The V8 is back in the Raptor! Ford has decided to dump the Shelby GT500 engine into the F-150 Raptor and it sounds mighty good! And the beauty of it all, Ford is acknowledging the need and demand for a V8, remember across the pod V8s are dying left and right. “We’ve heard our customers demanding the sound and power of a V8 back in Raptor,” wise words by Carl Widmann, Ford Performance chief engineer.

Meet the new 2023 Ford F-150 Raptor R, the most powerful off-road vehicle put into series production by Ford. The 5.2L supercharged V8 from the GT500 has been tweaked to produce 700hp and 867nm of torque – that is the most torque dense V8 on any production pick up. Ford’s popular 10-speed automatic gearbox is standard on the Raptor R.

Ford did not just use the GT500 Predator engine as is, they needed to update a few parameters to adapt it for off-road use. This involved the use of a new pulley which saw an increase in torque in the low to mid rpm range.

The intake has been enlarged by 66% and a high flow air filter is now in place. The exhaust manifold has been changed to a cast stainless steel design while the oil cooler and filter have been updated to accommodate off-road use.

The V8 gets a fresh breath of life through a new active-valve dual exhaust system, it has several modes namely Normal, Sport, Quiet and Baja just like the recently unveiled Range Raptor. For a proper V8 roar, Baja mode is your friend.

The suspension on the Raptor R features electronically controlled dampers which detect terrain hundreds of times a second while adjusting the suspension tuning live on the go.

To differentiate it from the normal Raptor, Ford has added a larger power dome on the hood and Code Orange ‘R’ badges on the grille, power dome and tailgate. The interior comes with Recaro seats as standard, finished in a combination of leather and alcantara.

The order book is open, and the Raptor R enters the market with only one true rival, the Ram 1500 TRX.

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