Pickup trucks in 2022 come with a scattershot of engines, options, load ratings, trims to satisfy virtually everyone. But when you get into the tuner-massaged pickups like Hennessy or Shelby, you’re paying for the Top Dog features and especially performance. You want upgrades that impress, not just improve. That’s why the 2022 Ford Shelby Raptor is such a letdown.
What you should expect from Shelby American in a Ford Raptor
In the Ford lineup, when you go beyond the flood of available options and stats, to a tuner’s offerings like Shelby American, you should be getting more than anything else out there. Including what Ram offers from the factory. Like. The. TRX.
Shelby’s Ford Raptor looks tough
The Shelby Raptor sure looks the part. There is a new hood with a flat, wide, and aggressive scoop. The special grilles splatters “Shelby” across the majority of the grille’s landscape. That should stand for something.
There’s also an LED light bar, a chase rack in the bed for holding all kinds of things like the two included spares, with a second LED light bar because just one is so wimpy. The abbreviated bumper and skid plate look great, with the bumper tying into the black factory front fender flares. It also shows off the front suspension a bit more for those glamor shots.
Those black Shelby-designed wheels are 18-inches, wrapped in 37-inch BF Goodrich KM3 Mud Terrain tires. And there are six of them, including the two for the bed rack. Inside, there are custom leather gray and black seats with red accent piping and stitching.
What about Shelby’s engine tweaks?
Then there is the heart of any Shelby build; the engine. We were expecting something closer to what it does for its own supercharged V8 in the Shelby F-150. Shelby’s V6 tweaks include its own cold-air intake, exhaust system, and tune.
That’s what it first offered in the 2018 Shelby Raptor. That means 525 hp and 610 lb-ft of torque. It was impressive for a V6 and still is. And honestly, you don’t need more than that. But that’s not the point.
The Shelby F-150 V8 gets 775 hp
If you opt for Shelby’s own F-150, you get a 775 hp V8, besting the TRX’s 702 hp. And the best part is it’s $10,000 less than a 2021 Shelby F-150. You still have to supply the donor F-150, or Shelby will do that for you. While the V6 can’t squeeze out the same amount of power as a V8, at least not in this application, we expected something more.
And this doesn’t account for the coming Ford F-150 Raptor R also with a V8. It may not hit Shelby’s 775 hp mark, but we bet it will at least match TRX’s 702 hp. So from a power perspective, the Shelby Raptor doesn’t hit the mark.
Since we’re seeing the dawn of the V8; in fact of all gas-powered engines, why not just give everyone the V8 and not offer this less effective choice. While the Shelby Raptor sure looks the part, it doesn’t seem to have $124,0000 worth of bragging rights-Shelby or no Shelby.