Though high-performance production pickups have existed since the late 1980s, it wasn’t until Ford’s release of the first-generation F-150 Raptor in 2010 that the segment really began to take shape. Since that time, the off-road pickup segment has absolutely exploded, leading to an array of ever-more capable turnkey models year after year. Recognizing the increasingly fierce competition, the Blue Oval has now set out to re-establish its dominance in the high-performance pickup class with the debut of its most off-road-ready F-150 of all time — the Raptor R.
Touted by Ford as being “the fastest, most powerful, most extreme high-performance off-road desert Raptor yet,” the R-spec Raptor is powered by the same engine that’s found in the Mustang Shelby GT500, however, the supercharged 5.2-liter V8 has been tuned specifically for off-road use — gaining additional low and mid-range oomph — and now puts down 700hp and 640ft-lbs of torque. Ford Performance has also further ruggedized the truck’s powertrain by upgrading its transmission and driveline. What’s more, the engine spits spent fumes from a dual exhaust system with a true pass-through muffler and active valve system.
Inspired by the extreme desert-racing trophy trucks that compete in the Baja 1000, the F-150 Raptor R sports a full set of Baja-inspired bodywork with functional hood scoops and flared fenders to accommodate the truck’s added clearance and suspension travel. Helping to soak up bumps in any terrain is the truck’s specially-tuned electronically-controlled long-travel suspension setup with FOX Live Valve shocks and a five-link rear configuration with extra-long trailing arms. The truck boasts a best-in-class ground clearance of 13.1”, plus offers 13” of travel up front and 14.1” in the rear. Additional off-roading capabilities are afforded by the R-spec Raptor’s 37” all-terrain tires, tow hooks, and a full-length skid plate — all as standard. The R-spec pickup truck Raptor R also comes with Ford’s Trail Turn Assist, Trail Control, and Trail 1-Pedal Drive, and gets a host of drive modes and customizable settings that allow drivers to tune drive, steering, and suspension modes.
Offered in eight different color options, the 2023 Ford F-150 Raptor R is now available for pre-order, with production scheduled to begin in Q4 of 2022 at the American marque’s Dearborn Truck Plant. Pricing for the new R-spec Raptor will reportedly start at $109,145.