One does not simply put the V8 from a muscle car underneath the hood of a truck.
We know almost everything there is to know about the 2023 Ford F-150 Raptor R, except what it's like to drive. We're attending the launch this week and will share the first driving experience as soon as the embargo lifts.
For now, we want to talk about the 5.2-liter supercharged Predator V8 borrowed from the Shelby GT500. In the latter, the engine produced 760 horsepower and 625 lb-ft of torque. In the Raptor R, it produces 700 horses and 640 lb-ft. Why the drop in horsepower and the slight increase in torque? Why didn't Ford simply carry the supercharged powertrain over to the F-150 unchanged? It would have given the Ford a massive advantage against the 702 hp Ram TRX. The Ford does have a weight advantage, however.
Thanks to The Fast Lane Truck, we now know why.
Just think of the basic layout of a Raptor compared to the Mustang. The GT500 is 189.5 inches long, while the Raptor measures 231.7 inches. That's a much longer exhaust, which already robs horses from the engine.
But that's only the most basic reason why the power output is so different. There are multiple other changes, including a cast stainless steel exhaust manifolds instead of the beautiful tubes found underneath the hood of the GT500.
The pully for the 2.65-liter supercharger is also slightly smaller. On the GT500, it's 3.25 inches, and on the Raptor R, it's 2.91 inches. The blower spins a bit faster, giving it a bit more low-end torque. Perfect for a performance truck.
It's also interesting to note that Ford knew from the beginning that it would put a V8 under the hood of the current Raptor. While we were playing guessing games, the answer was already in front of us all the time.
Carl Widmann, the chief engineer for Ford Performance, reveals that a V8 was always part of the plan. Ford knew from customer feedback that a V8 was necessary. Obviously, the mere existence of the Ram TRX and its Raptor-mocking easter egg made the choice even easier.
But one does not merely put a V8 under the hood and hope for the best. You start with the fundamentals, which in this case is the suspension. That's why Ford dropped the rear leaf springs in favor of a more advanced five-link setup. The Raptor needed the ability to transfer 700 horses to the road, and with leaf springs, it would have bounced like a rabbit on acid.
But that's enough from our side. Make some coffee, take a break and enjoy the full 17-minute breakdown.