Ford has unveiled its most powerful Raptor ever, the Raptor R, featuring the supercharged 522kW V8 out of the Mustang Shelby GT500.
Based on the Ford F-150, the new Raptor R takes inspiration from the desert-racing trophy trucks that compete in the Baja 1000. Ford claims that this is the closest Raptor yet in delivering such performance.
A 5.2-litre supercharged V8 plucked straight from the Ford Mustang Shelby GT500 provides the Raptor R with 522kW and 868Nm, which Ford says results ‘in the most torque-dense supercharged V8 in a production pickup’.
Ford Performance recalibrated the V8’s supercharger, installing a new pulley to optimise power for off-road use and increasing torque delivery at the low-end and mid-range.
To ensure the V8 is “Built Ford Tough”, the performance division has upgraded the original exhaust manifolds to cast stainless steel. Other changes include the addition of a unique oil cooler and filter, and a deeper oil pan so the Raptor R can tackle aggressive grades while keeping the engine cool. Air intake volume has increased by 66 per cent via a wider inlet.
The Raptor R is designed to take-on testing off-road environments which is why the base truck’s 10-speed SelectShift transmission and driveline has been upgraded.
A new front axle with more robust construction helps handle the added torque being sent through the drivetrain, as well as a larger diameter aluminium driveshaft.
Five-link rear suspension features longer trailing arms to better maintain axle position on rough terrain, while a Panhard rod and 24-inch coil springs aid in traversing rough terrain at high speeds. Electronically controlled Fox Live Valve shocks help soak up the bumps while adjusting themselves accordingly to the road below.
The suspension package helps the Raptor R achieve 13-inches of wheel travel up front and 14.1-inches in the rear.
Adjustments can be made to the Raptor R’s driving settings including the exhaust note, steering and suspension modes.
Key differences in looks over the standard Raptor include a larger “power dome” on the bonnet, as well as orange accents including a unique “R” badge on the grille, bonnet and tailgate. A graphics package flanks the rear fenders too.
Inside, Recaro seats come as standard wrapped in black leather and suede. The pickup is also host to carbon fibre placed in the doors, media bin and upper parts of the instrument panel.
Off-road assisting tech comes as standard including Trail Turn Assist, allowing drivers to shrink their turning radius on tight corners, and Ford Trail Control which is essentially cruise control for off-roading. A 12-inch touchscreen infotainment system features Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility and over-the-air software updates.
The Ford Raptor R will be a US-only model with production starting later this year.
New Zealand will be getting the new Ford Ranger Raptor which is sure to inherit features from its American cousin. The same DNA from the larger F-150 Raptor underpins the Ranger Raptor albeit with a twin-turbo 3.0-litre V6, which we also expect to see later this year.