp supercharged 5.2-liter V-8 Predator engine from the Mustang GT500. Underneath, a 9.75-inch rear axle with an electronically controlled locking rear differential with a 4:10:1 ratio will come standard. While 37-inch tires are standard equipment, Ford also gives the R stiffer front springs and specially tuned dampers to handle the extra weight. Raptor R’s come standard with carbon-fiber accents throughout the cabin and an upholstery mixed with black leather and microsuede with Recaro front seats.
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The F-150 Raptor is only offered with a crew-cab body style called SuperCrew. While there are a variety of individual options and packages, we’d recommend the comprehensive 801A High package that is made up of several other packages and includes features such as a 4.10 front-axle ratio, an 18-speaker B&O sound system, an interior work surface, a heated steering wheel, high-tech trailering assists, upgraded headlights, wireless charging, and more. The only other option we’d suggest is the Power Tech pack that, most notably, includes a 2-kW ProPower onboard generator.
Beneath the F-150 Raptor’s new hood, which now features a prominent heat extractor, is the familiar high-output version of Ford’s 450-hp twin-turbo 3.5-liter EcoBoost V-6. It breathes through a new 3.0-inch exhaust system that reportedly enhances the truck’s V-6 soundtrack. The engine still pairs with a paddle-shifted 10-speed automatic transmission that feeds all four wheels through a standard all-wheel-drive system. If that’s not enough for you, just wait. The Raptor R is an even bigger predator. It uses a 700-hp version of the supercharged 5.2-liter V-8 from the Shelby GT500, but with 640 pound-feet of torque. Every Raptor rides on a sophisticated suspension that includes larger internal-bypass dampers and a five-link rear coil-spring setup. The version we tested showcased the truck’s incredible traction and ride quality on even the most treacherous terrain. Along with other chassis enhancements, a selection of 17-inch rims, and a standard set of 35-inch tires, the Raptor is also available with a set of 37-inch BFGoodrich all-terrain tires for better approach, departure, and breakover angles as well as ground clearance that increases from 12.0 to 13.1 inches. The Raptor R comes standard with 37-inch BFGoodrich All-Terrain T/A K02 tires.
The F-150 Raptor can tow even more than the version it replaces. Its maximum payload and conventional tow ratings both increase by 200 pounds to 1400 and 8200 pounds, respectively.
The F-150 Raptor is rated up to 15 mpg in the city and 18 mpg on the highway. Opting for the larger 37-inch tires can reduce those figures to 14 mpg city and 16 highway. The Raptor R hasn’t been certified by the EPA yet. Once we have the opportunity to test one on our 75-mph highway route, we can evaluate its real-world mpg. For more information about the Raptor’s fuel economy, visit the EPA’s website. For more information about the F-150 Raptor’s fuel economy, visit the EPA’s website.
The Raptor’s cabin enjoys the same design layout and passenger space as the regular F-150 SuperCrew. The high-performance version comes standard with a 12.0-inch digital gauge cluster and boasts more interior storage space as well as what Ford says are nicer materials. The new steering wheel wears a laser-etched logo and now has a race car-style orange mark at the 12 o’clock position; prominent aluminum paddle shifters still lurk behind the spokes. Along with the standard aluminum interior trim, the Raptor is available with optional carbon-fiber interior accents and more aggressively bolstered Recaro front buckets. The high-flying pickup will no longer be offered in the extended cab (a.k.a. SuperCab) body style. At least the SuperCrew crew cab version offers more back-seat space. It pairs with a 5.5-foot cargo box.
Dominating the Raptor’s dashboard is a huge 12.0-inch touchscreen that supports the truck’s standard Sync 4 infotainment system. Along with the ability to interact with Amazon Alexa and receive over-the-air updates, it features wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. We also appreciate that Ford included physical volume and tuning knobs to complement the steering-wheel controls and voice commands. Those who want to improve the audio experience can opt for the 18-speaker B&O sound system. The Raptor can also be equipped with a useful 2.0-kW mobile generator that’s mounted in the cargo bed and can run power tools and other equipment.
As with the regular F-150, the high-performance variant offers a variety of driver-assistance technology. Likewise, it’ll have assists that’ll make tackling the trails easier, including what Ford calls Trail Control and Trail 1-Pedal Drive. Both are standard and act as a low-speed cruise control for difficult off-road situations.
For more information about the Raptor’s crash-test results, visit the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) websites. Key safety features should include:
- Standard forward-collision warning and automated emergency braking
- Available blind-spot monitoring and rear cross-traffic alert
- Available lane-departure warning and lane-keeping assist
While Ford doesn’t offer the complimentary maintenance that rivals from Chevy, GMC, and Toyota do, the company does provide a competitive limited and powertrain warranty.
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- Limited warranty covers three years or 36,000 miles
- Powertrain warranty covers five years or 60,000 miles
- No complimentary scheduled maintenance