Since its debut in 2010, the F-150 Raptor has been the top-of-the-line, off-roading champion of Ford trucks. But the 2023 Raptor R takes what works and adds even more power and features.
Raptor R Engine
By far the biggest difference between the Raptor R and the regular Raptor is the engine. It’s no secret that many Ford truck enthusiasts were disappointed there wasn’t a V8 option available in the second-gen Raptor.
The third-gen F-150 Raptor is only available with the same EcoBoost V6 engine that came in the second-gen. The 3.5L twin-turbo EcoBoost is no slouch, and generates 450 horsepower. This is significantly more power than either first-gen Raptor V8 produced. But a turbocharged V6 doesn’t have the same sound and feel as a V8.
The F-150 Raptor R borrows a version of the Shelby GT500’s Predator 5.2L V8 engine. In the F-150 Raptor R, the engine produces 700 hp and 640 lb-ft of torque.
That’s a significant improvement from the current 450 hp. But perhaps just as importantly, that makes the Raptor R a true competitor to Ram’s TRX, which has a 702 HP Hellcat engine.
Other Raptor R Changes
While the engine might be the biggest change, there are a few more changes in store for the Raptor R.
More power means more heat. In order to take care of that heat, the Raptor R comes equipped with a deeper oil pan, oil cooler, and revised air intake. That should keep things a little cooler under the hood so the engine can perform the way it’s meant to.
There are some reports that the Raptor R might be getting the Shelby GT500’s dual-clutch transmission. But this is unlikely. The DCT in the Shelby hasn’t ever been used in a pickup truck application, and it’s probably not equipped to handle truck activities like towing.
But when the Raptor R has been spied testing, the gear changes occur quickly. More quickly than the Raptor’s standard transmission is capable of. So, it’s likely we’ll see the familiar 10-speed automatic, but with some specialty tuning.
A more powerful (and heavier) engine requires some suspension upgrades. The Raptor R’s suspension is definitely going to come with some upgrades.
So far, heavier-duty trailing arms have been spotted on testers. It’s likely we’ll get some additional suspension modifications as well.
An improved front axle and aluminum driveshaft come on the Raptor R as well. The aluminum driveshaft helps keep the weight off, giving the Raptor R a better distribution. And naturally a high-quality front axle is necessary for off-roading, which is still the Raptor R’s reason for being.
Wheels and Tires
The Raptor R will come with an exclusive set of wheels. A set of 37” tires will accompany the unique 17” aluminum gloss-black forged beadlock-capable wheels.
Naturally, a lot of Raptor R owners will want their truck to be loud. But also, quiet settings are great for when you’re crawling and don’t want to disturb the wildlife. That’s why the Raptor R will come equipped with an active exhaust system. The active exhaust modes let you select the right balance of sound and power for where you’re driving.
It looks like the Raptor R will get a black Recaro interior option. There will also be Raptor R logos on the arm rest and the backs of the seats. Instead of spelling out “Raptor R” each time, Ford’s instead gone with making the last “R” in Raptor a Cyber Orange color. Honestly, it looks pretty sweet.
Don’t worry, the Raptor R keeps the “Ford” lettering in the grille (a standard Raptor feature). Underneath the D, there’s a little “R” to signify the higher trim. The Raptor also gets a special intake, also branded with Raptor R and with Cyber Orange accents.
2023 F-150 Raptor R Colors
Some leaked Raptor R window stickers and build sheets give us a pretty good idea of what colors you’ll be able to spy it in.
Azure Gray is the newest color, and is an attractive blue-gray. Avalanche Gray is a previously released favorite, and its return has made some potential Raptor buyers very excited.
As the only true “color” on the list, Code Orange is by far the brightest shade, which is kind of a bummer. You expect a little more “bright” on a performance model.
- Azure Gray
- Avalanche Gray
- Code Orange
- Iconic Silver
- Oxford White
- Antimatter Blue
- Agate Black
- Area 51
Obviously, there’s still a lot we don’t officially know about the Raptor R. But based on what we do, here are some of your top questions and our answers.
Will the Raptor R be faster than the Ram TRX?
The Raptor R comes in almost dead-even with the TRX for horsepower, but weighs a svelte 5,950 pounds (400 less than the RAM TRX). Same power, less weight. Yeah. We’re pretty sure the Raptor R will be faster.
Ford was also spotted doing benchmarking with the TRX, so they knew what it was capable of before working on the Raptor R.
When can you order a Raptor R?
Order books will open in fall 2022, but don’t get too excited. They’re expected to be extraordinarily difficult to find. Ford distributes performance editions like the Raptor R to dealers via ordering according to allocation. This means only a few dealerships will get them. It’s also expected that the Raptor R will be a limited production.
How much will the Raptor R cost?
The Raptor R will cost $109,145 and have a destination charge of $1,795. That’s quite a bit more than the $69.5K you’ll pay for the regular F-150 Raptor. But it also has almost twice the horsepower. So, if we’re looking strictly at dollars to horsepower…it’s a pretty okay deal.
Unfortunately, with dealership markups and the “rarity cost” associated with this model, it’s tough to say how much actual retail will be.
How many miles will the Raptor R get to the gallon?
Just kidding, no one’s asking this. But if they were, they’d probably be a little sad about the number. The regular Raptor gets 15 mph in the city and 18 on the highway. If you upgrade to the 37” tires, closer to 14 mpg city and 16 highway.
And that’s with an EcoBoost V6.
If we look at the Mustang, and the difference between the models, we can estimate that the Raptor R should get around 10 mpg in the city and 14 highway. With gas hovering around $5 a gallon, that’s going to make the Raptor R more of a “fun” weekend drive than a daily commuter.
Should You Get a Raptor R?
The Raptor R promises to be challenging to get. The good news is, if you get one, it’s unlikely to depreciate much since it’ll always be a collector’s edition due to scarcity. On the other hand, you could definitely modify your F-150 Raptor to produce the same power for a lot less if that’s your objective. But if the opportunity presents itself, we imagine it would be hard to say no.
This article was researched, written, edited, and reviewed following the steps outlined in our editorial process. Learn more about CJ's editorial standards and guidelines.
Sources: 2023 Ford F-150 Raptor R Review Car and Driver | Ford F-150 Raptor R Spied on Video, Could Have 7-Speed DCT Motor1 | 2023 Ford F-150 Raptor R in Antimatter Blue Spotted Testing Ford Authority