The Raptor R comes in as a heavyweight with only minor revisions from its Ecoboost powered brother. The 3.5L Twin Turbo H.O. Ecoboost V6 is replaced with a revised GT500 sourced Supercharged 5.2L 32v V8 putting out 700 horsepower and 640lb-ft of torque. Keen eyes will note lightly different power numbers than the GT500 via a tuning revision, slightly smaller supercharger pulley and revised cast-stainless steel exhaust manifolds.
Gearing and torque converter inside the massive 10R transmission is also revised for pairing, as well as outer-bearings and half-shafts for durability. Front spring-rate is also slightly revised to handle the extra V8 mass. Exhaust is also revised for the V8 power plant with true dual exhausts fed through glass-pack resonators at the tips to keep everything legal.
Bark and Bite
Initially walking up to the Raptor R, aside from its distinct gloss black trim, and loud “raptoR” badging placed everywhere, you could easily mistake it for one of its Ecoboost counterparts. Even when started up in quiet mode, the butterfly valves in the exhaust keep it so reined in you might miss the unique exhaust note. As you flip through the exhaust modes and bring the engine alive, you know there is a loud and angry V8 under the hood. Once shifting into drive and pulling away, the faint whine of the supercharger and unreasonable amount of instant torque on hand makes this a distinctively different truck.
Need for Speed
With a TRX matching 0-60 time of 4.5 seconds, it is really important to point out that this thing is absurdly fast, Lightning fast in fact. It sprints to 60 at the same rate the Ford Lighting EV does. Paired with the same transferase from the Ecoboost, the Raptor R’s default drive mode is 4Hi Automatic, just to wrangle all those horses and give it a shot at hooking all four tires off the line. But, this truck was not built for drag racing championships, it was built to take an already winning suspension recipe, and just add more power to it. There is so much power on hand that you really never need anymore, and the transmission is mapped through all of its drive modes to always deliver the experience from it that you are wanting. In Baja Mode, the exhaust valves open up fully, the steering rack tightens and firms, the Live-valve shocks adjust their compression and rebound for what is coming next and the transmission is ready to deliver the fastest shifts on the market from a hydraulic slush box.
The power train is so well matched to a very athletic coil sprung-suspension that this truck becomes more than just an off-roader, it has really been tailored into being the best GT car that North America has been gifted in a long long time. With a race-ready suspension that inspires confidence for days, more horsepower than you could ever conceivably use and a tailored interior that is comfortable, quiet and spacious – there is not anything that this truck can not do. From off-roading to canyon carving, it has the chops to impress in its element and still wear a tuxedo at night. This is not just a truck, it is a Grand Truck.
This is the ultimate in its class and is so capable that it spreads its fingers into other classes of vehicles as well. It is not only an athlete, but it is a very classy one that is the culmination of a decades worth of refinement of the platform. It is fast, so fast that it can get away from you and is for the person that just wants more. To be clear, the Raptor does not need this engine; it is more than powerful and capable in its original configuration. It is so well sorted when powered by the 3.5L that you need to be a seriously good driver to outdrive it itself, and now with an extra 150 horses on tap it is considerably more to handle. All those horses have to come from somewhere, and when you wake the boost-monster up it demands a lot of premium-grade fuel, so much so that the 3.5L Ecoboost is a clear winner over the 5.2 Supercharged V8 if you have any need for range at all.
Brute in a Suit
Our driving impressions are simple: the photos speak for themselves. This is a monster of a truck, and the best GT car we’ve seen in a long time. It is powerful, quiet and classy and carries so much technology and driver aides that you feel that you are sitting down in a cockpit. It has the teeth and claws to fight, but also wear a suit when you want it to. Coming in at a sticker price of $110,000 and only featuring two options (color and sunroof), it is an expensive undertaking to to only purchase, but to feed. But is it a bargain all that considered? Absolutely, and you should have one; because the smile will never leave your face.