We did a Texas road trip in the 2023 Ford Raptor R.
The F150 Raptor is a high-performance pickup truck introduced by the Ford Motor Company in 2010.
It was developed by Ford’s Special Vehicle Team (SVT) and was designed to be an off-road racing truck that could also be used as a daily driver. The idea for the Ford F150 Raptor was born out of the success of the Ford F150 SVT Lightning, a high-performance street truck that was produced from 1993 to 1995 and from 1999 to 2004. The SVT team wanted to create a similar vehicle that could handle the rigors of off-road racing, and the Ford F150 Raptor was the result.
The first generation of the Ford F150 Raptor was produced from 2010 to 2014.
It was powered by a 6.2-liter V8 engine that produced 411 horsepower and 434 pound-feet of torque. In addition, it featured a reinforced frame, a wider track, and a suspension system specifically designed for off-road driving. The first-generation Raptor also had a unique appearance: a bold grille, flared fenders, and a distinctive hood with an air vent.
In 2017, Ford introduced the second generation of the F150 Raptor.
This version of the truck was powered by a high-output 3.5-liter V6 engine that produced 450 horsepower and 510 pound-feet of torque. It also featured a new 10-speed automatic transmission and an updated suspension system with adaptive dampers. As a result, the second-generation Raptor was even more capable off-road than its predecessor, with improved approach and departure angles, increased suspension travel, and a new Terrain Management System that allowed drivers to adjust the truck’s performance for different types of terrain.
2021 brought the third generation of the F150 Raptor.
It offers the same engine as the previous generation, but Ford has recently introduced the Raptor R edition. It is the most powerful F-150 Raptor ever, featuring a new 5.2-liter supercharged V8 producing 700 horsepower and 640 lb.-ft. of torque. This engine was previously seen in the Mustang Shelby GT500 and is matched with a 10-speed automatic transmission. The truck received an upgraded suspension and various off-road features, including skid plates, all-terrain tires, and improved ground clearance.
I love the new aggressive hood air extractor on the Raptor R that sits 1 inch taller. However, it may be difficult for many to differentiate it from an EcoBoost Raptor visually. The Code Orange’ R’ badges and 37-inch tires are the only notions that this is the ultimate Raptor offered, but the new Raptor always looked good. The Antimatter Blue Metallic paint on our press vehicle is very misleading. At first and second glance, you think it is black, and others won’t believe it is blue. The Iconic F O R D grill is unchanged but is accompanied by the R badge. The entire front end of this truck stands out when all the headlights, RIGID fog lights, and grille lights are illuminated.
Exterior Rating: 9/10
The inside does offer a similar feel to a normal F-150. However, you will notice the carbon fiber trim on the dash, steering wheel, and door panels. In addition, you can find Raptor badging on the steering wheel, seats, and center armrest, along with Code Orange accent stitching on the Recaro seats that sport a combination of black leather and Alcantara suede. The truck was equipped with Heated & ventilated front seats, heated rear seats, a heated steering wheel, wireless phone charging, surround view cameras, an 18-speaker B&O sound system, and much more, all providing modern comfort. My favorite feature similar to what was seen in the King Ranch we tested was the fold-out center armrest that becomes a work desk.
Interior Rating: 8/10
Ford Performance enlisted the most powerful engine in its lineup. Previously seen in the Mustang Shelby GT500, the supercharged V8 makes the Raptor the most fun truck I have driven. The huge smile this truck puts on your face justifies the 11 MPG and the mandatory 91+ octane. It smoothly handles what this V8 throws at it. This truck can easily transition from the streets to the sand, handling rougher terrain efficiently. My favorite feature on this truck is the exhaust system with a true pass-through muffler and active valve system, with modes for Normal, Sport, Quiet, and Baja. I have never heard a truck sound this good. It just sounds bonkers.
These customizable modes can be accessed in the MyMode features.
It also allows drivers to customize drive, steering, and suspension modes. You can save your ideal settings by pressing the “R” button on the steering wheel. The 10-speed automatic allows the truck to rush to 60 mph from a standstill in just 3.6 seconds. This truck makes driving 900 miles effortless and provides a smooth ride thanks to the 37-inch tires and electric dampers. Still, this super truck is not ideal for road trips, especially if you want to reduce stops at the gas station.
Performance Rating: 10/10
2023 Ford Raptor R Verdict
Overall Rating: 9/10