See an Early 2023 Raptor R Review for Yourself

Ford’s upcoming F-150 Raptor R has the rumor mill churning faster than a supercharger. The folks at TFL truck finally got their hands on one of these trucks, ahead of Monday’s launch. Here’s the skinny on Ford’s all-new TRX-killer, the 2023 F-150 Raptor R.

The 2023 F-150 Raptor R will be supercharged

Closeup of the FORD lettering on the 2023 F-150 Raptor R's grille.
2023 Ford F-150 Raptor R | Ford Motor Company

RELATED: Is the Ford Bronco Raptor Faster Than the F-150 Raptor?

In an effort to keep up with Ram’s Hellcat-powered TRX, Ford is supercharging the Raptor. The 2023 F-150 Raptor R will enjoy the “Predator” V8. This engine is a 5.2-liter, supercharged beast. It makes 700 horsepower at 6,650 rpm. In addition, it can churn out 640 lb-ft of torque @ 4,250 rpm.

Is this the engine from Ford’s Shelby Mustang GT500? Yes and no. Raptor fans long speculated whether the Raptor R would just get the Mustang GT500’s engine or its own powerplant. Ford split the difference by installing a new supercharger pulley to tune the engine for low-end torque and horsepower at higher rpms.

The Raptor has long led the charger on F-150 technology. It was one of the first truck’s with Ford’s new ten-speed automatic transmission. Now, to handle the supercharged V8’s power, Ford has had to re-engineer this transmission for the Raptor R. Not only does the transmission have a torque converter, but the front axle drivetrain is stronger to deal with this torque while providing full-time 4WD.

Ford only sells the F-150 Raptor R with 37-inch tires

A closeup of the 2023 Ford Raptor R's 37-inch tires.
2023 Ford F-150 Raptor R | Ford Motor Company

RELATED: Before the Ram 1500 TRX, There Was the Supercharged TRD Toyota Tundra

It seems like Ford has been engineering the Raptor R in pieces. Let me explain, the automaker launched the F-150 Raptor 37 before the Raptor R. Raptor buyers who opted for the 37 got a truck factory-tuned for 37-inch tires.

While the F-150 Raptor R offers an all-new engine and drivetrain improvements, it shares suspension with the F-150 Raptor 37 (except for stiffer front springs because of the heavier engine). The new Raptor trim’s 37-inch tires should set it apart from entry-level F-150 Raptors. But the extra rubber is far from the only distinguishing feature of the new supertruck.

The 2023 F-150 Raptor R looks like nothing else on the road

Promo of the all-new, supercharged 2023 Ford  F-150 Raptor R in black, the desert visible behind it.
2023 Ford F-150 Raptor R | Ford Motor Company

RELATED: 2022 Toyota Tundra TRD Pro: A Cost-Effective Ford Raptor

Ford’s Raptor family is getting a bit crowded. When the Blue Oval first launched its trophy-race-inspired halo truck, that was one of the baddest pickups around. Now, there’s an “entry-level” F-150 Raptor, the owners of which will turn green with envy when they spot a Raptor R rolling around. This in addition to the upcoming Bronco Raptor and Ranger Raptor.

One way Ford is justifying the Raptor R’s dizzying $109,145 MSRP is with a signature visual language. The F-150 Raptor R boasts blacked out chrome. The interior is resplendent with the black Recaro seats and carbon fiber you’d expect at this luxury car pricepoint.

I have long said that the age of the supertruck is upon us. Ford may launch us into hypertruck territory with its six-figure flagship F-150.

Next, read about the rise of the supertruck or see TFL Truck’s Raptor R review for yourself in the video below:

RELATED: Every Factory-Built Supertruck Available in 2022