2023 Ford F-150 Raptor R road test: Hottest rod ever

2023 Ford F-150 Raptor R road test: Hottest rod ever

Ann Arbor, Mich. – When I appeared on autoblog podcast with Associate Editor Byron Hurd, and he told his story about going round the sand dunes at Silver Lake with the 2023 Ford F-150 Raptor R, I’ll admit it: I was jealous. Not me In fact A trucker I prefer something slow and small with tight handling – even better if it’s electric. That… isn’t Raptor R.

What it is is, essentially, a regular Ford F-150 Raptor with the Shelby GT500’s supercharged V8 and optional 37-inch tires made standard. It’s Too Much, But Even the Simplest Formula Means This Truck Very,

For one thing, the Raptor R is huge. It’s over 6 foot 8 tall, and it’s not easy to climb in and out of, but makes you feel like you could drive Anything, That high hood with its big power dome makes it hard to see what you’re about to rumble like a grave digger, but the multiple cameras can help you figure out what the nasty stuff is right next to your front bumper. . It measures 96 inches overall, or a “mere” 87 inches wide if you don’t care for your mirrors. Either way, it’s over 7 feet, which means you’re using every lane you have, and getting warned by the lane-departure system when you deviate from the straight middle at all. . Combine this with a 145.4-inch wheelbase and 232.6-inch overall length, and you find yourself avoiding congested parking lots and seeking the most open of roads — or the fastest of them. No wonder this thing feels most at home in the desert. Luckily, it has a Baja mode for such escapes.

But on the open road, you can set the animal free (by the way, that’s what my son Raptor R kept saying). The aforementioned supercharged V8 displaces 5.2 liters and makes 700 horsepower and 640 pound-feet of torque. It’s a 1.7-liter, two-cylinder, 250 hp and 130 lb-ft increase over the standard Raptor. Stand on the right pedal, and have no hesitation for the Raptor R to race towards the horizon. From behind the steering wheel, it’s not jarring at all, which comes as a surprise the first time you put your foot to the floor.

It still pulls hard, but does it with such poise and linearity that it somehow feels less dramatic, or at least unnecessarily less, than you’d expect. The Raptor R follows its initial jerk off the line with a smooth, consistent push that gives you the feeling that the truck is in control of its powerplant, and that you are in control of the truck. Yes, there’s plenty to excite the senses—the whisper of the supercharger with the V8’s deep but somehow smooth growl, the ease with which the Recaro seats wrap around you—but it’s more a service than an assault. The suspension doesn’t overly squat as you launch, nor does it fumble with subsequent braking to return to sensible speeds, and the 10-speed automatic transmission doesn’t whack its way through the gears. Plus, the sheer size of this thing makes the motion feel like less of a threat to the part of your lizard’s brain that can lose control over something smaller and more exposed. In the Raptor R, you’re at the speed of light at rest. It’s certainly more horrifying on the outside, but the shocking spectacle and cacophony of something this massive inflicting is distilled into an epic joy for the driver.

And on the highways where this truck has an absolutely dominating presence, it’s a surprising treat to pilot when not running around in full blast. I could not find any fault with the suspension tuning. There’s no real sense of extra weight under the hood; Whatever calculations Ford made to tighten the front suspension were correct, and likewise, the rear coil spring and five-link setup keep chatter in check. Fox internal bypass shocks and electronic continuously variable damping do an incredible job of maintaining composure and comfort, whether frosty on the highway, racing pothole-riddled dirt roads or gliding over waves in tight corners. It navigated the potholes of the ubiquitous Mount Brighton parking lot—more akin to the world’s least comfortable kiddie pool than anything you could fit on your stove—without a rattle from skis in bed.

The Raptor R package that nets you the V8 also tacks on an additional $30,575 to the sticker price, giving it a starting point of $109,245 (including $1,895 in destination). There’s nothing else mechanically that separates it from the lesser Raptor. In this they are standard 37-inch wheels, which are not only better for handling tough terrain. They look cool as hell, and don’t turn everyday driving into a more painful experience, apart from the increased entry height and small reduction in the turning circle (50 feet, versus the non-R Raptor’s 48 feet for the standard 35-inch wheel). on the tyre) ).

So is the Raptor R’s V8 and extras worth a modest 30 grand? quite possibly. It saves. There’s something very satisfying about a Ford V8, regardless of displacement. The smoothness and steady, predictable pull, whether blown or not, is satisfying. This V8 may suit your fancy more than the raw, hungry, harsh panache of the brutal Hellcat V8 in the Ram TRX, but it may also depend on your relationship with the other Fords you’ve driven. All valid

I don’t particularly care why you’d choose the Raptor R or how you’d spend your money. I know I’m pointing out any Raptor RI’s that have been in the car with me, and probably some of the things you read above, as long as they listen. I would appreciate the distinctive taste of the owner. When you fly past me, while my kids cover their ears and everyone else nods their heads, I will silently clench my fists for you. And as much as I try to deny that I’m a trucker, there will always be some pick-me-up that excites me to see in the wild. After driving it, the Raptor R rose to the top of that list, right next to the Lightning and Hummer EV. If I can contact you, I can suggest that you will like them too.

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