When Ford launched the third-generation Ford Raptor in 2021, one big criticism was the lack of a V-8 engine. It seemed to miss a chance to challenge the Hemi-powered Ram TRX. However, we knew that Ford was planning a V-8 engine for the Raptor eventually and calling it Raptor R, but now we when you can actually order this powerful truck.
Ford Authority reported the order bank for the Raptor R will open this fall, and this means it will likely be a 2023 model.
If you’ve ever heard a Mustang GT500 go roaring by, you’ve heard the 5.2-liter Predator engine, and this will be the same engine powering the Raptor R. In the Shelby GT500 this engine is powerful and has a throaty, loud exhaust note, so this will surely be visceral music the ears of enthusiasts.
The GT500 makes 760 horses, but Ford Authority reported that the Predator V-8 in the Raptor R will produce around 750 horsepower. That’s still quite a bit more than the current 2021 Raptor with its 3.5-liter twin-turbo V-6 EcoBoost engine that yields 450 horsepower and 510 pound-feet of torque. Finally! A Raptor that might truly challenge the 703-horsepower Hemi in the TRX.
Not a lot has been revealed about the Raptor R at this point, so we only have spy photos and speculation to compare the V-6 Raptor to the V-8 Raptor R.
We expect it to have a more rugged suspension and longer trailering arms. Spy photos show a very similar exterior to the standard Raptor, but we expect some R badging and maybe a special grille. Oh, and bigger standard tires.
Spy photos indicate 37-inch tires, which seem to be trendy on this type of vehicle right now. Because we see BFGoodrich 37-inch KO2 all-terrain tires available for the regular Raptor, they’ll likely be standard for the Raptor R.
Similar to the regular, the Bronco Raptor also doesn’t have a V-8. However, Ford has already produced a prototype Bronco Raptor R to compete in desert races, and it recently announced the very limited-production Bronco DR with a V-8. So, it’s not a big leap to see Ford add the F-150 Raptor R engine into the Bronco, too. There have been rumors swirling about this for a couple years, and it may have the Warthog name, instead of Bronco Raptor R. That remains to be confirmed, but Ford likes to follow playbooks.
According to the playbook, then, it would stand to reason with the announcement of a Bronco Raptor equipped with a V-6, a Bronco Raptor R with a V-8 could follow.
This truck needed a V-8 engine for credibility purposes. Ford has done wonders with the high-output V-6 EcoBoost, perhaps better than any other automaker. But with the Ram TRX out there roaring its Hemi, the Raptor’s image was dented, being devoured by a much-more powerful truck. Heck, the TRX even has a hidden easter egg on it, showing a T-Rex eating a Raptor.
With the Raptor R having more power output than the TRX, all of a sudden there’s interesting competition in this niche segment. Performance trucks like this are so much fun. And yes, the visceral growl of a V-8 adds to the fun and enthusiasm. We personally can’t wait to hear it.
Will a V-8 make you consider the Raptor again? Leave us your comments below.