2023 Ford F-150 Raptor R Review – Beast Mode

Tim Healey
by Tim Healey

Fast Facts

2023 Ford F-150 Raptor R Fast Facts

5.2-liter supercharged V8 (700 horsepower @ 6,650 RPM; 640 lb-ft of torque @ 4,250 RPM)
Transmission/Drive-Wheel Layout
10-speed automatic, four-wheel drive
Fuel Economy, MPG
10 city / 15 highway / 12 combined (EPA Rating)
Fuel Economy, L/100km
22.8 city / 15.9 highway / 19.7 combined (EPA Rating)
Base Price
$75,775 (U.S.) / $106,975 (Canada)
As-Tested Price
$109,740 (U.S.) / $162,550 (Canada)
Prices include $1,795 destination charge in the United States and $2,395 for freight, PDI, and A/C tax in Canada and, because of cross-border equipment differences, can’t be directly compared.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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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Tim Healey
Tim Healey

Tim Healey grew up around the auto-parts business and has always had a love for cars — his parents joke his first word was “‘Vette”. Despite this, he wanted to pursue a career in sports writing but he ended up falling semi-accidentally into the automotive-journalism industry, first at Consumer Guide Automotive and later at Web2Carz.com. He also worked as an industry analyst at Mintel Group and freelanced for About.com, CarFax, Vehix.com, High Gear Media, Torque News, FutureCar.com, Cars.com, among others, and of course Vertical Scope sites such as AutoGuide.com, Off-Road.com, and HybridCars.com. He’s an urbanite and as such, doesn’t need a daily driver, but if he had one, it would be compact, sporty, and have a manual transmission.

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2 of 19 comments
  • SCE to AUX SCE to AUX on Apr 30, 2024

    This will make an interesting UCOTD entry or Junkyard Find someday.

  • Lou_BC Lou_BC on Apr 30, 2024

    By the author's own admission, "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", why post photos of it offroad?

  • Tassos I never used winter tires, and the last two decades I am driving almost only rear wheel drive cars, half of them in MI. I always bought all season tires for them, but the diff between touring and non touring flavors never came up. Does it make even the smallest bit of difference? (I will not read the lengthy article because I believe it does not).
  • Lou_BC ???
  • Lou_BC Mustang sedan? 4 doors? A quarterhorse?Ford nomenclature will become:F Series - Pickups Raptor - performance division Bronco - 4x4 SUV/CUVExplorer - police fleetsMustang- cars
  • Ede65792611 Got one. It was my Dad's and now has 132K on it. I pay my Mercedes guy zillions of dollars to keep it going. But, I do, and he does and it's an excellent vehicle. I've put in the full Android panel for BT handsfree and streaming with a backup cam.
  • Lou_BC Wow. People say they want sedans and there should be more of them. Goes to show that internet warriors do not accurately represent the desires of the general population. What do people buy? Pickups and CUV'S. Top 10:1. F Series2. Silverado3. Ram4. Toyota Rav45. Model Y Tesla6. Honda CRV7. Sierra8. Toyota Camry9. Nissan Rogue10. Jeep Grand Cherokee Only 2 sedans.#5 Is a sedan and an EV#8 The ubiquitous Camry The only way to resurrect the sedan is by banning crewcab pickups.