Andre gets some alone time with the all-new Ford F-150 Raptor R to discover whether or not it’s worth $110,000. Which IS a lot more than a TRX.
This is a two-part post that also includes the walk-around video of the F-150 Raptor R Andre did with the vehicle’s chief engineer. Although he never gets an “official” answer about the eye-watering price tag. Keep in mind: if you equip a Ram TRX to the same level as the Raptor R, the price is much closer. That’s because the Raptor R comes standard with a ton of equivalent components/equipment that is standard on the Raptor R.
Ever wonder why the 2023 Ford F-150 Raptor R has less horsepower than the Ram TRX? Andre talks to one of the Raptor R’s engineers to find out!
Carl Widmann, 2023 Ford F-150 Raptor R chief engineer, spoke to Andre about the inside details. Over the course of their conversation, many revelations were unearthed. You guys have asked a ton of questions about the Raptor R, and Andre delivers.
Yes, the engine is related to the Mustang GT500 (the “Predator” V8) but it was plumbed and tuned differently for rugged truck use. Remember, the Raptor R weighs a lot more than a Mustang. It also has to haul, tow along with being bashed around. The Ford team had to build an engine that was balanced, with no real downsides – compared to the twin-turbo V6. Still, adding a 100-pound supercharger and two extra cylinders means even more weight. It gained between 210 and 250 pounds from the standard Raptor. That means that the trick suspension had to be further reinforced up front, just to carry the mill.
Equipped with that big-honkin’ supercharger, the 5.2-liter V8 makes 700 horsepower at 6,650 rpm. You get 640 lb-ft of torque at 4,250 rpm making this a rev-happy truck. Using a beefed up 10-speed, which uses the clutch setup from the Super Duty transmission, that power is sent to the 4:10 rear end with a locker.
Why is it not as powerful as the Ram TRX?
According to Carl, it has to do with balance, weight, reliability and overall performance. Ask yourself: would you rather have a better all-round off-road truck, or one that’s faster/more powerful, on paper? It’s equipped with a 5-link rear suspension (good high horsepower), FOX 3.1 Live Valve shocks, and 37-inch all-terrain tires. This setup allows the Raptor R to go toe-to-toe with the TRX. Interestingly, the front TORSEN limited-slip differential was eliminated, and the beefed up open front diff uses brake distribution to control front wheel slip.
Very soon, we will publish Andre’s driving impressions. I can’t say much, but I know he grew 1/8 an inch while he was on this trip. When I asked him how the Raptor R could actually make him taller, he just smiled.