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Try not to get envious: Ford F-150 Raptor R revealed with 522kW V8 power

Published Jul 19, 2022


Detroit - Sure, South Africans have a potent new V6-powered Ford Ranger Raptor to look forward to, but that doesn’t mean that the FOMO is over for local bakkie fans.

The new Ford Ranger F-150 Raptor R has just been unleashed in the US, and unlike the ‘regular’ F-150 Raptor, which has V6 power, the R model gets 5.2-litres of supercharged V8 fury. Also found under the bonnet of the Mustang Shelby GT500, the eight cylinder powerhouse produces 522kW and 868Nm, and is paired with a specially recalibrated 10-speed autobox.

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That, of course, puts it directly into contention with the Hellcat-powered Ram 1500 TRX from Stellantis.

Ford has optimised the Raptor R edition’s V8 engine for off-road use. For starters, the supercharger was recalibrated to enable more low-end torque and Ford also fitted a unique oil cooler and deeper oil pan to keep the engine oil cool while the brawny bakkie is tackling aggressive gradients. Watch it in action below:

Further to that Ford has fitted a bespoke dual exhaust system featuring a pass-through muffler and active valve system, and yes, you’re going to want to hit that ‘Baja’ mode to experience it in all its glory.

Ford’s Raptor models are all about high-speed desert dashes, and like the regular version the R features Fox Live Valve shocks, five-link rear suspension with extra-long trailing arms and 24-inch coil springs. This, along with a more robust front axle to cope with the larger engine.

The carmaker has also taken the visual package up a notch, with a taller bonnet scoop, R badging for the grille and tailgate and a bespoke graphics package for the rear fenders featuring a design inspired by the cracked sands of the desert.

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The cabin has been given an equally aggressive flavour, with Recaro front seats upholstered in a black leather and Alcantara suede combination, as well as genuine carbon fibre accents on the doors and dashboard.

“We’ve heard our customers demanding the sound and power of a V8 back in Raptor,” said Ford Performance chief engineer Carl Widmann.

“That’s not something we were going to rush. This supercharged 5.2-liter V8 is the ideal fusion of high-density power paired with the third generation Raptor’s all-new rear suspension and shocks to deliver a one-two punch that goes far beyond the sum of its parts.”

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What about rumours of a Ranger Raptor R?

Earlier this year rumours about a potential V8-powered Ranger Raptor R began to circulate in Australia.

Having picked up on hints from various Ford executives, CarsGuide speculated that such a version of the new Ranger could be in the works as an Australian-developed special edition.

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Such a vehicle would inherit most of its oily bits from the Canadian-produced Ford Bronco Desert Racer. This motorsport creation is powered by a 5.0-litre V8 petrol engine with over 300kW on command.

And sure, that’s not quite in the same league as the F-150 Raptor R, but that’s certainly more than enough to turn the Outback, or the Karoo for that matter, into a serious playground.

IOL Motoring