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It’s real. Today Ford CEO Jim Farley tweeted a surprising video of the new 2023 Ford F-150 Raptor R, the new higher-performance Raptor with a V8. And it sounds amazing. At a launch event for the 2023 Ford Bronco Raptor, Ford pulled out a surprise and launched an F-150 Raptor R truck through the desert — and then filmed it. The F-150 Raptor R is coming soon, but CEO Jim Farley apparently couldn’t resist and tweeted: “Can’t wait to share more details about F-150 Raptor R later. The V8 sounds Amazing!”

Just listen to that V8!

In the video Ford’s new Raptor R blasts down a desert runway past a row of Bronco Raptors, does a dusty 360-degree spin in the sand, and then blasts off through the desert leaving a 10-foot-tall rooster tail of dust. But that’s not the exciting part. If Farley wanted us to hear, for certain, that the Raptor R has a V8, that’s clear. The truck sound’s nothing like the turbocharged V6 in the regular F-150 Raptor at this press preview.

Ram’s TRX forced Ford to add a V8

The 2023 Ford F-150 Raptor R pickup truck will be available for order
The Ford F-150 Raptor pickup truck | Ford

For more than a decade the Raptor held the top spot for performance off-road trucks. In 2010 it was launched as the F-150 SVT Raptor and had Ford’s then-common 5.4-liter V8 with 320 horsepower. That engine wad dropped in favor of the 3.5-liter turbocharged V6 EcoBoost engine when the second generation came out in 2017. It was easy to see why Ford chose the V6: it made a lot more power, and it got significantly better fuel economy. By the time the third generation was out in 2021, however, with the same 3.5-liter V6, Ram Trucks had released the TRX with a 702-horsepower Hellcat V8.

The TRX is also known to have a luxurious interior, and we’re expecting the new Ford F-150 Raptor R to include several tricks from the $80,000 Limited truck to compete. No price has been released for the Raptor R, but we’re expecting it to cost north of $90,000.

The new Ford F-150 Raptor R should have the Predator V8 from the Mustang

2022 Ford Mustang Shelby GT500 Heritage Edition in blue with white racing stripes
2022 Ford Mustang Shelby GT500 Heritage Edition | The Ford Motor Company

In order to re-capture the top performance off-road crown, the new Ford F-150 Raptor R has to beat the TRX’s horsepower rating. Luckily, Ford has just such an engine sitting around, except it’s in the fastest Mustang. The Predator V8 is a 5.2-liter engine that has a cross-plane crank, like Ferraris, which allows it to make big horsepower. In the Mustang it makes 760-horsepower. To handle all of that power, it will also need a new monster transmission.

The 2022 Ram 1500 TRX off-roading
2022 Ram 1500 TRX | Ram

The Ram TRX is a showpiece for Ram Trucks. The truck was released for the 2021 model year and was built to show that Ram, too, could be a supertruck. It has a 6.2-liter supercharged Hellcat V8 that makes 702 horsepower. Like the Raptor, it’s ridiculously quick. The TRX can hit 60 miles per hour in about 3.7 seconds. Sure, it only gets 10 mpg in the city, but with the standard Bilstein remote-reservoir shock designed for desert running and underbody protection, we’re not expecting you to drive it in the city. The TRX offers a lot of performance for $80,000. The new Sandblast edition is more $100,000.

RELATED: 2022 Ford F-150 Raptor R Vs. 2021 Ram 1500 TRX


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