On paper, at least, the Ram 1500 TRX supplanted the Ford F-150 Raptor as the most badass, powerful, dinosaur-themed, desert-running pickup truck on the market, thanks in large part to its 702 hp V8 engine. Ford responded last summer with an all-new Raptor...which didn't even get a bump in horsepower over the previous model. However, Ford promised us a TRX-competitive Raptor R would arrive next year — which is to say, here in 2022, very soon.
Ford hasn't given us much to go on for the Raptor R besides confirming it will be V8-powered and street-legal. But the Instagram account TheRaptorConnection may have uncovered some more info. Their account — first spotted by Muscle Cars &Trucks — posted what appears to be a build rotation sheet for a 2023 Raptor with a 5.2-liter engine. (The current Raptor employs a twin-turbocharged 3.5-liter V6.)
The 5.2-liter is almost undoubtedly a reference to the supercharged 5.2-liter Predator V8 Ford uses in the Shelby GT500. That powerplant puts out 760 horsepower and 625 lb-ft of torque. We don't know the precise tuning for the Raptor R, but we suspect it will be comfortably higher than the Ram 1500 TRX's 702 hp and 650 lb-ft — otherwise, why bother building a Raptor R?
One key factor to watch for will be how much the Raptor R costs. The current Raptor starts at around $70,000. The Ram 1500 TRX — in its most spartan form – begins at about $80,000, but a reasonable build would take it significantly higher. The starting price for a Shelby GT500 with the same engine is $79,155. And the Raptor R will be a fantastic new Ford product where it's likely demand will exceed supply. So it's only natural to speculate how much the inevitable dealer markups will be.
Another one — more pressing with the rising gas prices — will be fuel economy. The Ram 1500 TRX achieves 10 mpg in city driving. The Shelby GT500 earns 12 mpg in city driving. We'd expect the Raptor R also will be flirting with single digits around town.