2023 Ford F-150 Raptor R Review – Beast Mode


2023 ford f 150 raptor r review beast mode

It’s a bit of a shame that I didn’t have a chance to take the 2023 Ford F-150 Raptor R I tested off road. I’d have loved to have jumped some sand dunes or done some muddin’.

Instead, I struggled to make this beast fit into urban parking spaces and alleyways while seemingly watching the fuel gauge march from full to empty just during the amount of time it takes to be stopped at a red light. Then again, the sounds made from underhood and the acceleration delivered when the right-most pedal is depressed makes the whole production worth it.

I mean, 700 horsepower and 640 lb-ft of torque cures a lot of ills.

Then again, that many ponies and that much twist is almost useless in urban traffic. You need to let this puppy run.

2023 ford f 150 raptor r review beast mode

If you get the chance to unleash, this is one seriously swift truck. Sure, you’ll be envisioning an endlessly spinning price meter on a gas pump, but you’ll also be making short work of the stoplight-to-stoplight dash. Or setting up for an epic desert run. The latter sounds more fun.

Ford’s performance team does get props – as much as this truck is meant to jump sand dunes, it’s not terribly punishing to drive in the big city. At least not in terms of ride and handling – again, good luck parking this beast.

Here’s how Ford sets it all up. Underhood is a 5.2-liter supercharged (and intercooled) V8 that makes the aforementioned 700 horsepower and 640 lb-ft of torque. The transmission is a 10-speed automatic and as you’d expect, the truck is four-wheel drive.

2023 ford f 150 raptor r review beast mode

Up front is an independent double-wishbone suspension with coil-over, dual-valve shocks and cast aluminum lower control arms, while the rear suspension is a five-link coil with Panhard rod. All four corners get Fox Racing Shox shocks that are gas-pressurized and have electronically controlled, continously-variable compression damping. The Raptor R gets 37-inch tires.

Performance doesn’t stop with power – or the suspension. Other performance and/or off-road bits include a dual exhaust, skid plates, running boards, LED fog lamps, trail control, tow hooks, modular front bumper, 17-inch wheels, an electronic locking 4.10 rear axle, and a terrain management system.

2023 ford f 150 raptor r review beast mode

Inside, the cabin is pretty familiar, though things like a steering-wheel centering mark and available aluminum or carbon-fiber accents set the R apart. There are Recaro buckets and unique to the Raptor R graphics for the gauges. Lockable interior storage is available.

The exterior gets done up with all sorts of graphics and badging – you can’t miss this thing in traffic, especially with Code Orange paint.

Fun never comes cheap and the price of entry for this truck was $75,775. It bases as a Raptor, and adding the Raptor R bits cost $31,575 and spray-in bedliner added $595. With the $1,795 destination fee, that put the price at $109,740.

2023 ford f 150 raptor r review beast mode

That’s a lot of cheddar, but in addition to what’s already listed, it gets you standard or available features such as trailer-sway control, 12-inch infotainment screen, dual-zone climate control, adjustable pedals, Raptor-branded floor mats, satellite radio, pre-collision system with automatic emergency braking, rearview camera, Sync infotainment system, wireless device charging, and heated second-row seats.

2023 ford f 150 raptor r review beast mode

I mentioned the abysmal fuel-economy numbers – they are 10 mpg city/15 mpg highway/12 mpg combined. At least the fuel tank holds 36 gallons.

Owning a Raptor R will cost you a lot. Not just the massive monthly payment – the fuel bill will be costly. Insurance is likely to be a big chunk of change, too.

But if you have the dough, this truck has the go – and the show. It’s a hoot to drive and turns heads. It has the off-road goods. Should you be lucky enough to own one, you’ll likely not regret it.

2023 ford f 150 raptor r review beast mode

Except when the guilt concerning the low MPGs hits. The climate is changing, after all.

Then again, it’s easy to put that guilt out of your mind when the pedal on the right is depressed. The exhaust drowns it out, after all.

[Images: Ford]

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