The new Raptor R version of Ford’s popular pick-up truck is the most powerful F-150 ever.
Ford’s F-150 pick-up truck is one of the world’s most popular vehicles and the line-up has just been crowned with the most aggressive variant the Blue Oval has ever made in the form of the F-150 Raptor R. The new high-performance ute receives plenty of alterations to distinguish it from the regular Raptor, including an enhanced powertrain and cosmetic tweaks. Order books for the Raptor R are open now – but only in the USA. However, the normal Ford F-150 range will be officially available to buy in Australia.
Now into its fourteenth generation, the standard Ford F-150 is already a very capable and surprisingly quick pick-up truck. In 2010 we first saw the Raptor badge appear on the F-150 and since then the firm has only increased its focus on power and off-road capability. This has led to the most extreme Raptor yet, the Raptor R.
The current Raptor comes with a 3.5-litre turbocharged V6 petrol engine, which was first introduced in the 2017 Ford GT, but the Raptor R is powered by a more traditional V8. It’s a 5.2-litre supercharged unit producing 522kW and 868Nm of torque. We’ve seen this engine before in a Ford sports car, this time the latest Mustang Shelby GT500.
To optimise the engine for off-road use, Ford Performance has recalibrated the supercharger and added a new pulley to increase torque at the lower end of the rev range. Ford hasn’t announced performance figures for the Raptor R yet, but we expect it’ll smash the V6-engined Raptor’s 0-100km/h time of 5.2 seconds. The Raptor R also comes with a 10-speed automatic transmission with revised calibration for more off-road capability.
The upgrades don’t stop there either, as while the powerful engine might seem like the Raptor R’s biggest draw Ford has been busy giving the R real off-road prowess. The engine features a deeper oil pan, as well as a new oil cooler and filter to help its durability. The car’s air intake volume has also been increased by 66 per cent to help the engine breathe better.
A new front axle with a tougher aluminium structure helps with the extra torque and gives more durability for when driving over rough surfaces, while there’s also a thicker aluminium driveshaft. A unique exhaust system to the Raptor R is also fitted, which incorporates an active valve set-up with four modes: Normal, Quiet, Sport and Baja.
The different driving settings don’t stop there either, with multiple modes for the steering, suspension and the engine. A personal mode can be saved to the ‘R’ button on the steering wheel.
The suspension is especially slick in the Raptor R, with a five-link set-up at the rear that boasts extra-long trailing arms and electronically-adjustable FOX Live Valve dampers. The damping system allows for 13 inches of wheel travel at the front and 14.1 inches at the rear. The 37-inch tyres help deliver a ground clearance of 13.1 inches.
To show its the ultimate iteration of the F-150, the Raptor R also has a larger ‘power dome’ on the bonnet, orange ‘R’ badges and special graphics on the wings. Inside, the aggressive look continues with Recaro sport seats, carbon fibre on the doors and a unique weave to the instrument panel. The infotainment screen features a 12-inch display with Ford’s SYNC4 technology, as well as Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility.