The V8-powered truck isn't as close to production as we'd hoped, but we now have a timeline.
It's been almost eight months since Ford confirmed that the new F-150 Raptor R is coming with V8 power, finally giving the Blue Oval a true competitor to the Ram 1500 TRX. Considering when this news made the headlines, we anticipated that the production Raptor R couldn't be too far off. Unfortunately, the hottest F-150 yet won't be arriving as soon as we had hoped. According to Ford Authority, sources that are said to be familiar with the production of the F-150 have confirmed that the Raptor R is only due to arrive later next year. That's somewhat vague, but it leads us to believe that we'll only see the truck in the third or fourth quarter of 2022.
With several high-performance trucks expected before then, that means Ford will lose out on potential customers until the F-150 Raptor R arrives, especially if those shoppers are willing to go for an all-electric option. First Editions of the Hummer EV are expected in the fall of 2022, while the first production examples of the Rivian R1T have already arrived. Still, there's nothing quite like the allure of a big V8 and the Ram 1500 TRX has capitalized on this. The F-150 Raptor R will likely use the same 5.2-liter supercharged V8 engine from the Mustang Shelby GT500, although it may be detuned to around 750 horsepower.
The Raptor R is expected to receive its own styling updates to distinguish it as the mightiest F-150 of all, so expect to see elements like a bespoke grille and aggressive wheels. Of course, for impatient shoppers not willing to potentially wait another year, the regular Raptor is well worth a look. It may not have a V8 and it "only" makes 450 hp from its EcoBoost V6 engine, but it's hardly lacking in power and the upgraded suspension makes it an unstoppable beast off-road. It'll have to suffice for a while longer until its more powerful sibling arrives.