A V-8 Ford Raptor R Is Coming, and Yes… It’s Street Legal!
Horsepower hounds will need to wait another year.
Those among us who were eagerly awaiting Ford's answer to the 2021 Ram 1500 TRX and its bonkers 702-hp supercharged Hemi V-8 were no doubt disappointed to learn that the all-new third-generation 2021 Ford F-150 Raptor will hit showrooms this summer with just one engine option: the same high-output 3.5L V-6 Ford has slung between the framerails since 2017. However, what Ford did give us was a quick teaser at the end of the launch video that said in no uncertain terms that another Raptor, the Raptor R, was coming in 2022.
Through our sources, we confirmed two things with Ford. First, yes, the Ford F-150 Raptor R will have a V-8 engine. And second, yes, the Raptor R will indeed be street legal. Rumors to the contrary have been circulating the internet since the truck's early-morning debut. These rumors were rooted in the fact that in the past Ford had dubbed its Baja racing Raptors as "Raptor R" with the most recent variant sporting the 3.5L EcoBoost V-6. Thankfully these rumors were quickly dispelled, and we can get back to dreaming about our street-legal V-8 Raptor.
What Ford didn't tell us was anything else about the forthcoming Raptor R other than it will be announced in 2022. Hopefully this means we'll see the truck hit the dirt in early calendar year 2022 as a 2022 model. However, Ford could just as easily announce the truck later in 2022 with it rolling off the line as a 2023 model. With Dodge boss Tim Kuniskis saying in an interview recently that the Hellcat V-8's days are numbered, could Ford be playing the long game and waiting for TRX's bonkers engine to go the way of the dinosaurs?
Rumors are still flying around social media and internet forums that a version of the Mustang GT500's supercharged 5.2L Predator V-8 is headed for Raptor (this engine makes 760 hp and 625 lb-ft of torque in the GT500), though it would need significant retuning for truck duty. While not as sexy, Ford could just as easily toss a blower on the 5.0L that's already offered in the F-150 and make the power necessary to compete with the TRX. There's also always the possibility of Ford pulling an entirely new engine off the rack, one built specifically for the Raptor.
We also don't know if there will be any other changes made to the Raptor R aside from adding the bigger engine. We'd love to see a bit more wheel travel, larger dampers, and even Fox coilovers and hydraulic bumpstops for the rear. Basically, all the cool stuff the aftermarket has been doing for years straight from the factory.
All we know for sure right now is that a V-8-powered Ford F-150 Raptor is coming soon, and Ford has confirmed that you will be able to drive it to work. Stay tuned, it's going to be a wild ride.