Is a Ford F-150 Raptor Faster Than a Jeep Wrangler?

The Jeep Wrangler and Ford F-150 Raptor represent opposite ends of the off-roading spectrum. The Jeep is a rock-crawling explorer as modifiable as a box of Legos. The Raptor takes its cues from high-speed Baja desert racers and Trophy Trucks. When it comes to performance, you’d think the F-150 Raptor could easily take the Wrangler. But the Wrangler can ditch its roof, doors, and even windshield. With less weight comes more speed. But is that enough? British used-car platform CarWow needed to find out. So, host Mat Watson got a tuned Ford F-150 Raptor and a stripped-down Jeep Wrangler Rubicon on the dragstrip to see which would be faster.

Raptor vs Wrangler

2018 Sutton Ford F-150 Monster Raptor
2018 Sutton Ford F-150 Monster Raptor | Clive Sutton UK

Normally, the Ford F-150 Raptor isn’t available in the UK. However, the importer firm Clive Sutton brought one over and converted it to right-hand drive. But the firm didn’t just make it British-legal. This “Monster Raptor” is the same truck that beat out the first-gen SVT Raptor and Ranger Raptor in a recent drag race. The 3.5-liter twin-turbo V6 was boosted from 450 hp and 510 lb-ft to 520 hp and 515 lb-ft. The 10-speed transmission is stock.

Unlike the Raptor, the Jeep Wrangler Rubicon is entirely stock. In UK-spec, its 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine puts out ‘only’ 272 hp and 295 lb-ft. The Wrangler’s 8-speed automatic is also down a few cogs. However, in ditching the roof, spare wheel, and doors, Mat Watson managed to trim an estimated 220 lbs out of the Wrangler. And the Jeep was already lighter than the Ford from the start: 4410 lbs vs. 5732 lbs.

Adding to the “light vs. might” debate is the recent comparison CarWow performed, an off-road test between the same Jeep Wrangler, an AMG-tuned Mercedes-Benz G-Wagon, and the small, lightweight Suzuki Jimny. The Suzuki had just over 100 hp and a 5-speed manual, but it managed to beat the Wrangler in an up-hill drag race.

Raptor vs. Wrangler Comparison Set-up

The test format followed many of CarWow’s other comparisons. The first test was a timed quarter-mile drag race. Then, the trucks would accelerate from 50 mph to 70 mph. Finally, the Wrangler and Raptor would brake from 70 mph to 0, and determine which truck stopped shorter.

F-150 Raptor vs. Jeep Wrangler: Results

As much fun as rooting for the underdog is, the stripped-down Wrangler couldn’t overcome the difference in power in the end. However, the Jeep hung with the Monster Raptor better than some might have expected.

The Raptor ran the quarter-mile in 14.7 seconds, but the Wrangler was only 0.3 seconds behind. The Wrangler also got off the line sooner than the Raptor. However, removing the doors and roof also increased drag, especially at higher speeds. The same thing happened in the 50-70 rolling race: the Wrangler started slightly faster, but the Raptor’s power and smoother shape let it pull ahead. Although, the lighter weight did let the Wrangler beat the Raptor handily in the braking test.

The answer, then, is a tuned Ford F-150 Raptor is faster than the Jeep Wrangler. But on the road, Jeep fans who roll with no doors or roof should feel confident in keeping up.