This is what we have been waiting for. From the moment Ford announced about Raptor R—its 700-horsepower hypertruck and direct competitor 702-horsepower Ram 1500 TRX– our inner ear bristled with excitement to see how these two would match. The Ford’s 60 mph time of 3.6 seconds makes it the fastest gasoline-powered truck we’ve strapped to the test rig. So is a 12.0-second run through the quarter mile at 112 mph, besting the fastest TRX we’ve seen and reclaiming the title of fastest F-150 in electric lightning. ( Rivian R1T remains the fastest pickup truck of all time, hitting 60 mph in 3.0 seconds and running the quarter mile in 11.5 seconds.) But the Raptor R’s record mileage doesn’t quite tell the whole story.
Typically, when launching these powerful behemoths, the big braking torque to build up boost and revs is the fastest off the line. Unlike the TRX, the Raptor R is not equipped with adjustable launch control or any launch assist. When a certain amount of brake pressure is detected, the computers tell the engine to stop and reduce the amount of torque delivered through the transmission. Ford says this is to keep the engine from overloading the brakes. If and when you get your hands on a Raptor R, follow these two simple steps to achieve maximum acceleration: Select Sport mode (this automatically puts the transfer case into 4Auto mode) and engage Auto-Hold for the braking system. Get on the throttle and go. Simple flat footing without using auto hold is a tenth slower. But it does, the Raptor R sprints to 60 mph in 3.6 seconds from a standstill on the line.
Given its massive 700-pound weight advantage, we expected the Raptor R’s 6,077-pound advantage to exceed the 0.3-second gap it gives the TRX in the quarter mile. Blame it on the 37-inch BFGoodrich All-Terrain KO2s and their 112 mph speed rating, which prevents Ford from unlocking the true potential of the supercharged 5.2-liter V-8. At speeds between 100 and 110 mph, each mph takes about 0.2 seconds. The Raptor R accelerates to 110 mph in 11.1 seconds, then the power cuts out as the truck approaches the 114 mph speed limiter. It takes another 0.9 seconds to hit 112 mph and the quarter mile, then it should take half the time. If the Raptor R rolled on 35-inch tires and had the same 120 mph speed limiter as the 3.5-liter twin-turbocharged version, this would give TRX the biggest hit Detroit has seen since the 2012 World Series. Still, the Raptor wins the quarter mile by 0.3 seconds, and the F-150’s agility shows in the 5-to-60-mph acceleration test, where it beats the Ram by 0.5 seconds.
Braking, as expected, is not a strong point for desert-ready trucks running on tires with big, soft treads. The Raptor R stopped from 70 mph in 205 feet and extended that distance to 430 feet from 100 mph, trailing the best TRX figures we’ve seen by 16 and 12 feet, respectively. The Raptor R cleared the skid pad by 0.71g, hardly an impressive number, but slightly better than the TRX.
Seven hundred horses tend to feel thirsty. On our 75 mph highway fuel economy cycle, the Raptor R returned 14 mpg, missing the EPA highway estimate by 1 mpg. That’s better than the 13 mpg we’ve seen, though our long-term Ram 1500 TRX. But does someone buying a $100,000 truck care about fuel economy? Our guess is not.
Of course, a head-to-head comparison test is inevitably brewing to get these factory-built monster trucks out into their natural habitat to sort out who’s who. But for now, Ford’s Raptor R is the performance king.
2023 Ford F-150 Raptor R
Vehicle Type: Front Engine, Rear/4WD, 5-Passenger, 4-Door Pickup
Base/As Tested: $109,145 / $111,935
Options: power sunroof and tailgate, $2,195; spray-in bed, $595; remove graphics, $0
Supercharged intercooled DOHC 32-valve V-8, aluminum block and heads, port fuel injection
Displacement: 315 inches35163 cm3
Power: 700 horsepower @ 6650 rpm
Torque: 640 lb-ft at 4,250 rpm
Suspension, Front/Rear: Control Arms/Split Axle
Brakes, front/rear: 13.8-inch ventilated disc/13.2-inch ventilated disc
Tires: BF Goodrich All-Terrain T/A KO2
37×12.5R-17LT 116S M+S 3PMSF FP
Wheelbase: 145.4 inches
Length: 232.6 inches
Width: 87.0 inches
Height: 80.6 inches
Passenger volume: 136 feet3
Curb weight: 6,077 lbs
C/D EXAMINATION RESULTS
60 mph: 3.6 sec
100 mph: 9.1 sec
1/4 mile: 12.0 sec at 112 mph
The results above are omitted 1 foot deployment 0.3 sec.
Start from 5–60 mph: 4.1 sec
Top Gear, 30–50mph: 2.2s
Top Gear, 50–70 mph: 2.7 sec
Top speed (gov ltd): 114 mph
Braking, 70–0 mph: 205 feet
Braking, 100–0 mph: 430 feet
Road resistance, 300-foot pad: 0.71g
C/D FUEL ECONOMY
Observed: 10 mpg
Highway driving at 75 mph: 14 mpg
Highway distance at 75 mph: 500 miles
EPA FUEL ECONOMY
Combined/city/highway: 12/10/15 mpg
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