The Ford F-150 Raptor R has been throttling around limbo for more than three years. Ford teased its arrival more than a year ago, not long before we saw a half-camouflaged prototype chasing a Ram TRX around Michigan. The beastlier dune runner is finally expected to hit the market later this year with the engine that's been the shortest bet this whole time: The 5.2-liter supercharged Predator V8 known from the Mustang Shelby GT500. Ford Authority landed on the Instagram page of The Raptor Connection, said page containing a photos supposedly shot inside a Ford build facility. The images show a build sheet with the words, "MY2023," "Raptor C," and "5.2L."
Three more images are meant to bolster the circumstantial evidence. One is an image of a supercharged engine that looks just like the Predator V8, its supercharger branded with the word "Raptor" instead of "Shelby." There's a shot of a vehicle detail sheet, the word "Carnivore" in the lower corner. We're guessing, but that seems like a decent re-christening for a truck version of the Predator engine — especially one that's going to be hunting T-Rexes.
Finally, there's a window sticker listing a 2023 Raptor 4x4 Supercrew powered by a 5.2-liter supercharged V8 — it does not refer to a Raptor R — shifting through a ten-speed transmission. The sticker was pulled from the VIN listed in the vehicle detail sheet. The only equipment differences between this Monroney and that for a current Raptor with the 3.5-liter EcoBoost V6 is Recaro Black Leather Seats instead of the generic Black Leather Seats, and the change from a GVWR of 7,150 pounds to 7,450 pounds. The truck described in the sticker also comes with the 37-inch tires and 17-inch forged wheels.
Rumor says to expect about 750 horsepower, ten ponies down on the GT500 but 48 up on the TRX, if that's the final number. Motor Trend reported a year ago that "development trucks experienced durability problems with the blown V8 whenever the wick gets turned up to somewhere in the high 600-horse range," so it's possible the final figure sets a lower bar. The MT report mused on the option of the Raptor R coming out with less power than the TRX, the Ford using its superior equipment and tech specs to outdo the Ram. If all goes well with the world, this fall we'll find out.
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