Here’s Why the 2023 Ford F-150 Raptor R Makes ‘Only’ 700 HP

Ford could’ve easily beat the 702-hp Ram TRX, but it didn’t. What gives?

byCaleb JacobsJul 18, 2022 10:30 AM
Here’s Why the 2023 Ford F-150 Raptor R Makes ‘Only’ 700 HP
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You won't catch any sane person calling the 2023 Ford F-150 Raptor R underpowered. Its supercharged 5.2-liter V8 conjures up 700 horsepower and 640 pound-feet of torque, which is an awful lot more than the EcoBoost V6 makes in the regular Raptor. But knowing that the same engine has 760 hp in the Mustang Shelby GT500, it almost surprised me to see the super truck's output rounded so far down.

Again, I'm not worried that the F-150 Raptor R will be slow. But knowing how much importance truck buyers place on stat sheet specs, I would've bet real money on the Ford making more power than Ram's 702-hp TRX. There are a few reasons for this, though, as the automaker confirmed my assumptions.

"The use case is really what matters here," a Ford spokesperson said over email. "Something like a GT500 is designed for high-speed track use where higher horsepower translates to high performance. The Raptor R on the other hand is all about winning off-road, in the dirt, and in harsh conditions—for those situations torque is king."

Indeed, the F-150 Raptor R has a 15-pound-feet torque advantage over the GT500. It also weighs 5,950 pounds, which means it's 400 pounds lighter than the Ram TRX. That ought to be more than enough to make up for the 2 hp deficit, as the Ford has one hp for every 8.5 pounds while the Ram has one for every 9 pounds.

The power level cap makes sense, then. Just because it's a GT500 engine at its core doesn't mean it has to be tuned identically. Whereas a car like the Mustang spends a decent amount of time at high revs, the F-150 Raptor R needs more oomph down low. This is a common approach when cars and trucks share engines, which they often do.

The horsepower disparity is the exact same between a regular F-150 with the 5.0-liter, which makes 400 hp, and the Mustang GT, which makes 460 hp using the same Coyote V8.

"Not only does the 5.2-liter supercharged V8 in Raptor R make more torque, it makes it lower in the rev range, and delivers that torque across a wide rev band," the Ford spokesperson continued. "Those performance characteristics are ideal for desert running, but also great for the kind of work that Raptor owners also use their trucks for, like towing and hauling."

The Ram TRX's supercharged Hemi is also detuned, for what it's worth; the Hellcat engine makes 717 hp or more in other applications. It's simply better for trucks to have higher torque rather than chasing horsepower claims. And plus, it's not like you're going to use all that power all the time, if ever.

If you really want to go above and beyond that 700 hp figure, though, you can always buy Whipple's supercharger kit and shoot for 2,000 hp.

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