Ford F-150 Raptor R
(Photo/Ford)

Long Live the V8! Ford Builds 700-Horse F-150 Raptor R With Mustang GT500 Engine

The 2023 Ford F-150 Raptor R gets a 5.2L blown V8 and makes 700 horsepower, but it falls just a tiny bit shy of the RAM TRX’s output.

The V8 Ford F-150 Raptor is back! This time, it’s a 5.2L supercharged beast borrowed from the Mustang Shelby GT500. With big power, 37-inch tall tires, and a strengthened driveline, it’s missing just one thing — the three ponies it would need to top the RAM TRX in the battle of the dino-trucks.

Ford has plenty to brag about with the F-150 Raptor R. That 5.2L supercharged V8 is no joke. It’s nearly the same as the engine in the Mustang Shelby GT500, but Ford has made some truck-ready upgrades to make sure it’s durable when it’s blasting over dunes and hauling trailers.

Mustang V8 Modified for Truck Duty

Ford F-150 Raptor R
(Photo/Ford)

A blower recalibration and a new pulley are installed to give it more low-end torque. The changes boost total output to 650 pound-feet, more than the Mustang’s 625. More torque at the low-end and in the midrange makes it more suited to rock crawling and truck use than the Mustang’s track-first intentions.

To enhance durability, Ford Performance added a cast stainless steel exhaust manifold. There is also a special oil cooler and filter, and Ford added a deeper oil pan. The goal of those parts is to keep the engine cool and keep it lubricated when you’re going up (or down) steep grades.

Ford has even made the Raptor R breathe better. Thanks to a wider air inlet and a higher-flowing filter that adds 66% more intake air volume.

Total horsepower is 700, just two shy of the 6.2L supercharged RAM 1500 TRX. We can’t imagine just how heated the product and marketing meetings were over this tiny difference, but there’s no doubt there was drama. Ford does get one claim, though, calling it “the most torque-dense supercharged V8 yet in a production pickup.”

First V8 Raptor Since 2014

Ford F-150 Raptor R
(Photo/Ford)

Ford’s very first F-150 Raptor, way back in model year 2010, gave you the choice of two V8 engines — a 5.4L V8 with 320 horsepower and 390 pound-feet of torque, or a 6.2L V8 snagged from the Super Duty parts bin that made 411 ponies and 434 pound-feet of torque. The new V8 in the Raptor R is another beast altogether.

The new V8 will roar thanks to a new active valve dual exhaust system. The system has a quiet mode, as well as normal and sport modes. Then there’s the Baja mode, the one that will let you know in a hurry which of your neighbors love loud V8s and which ones absolutely don’t.

While it’s ready for jumping and crawling, the Ford F-150 Raptor R is ready for truck duty, too. Payload is the same as the standard Raptor at 1,400 pounds, while towing is up 500 pounds to a max of 8,700.

The second-gen, launched in 2017, said goodbye to the V8 and instead used Ford’s 3.5L EcoBoost V6. It was a tweaked version that cribbed much from the Ford GT and made 450 horsepower, but not everyone was thrilled with the change.

This is the third generation of the Raptor. Ford offers the standard Raptor with that same EcoBoost V6, but the Raptor R will be sold exclusively with that big blown V8.

Chassis & Driveline Upgrades

Ford F-150 Raptor R
(Photo/Ford)

All of that torque, along with standard 37-inch tall tires, means Ford has had to make some chassis changes, too. The Raptor R has a new front axle that gets a stronger carrier casting. There is a new aluminum-ribbed cover for the differential and a larger-diameter aluminum drive shaft.

Inside the 10-speed automatic, Ford Performance has added a new torque converter with a heavy-duty turbine damper. There is a new four-pinion rear output assembly as well.

Its 24-inch long coil springs give the truck 13 inches of front travel and 14.1 inches of rear travel. Fox live valve shocks offer near-constant damping adjustment. And, the five-link rear has extra-long trailing arms to keep the axle located properly when pouncing around off-pavement.

Subtle Styling Changes

Ford F-150 Raptor R
(Photo/Ford)

Apart from the big graphics package on the rear bedside, Ford has kept the cosmetic changes small. Of course, the standard Raptor isn’t exactly subtle, so maybe that’s for the best?

A big power bulge hood gives the supercharger room to move around. It’s finished in black, just like the fender flares. Ford’s big R logo is orange, and there are more orange accents on the power dome and tailgate.

Inside, it has black leather and Alcantara, and Ford has added carbon fiber to the doors, media bin, and part of the instrument panel.

Buy a 2023 Ford F-150 Raptor R

Orders for the 2023 F-150 Raptor R are open now. Ford starts building the truck late this year. Pricing starts from $109,145, just shy of $40,000 more than a basic Raptor.

2021 Ford F-150 Raptor
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The 2021 Ford F-150 Raptor is back for round three. Can it answer the huge gauntlet thrown down by the new RAM TRX? Check out all the new updates here. Read more…

Evan Williams
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Evan has been drooling over cars since the time he learned to walk. Since then he's worked on controlling the drooling and expanded his interests to include hiking, cycling, and kayaking. He went to school for engineering but transitioned into a more satisfying career and has been writing automotive and outdoors news for nearly a decade