Can a Raptor slay the mighty T-Rex?
Welcome to an inevitable battle that started when Ram dared to bolt a 6.2-liter supercharged V8 under the hood of a 1500 pickup truck. Ram even had the impudence to call it the TRX, or T-Rex as it is colloquially known.
We all know the T-Rex is the biggest, nastiest lizard in the jungle, thanks to Jurassic Park. At the end of Jurassic Park, the Tyrannosaurus Rex comes to the rescue of what's left of the humans and bites a Velociraptor in half. Still, the remaining Raptors continued attacking, showing no fear.
Ford faced the same dilemma with the TRX. It could either continue attacking with the vastly underpowered F-150 Raptor or bolt a bigger engine under the hood and take some decent chunks out of TRX sales.
The result is the Raptor R and its 700-horsepower supercharged 5.2-liter Predator V8, as used in the Mustang Shelby GT500, albeit slightly fiddled here to be fit for purpose.
So, how do these two super trucks stack up against one another on paper? Let's find out.
Neither truck is subtle. If you're going to build the most environmentally unfriendly vehicles to ever grace planet earth, you might as well lean into it hard. When you drive a truck like this, it makes a few statements. "Get out of my way, tiny Prius," and "shove your wokeness where the sun doesn't shine," are probably right at the top.
Both trucks use the same design recipe on the outside: a hood with an oversized power bulge, blacked-out bumpers, and a much wider stance for improved handling. You can also add various decals to make the truck even more ostentatious, though we wouldn't park it anywhere hippies congregate. It will be covered in free-range paint by the time you get back.
There are some differences, however. The Ram comes standard with 35-inch rubber, while the Raptor R gets an additional two inches. The Ram is lengthier and taller. The Raptor R is 232.6 inches long and stands 80.6 inches tall. The TRX is 232.9 inches long and 80.9 inches from the ground. In this segment, size matters.
The Ram's approach, breakover, and departure angles are 30.2, 21.9, and 23.5 degrees, respectively. Ford's Raptor R beats it in every department with 33.1, 24.9, and 24.4 degrees. This gives Ford the upper hand in technical off-roading, though both cars will likely be too wide and clumsy on a dedicated off-road trail; these are desert runners.
Both trucks build on the existing interiors of the successful standard products. Even the infotainment screen sizes and layout are identical: 12 inches in a portrait layout. Standard features on both trucks include wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.
The model-specific features really matter, and Ford ekes out a nice victory here. The Ram comes with a flat-bottom steering wheel with proper grips, aluminum shift paddles, and TRX emblems to remind you that you're driving something special.
Ford takes it further by adding Recaro seats finished in leather and Alcantara with Raptor R embroidery, Code Orange stitching, and genuine carbon fiber inserts on the doors, dash, and center console. You have to pay extra if you want leather, carbon fiber inserts, or any advanced driver assistance in the Ram.
These cars represent the dying breaths of internal combustion, resolutely refusing to give in before various governments across the globe inevitably pull the plug on all the fun. And we love them for it. Why have a truck with 700 horsepower? Because it's awesome, that's why. Not everything in life has to be logical to exist.
The Ford is at a disadvantage as its 5.2-liter supercharged V8 is a whole liter and 2 horsepower (two) down on the TRX. It shouldn't matter, but it does. The Ford's engine also produces 640 lb-ft of torque compared to the TRX's 650 lb-ft. Pathetic. Ford says it doesn't care, but we do.
But hang on a second, bud. It's not always about the size of the power but more about how you use it. The Ford delivers its full whack of torque from 4,250 rpm, while the Ram's 650 lb-ft only arrives at 4,800 rpm.
Ram claims a 0-60 mph time of 4.5 seconds, a quarter-mile of 12.9 seconds, and a 118 mph top speed. Ford claims nothing. Yup, that's right. Ford launched the Raptor R without any claimed acceleration figures.
There could be two reasons for this. Ford already tested it and found that it's not as fast. Or Ford is letting everyone, including Ram, sweat it out for a bit before it reveals the claimed figures.
We're fans of the second theory because everything points toward a win for Ford. The torque arrives faster and has more gear ratios to play with. Here's the real killer, however. The Raptor R weighs a whopping 490 pounds less than the Ram. That's roughly 2.7 American adults.
Both trucks come with various driving modes and a Baja truck-like suspension setup that's comfortable on road and absolutely epic off it. But let's not kid ourselves. These trucks are made for jumping, as proven by their press pack photography.
We have no doubt the Raptor R will be at least as brilliant as the Ram. Ford has been doing these jumping trucks for too long to get it wrong, and the Bronco Raptor is proof of that. We're a little disappointed that aside from 5% stiffer springs up front to accommodate for a heavier engine, the Raptor R has the exact same suspension as the regular Raptor. Not that we ever found that lacking.
There's only one way to settle this dispute. Somebody will have to get the two trucks together for a jump-off.
Ford has revealed the price of the Raptor R as being a tick under $110,000 including destination. The Ram TRX has a base price of $78,790, but you must add a few things to get to the same specification level as the Ford. Adding the safety kit the Ford comes standard with takes the net price up to $93,270 because you need to add several other things as well. Then you need to select the carbon interior trim, beadlock capable wheels, and a dual-pane panoramic sunroof, all of which come standard on the Raptor R. This brings the TRX to within around $10,000 of the Raptor R for a comparably-specced offering.
Not that any of this matters anyway. Demand for both trucks will be sky-high, which means dealer markups. We've seen TRXs go for as much as $146,000, which will likely be the same story for the Raptor R.
So which wins? Well, on price, the TRX is cheaper and has a little more power and torque. But it weighs more and isn't as well specced. Capability-wise, we're willing to bet nothing is separating the two in a real-world situation, but Ford's extensive knowledge and experience with creating desert-running trucks is bound to give it at least a small advantage.