ANN ARBOR, Mich. — When I appeared on the Autoblog Podcast with Associate Editor Byron Hurd, and he informed his tale about cavorting with the 2023 Ford F-150 Raptor R on the sand dunes at Silver Lake, I admitted it: I was jealous. I’m not really a truck man. I prefer some thing gradual and modest with restricted handling — even greater if it is electrical. That … is not the Raptor R.
What it is, fundamentally, is a typical Ford F-150 Raptor with a Shelby GT500’s supercharged V8 and the optional 37-inch tires manufactured common. That’s pretty much it, but even that straightforward components indicates this truck is a whole lot.
For 1 issue, the Raptor R is big. It is taller than 6-foot-8, and not uncomplicated to climb in and out, but you do sense like you could generate above nearly anything. That higher hood with its big ability dome can make it tough to see what you are about to rumble in excess of like the Grave Digger, but a variety of cameras can aid make sense of what very poor trodden item is just in advance of your entrance bumper. It’s large, as well, at 96 inches total, or a “mere” 87 inches if you really do not treatment about your mirrors. Both way, that is a lot more than 7 feet, which signifies you are working with just about every tiny bit of the lane you’ve received, and finding warned by the lane-departure system when you deviate at all from the direct middle. Blend that with 145.4 inches of wheelbase and 232.6 inches of general length, and you come across on your own keeping away from crowded parking loads and seeking out the most open of streets — or the fastest route off of them. No marvel this detail feels most at house in the desert. Fantastic thing it’s received a Baja method just for these escapes.
But on the open up highway, you can unleash the beast (which, by the way, is particularly what my son kept calling the Raptor R). The aforementioned supercharged V8 displaces 5.2 liters and make an even 700 horsepower and 640 pound-toes of torque. Which is an enhance of 1.7 liters, two cylinders, 250 hp and 130 lb-ft in excess of the conventional Raptor. Stand on the proper pedal, and there is no hesitation for the Raptor R to rush towards the horizon. From powering the steering wheel, it’s not exactly jarring, which will come as a surprise the initially time you put your foot to the ground.
It nevertheless pulls difficult, but it does so with this kind of poise and linearity that it in some way feels less spectacular, or at least significantly less unnerving than you’d count on. The Raptor R follows its original jolt off the line with a smooth, constant shove that presents you a feeling that the truck is in command of its powerplant, and that you’re in management of the truck. Sure, there is a ton to promote the senses — the deep but in some way easy growl of the V8 accompanied by the whinny of the supercharger, the snugness with which the Recaro seats wrap all around you — but it’s additional of a support than an assault. The suspension doesn’t squat excessively as you start, nor does it nosedive in the subsequent braking needed to return to practical speeds, and the 10-velocity automatic transmission doesn’t smack its way as a result of the gears. In addition, the sheer measurement of this detail would make the pace sense like significantly less threatening to the portion of your lizard brain that may shed its composure in some thing smaller and more exposed. In the Raptor R, you’re lounging at the velocity of light-weight. It is really definitely a lot more horrifying from the outdoors, but that surprising spectacle and cacophony of something this large hurtling across the tarmac is distilled into an epicurean delight for the driver.
And on these highways on which this truck has an absolutely dominating presence, it’s a surprising take care of to pilot when not ripping around at complete blast. I could not uncover fault with the suspension tuning. There’s no genuine perception of the further bodyweight beneath the hood whichever calculations Ford did to tighten up the front suspension were just correct, and, similarly, the rear coil spring and 5-link set up retain chatter in check. The Fox inside bypass shocks and digital continuously variable damping do an incredible task of keeping composure and comfort and ease irrespective of whether hauling ass in excess of highway frost heaves, cruising cratered dirt roads or gliding above undulations in a limited corner. It navigated the ubiquitous Mt. Brighton parking great deal potholes — which additional intently resemble the world’s least cozy kiddie swimming pools than nearly anything that would in good shape on your stove — without the need of drawing a clatter from the skis in the mattress.
The Raptor R offer that nets you the V8 also tacks on an additional $30,575 to the sticker rate, giving it a starting off stage of $109,245 (like $1,895 in vacation spot). There’s not a lot else mechanically that separates it from the lesser Raptor. It will get individuals conventional 37-inch wheels, which are not just much better for tackling hard terrain. They search neat as hell, and really do not change day-to-day driving into a far more unpleasant knowledge, aside from the elevated ingress height and the compact decrease in turning circle (50 toes, compared to the non-R Raptor’s 48 feet on regular 35-inch tires).
So is the Raptor R’s V8 and the modicum of extras value 30 grand? Pretty maybe. It provides. There’s something deeply enjoyable about a Ford V8, irrespective of displacement. The smoothness and steady, predictable pull, no matter whether blown or not, is satisfying. This V8 may well fit your extravagant extra than the uncooked, hungry, hardscrabble clawing of the ferocious Hellcat V8 in the Ram TRX, but that could possibly depend on your romance with other Fords you have driven, far too. All legitimate.
I don’t specially treatment why you’d select the Raptor R or how you commit your cash. I do know I’ll be pointing out any Raptor R I see to whomever is in the vehicle with me, and almost certainly spout off some of the issues you have read over, so very long as they’ll listen. I’ll respect the owner’s distinguished style. When you blow earlier me even though my little ones address their ears and every person else shakes their head, I’ll quietly pump my fist for you. And as a great deal as I try out to deny I’m a truck guy, there will usually be selected pickups I’ll get energized about recognizing in the wild. Just after driving it, the Raptor R just hopped to the top of that checklist, appropriate along with the Lightning and the Hummer EV. If I can catch up to you, I might counsel you’d like these, too.
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