2023 Ford F-150 Raptor R – So Extra, So Wanted

If you have a need for speed, the 2023 Ford F-150 Raptor R is just what the doctor ordered. An extra 300 horsepower makes this over-the-top beast a must-drive.

2023 Ford F-150 Raptor R
The noise pollution levels in our neighborhood went up significantly this week when I had the Ford F-150 Raptor R, and I'm not even sorry. Photo by Erica Mueller

Want to Feel Like a Boss? There’s a Ford F-150 Raptor R for that.

The F-150 Raptor, with a starting price just shy of $110,000, is already a beast of a performance pickup truck that is a thrill to drive and looks invincible. But Ford couldn’t leave it at that and decided that before V8s are completely a thing of the past, they should take this truck to the max by stacking on 300 additional horsepower to create the 2023 Ford F-150 Raptor R.

We’re glad they did.

Related: Do You Really Need Premium Gas? You Might

2023 Ford F-150 Raptor R Fueling Up

This one requires premium fuel. The pump stopped at $125, and the tank wasn’t full. But man, it was worth it. Photo: Erica Mueller

What is it Like to Drive a Raptor R?

Built for high-performance off-road racing, the Ford F-150 Raptor R boasts a 5.2-liter Supercharged V8 engine that produces 700 horsepower and 640 ft-lb of torque to enable the most extreme adventure possible. While I didn’t want to take any chances of getting stuck or breaking down in a very remote location, I did take this beast to a private beach on the Red River here in North Texas, where a foot or two of sand would have grounded any other truck. No fancy tricks were done, and I made sure to respect the truck, but I had fun, and I made it in and out without help which is quite a feat for this girl with very little experience driving in deep sand.

The rest of the week was spent on pavement in a screaming loud fit of fun.

Half-mile straight in front of my house? Max speed undisclosed.

Flooring for maximum sound and launch effect? All. Week. Long.

And, of course, there was plenty of revving when friends would come up to the window to ask if it was a fun truck to drive. Big grins all around. But we also took the Raptor R to the grocery store, to church, and drove it to voice lessons and music practice. 

If speed and noise are your thing, the Raptor R will not disappoint. I went faster in this vehicle than I’ve ever driven, and I wasn’t even pushing it. The ferocious growl this truck produces isn’t artificial piped-in noise. It’s real, it’s raw, and it’s glorious.

In short, this is a truck you have to experience to appreciate. It looks ridiculous on paper, but it is beyond fabulous behind the wheel.

Related: Paddle Shifters: Fun or Phony? The Skinny on this Performance Feature

2023 Ford Raptor R Accents

The red accents, the R specifically, proclaim this is no regular Raptor. Photo by Erica Mueller

Finesse and Fury

We drive a lot of trucks and have experienced some pretty high-end appearance and comfort packages, but I don’t remember ever riding in a truck that rode as smoothly as this Raptor R. My husband commented on this too. Neither of us could believe that such a high-performance vehicle could ride like a luxury car on the highway. The suspension on this truck was truly impressive.  And every bit of technology and comfort you could ask for, from automated high beams to an enormous panoramic moonroof, wireless charging, wireless CarPlay and Android Auto, Zone Lighting (exterior lighting all around the cab), heated and cooled seats with soft suede inserts, a flip-over console to make your own little workspace in the cab, add up to give you all the creature comforts on top of the off-road performance capabilities of this F-150 Raptor R. 

2023 Ford F-150 Raptor R

The noise pollution levels in our neighborhood went up significantly this week, and I’m not even sorry. Photo: Erica Mueller

What You Need to Know About the F-150 Raptor R

The most powerful Raptor on the market, the F-150 Raptor R is inspired by the extreme desert racing trucks used in the Baja 1000 races. Built to conquer the desert, the Raptor R’s 13.1-inch ground clearance and 37-inch tires make clearing obstacles not just possible but fun. Unique badging, including Code Orange R’s in the nameplate, V8 easter eggs in the rear fender decals, orange tow hooks, and a 1″ taller scoop on the hood than the regular Raptor help to make the Raptor R stand out. Inside, the sporty Recaro seats combine black leather and Alcantara suede for a plush and comfortable ride no matter the terrain. 

While the 2023 Ford Raptor starts at $78,720, the Raptor R’s starting price is $109,145. 

Aside from the price tag and huge appetite for premium fuel, I can only think of one downside to this truck. It is so big that finding a parking space at the local grocery store can be a little tricky. It’s worth it, though, to park a little further out, I promise.

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A web developer, digital marketing consultant, auto journalist, truck expert, photographer and lover of gadgets, Erica is a textbook... More about Erica Mueller