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2023 Ford F-150 Raptor R reveal on July 18; supercharged ‘Predator’ engine coming?

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It’s coming! Ford Motor Company finally announced the 2023 Ford F-150 Raptor R will be revealed on July 18, 2022. Our biggest question: Will it get the same supercharged “Predator” V-8 we see in the GT500?

The Ford F-150 Raptor may have “F-150” in its name, but it is an entirely different beast. In addition to being wider and more rugged looking, It has different suspension, tires, wheels, wheel travel, approach/departure angles — and you get the drift. It is the off-road video game version of the F-150.

Will the 2023 Ford F-150 Raptor R get the Predator V-8?

One of the big knocks on the Ford Raptor is the lack of a V-8 engine and a sweet exhaust sound. Sure, while the rest of the automotive world seems to heading towards battery electric trucks like the Ford Lightning or small displacement V-6 engines with about the same exhaust note as a cat’s meow, there are a dedicated group of enthusiasts who want to hear and feel their truck.

The current Raptor has a high-output EcoBoost 3.5-liter V-6 producing 450 horsepower and 510 pound-feet of torque. This engine is faster than a V-8 and more efficient on gas. Ford thought those numbers would be good enough when it decided to kill the 6.2-liter V-8 and go with the EcoBoost. They were wrong.

The outcry has been pretty loud and consistent from current and new Raptor owners who don’t want to give up the sound.

In fact, the new Raptor has a trick exhaust setup meant to deliver a more intoxicating exhaust note, but there is only so much sound that will come out of a 3.5-liter engine.

On July 18, 2022, we will finally know if Ford is going to give the enthusiasts what they want. The speculation is Ford could use the Mustang Shelby GT500’s supercharged 5.2-liter V-8 “Predator” engine mated to a 10-speed automatic. That powertrain produces 760 horsepower and would best the Ram TRX’s 702 horsepower. Heck, yeah!

 

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We could finally see the ultimate Ford Raptor riding on 37s, with the cool graphics, wider body panels and a low, distinct and awesome rumble under the hood. Fingers crossed!

The bottom line

Sure, gas prices are high, and sure you don’t need a big V-8. But, c’mon, who doesn’t want one? The Ford F-150 Raptor R is the one I’d seriously consider buying, and if it gets the supercharged V-8, it should be on your list as well.

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Tim Esterdahl

Automotive Journalist Tim Esterdahl has been a lover of trucks and SUVs for years. He has covered the industry since 2011 and has pieces in many national magazines and newspapers. In his spare time, he is often found tinkering on his '62 C10 pickup, playing golf, going hunting and hanging out with his wife and kids in Nebraska.

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