F-150 Raptor R is the most extreme version of the brand’s pick-up ever
Ford’s most extreme pick-up packs supercharged Shelby V8 and go-anywhere chassis upgrades
The new Ford F-150 Raptor R is the most extreme version of the brand’s best-selling pick up yet.
That’s chiefly because, rather than a 3.5-litre V6 pumping out 284bhp and 362lb ft, the fastest F-150 takes its reserves from a variant of the 5.2-litre supercharged V8 most recently used for the Mustang Shelby GT500 – one of the most potent Ford road cars of all time.
In this application, it pumps 700bhp and 640lb ft to both axles, giving the Raptor R “incredible desert-running power”.
Ford has yet to detail performance figures, but given the V6-engined Raptor can already crack the 0-62mph sprint in just over 5.0sec, the R is expected to be roughly as quick off the mark as a Porsche 911.
The supercharger has been tuned to boost low-end and mid-range torque, while the new stainless steel exhaust manifolds, deeper oil pan and bespoke oil cooler and filter mean the Raptor R can keep cool in high temperatures and under extreme load.
But in keeping with the Raptor nameplate’s off-road focus, it’s the fact that the R will be able to maintain high speeds across challenging terrain that really marks it out from other super-SUVs.
It’s said to be modelled on the brutish, stripped-back 4x4s that race in California’s formidable Baja 1000 endurance series. “F-150 Raptor is about more than going fast: it must conquer brutal off-road environments,” Ford said.
So in addition to the larger motor, the R also brings a raft of wide-reaching chassis modifications aimed at boosting off-road performance and durability.
The front axle has been strengthened – not just to cope with harder knocks but also the V8’s extra torque – while the driveshaft has been swapped for a bespoke, wider aluminium item.
Meanwhile, the trailing arms for the five-link rear suspension have been extended to “better maintain axle positions on rough terrain”, while the 24in springs and Fox live-valve shocks are tuned for improved ride quality and roll control.
The front axle has 13in of suspension travel, while the rear has a massive 14.1in – and 37in tyres are standard fitment. Meanwhile, the 10-speed automatic gearbox has been retuned to better exploit the huge loads running through it, and the torque converter is similarly modified for improved torque transfer and “a smoother powertrain feel”.
The styling makeover is aimed at promoting the R’s more extreme performance and characteristics. It’s marked out from the ‘standard’ Raptor by way of a more aggressive power dome, black trim details and ‘R’ badging throughout, as well as a bespoke decal design at the rear.
Orders for the Raptor R have opened in the US ahead of production starting later this year. There is no indication that Ford is planning to export the super-truck to any other global markets.