2024 Ford F-150 Raptor R Piles More on Top

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“There aren’t a lot of situations that 720 horsepower can’t solve.”

It didn’t take long in the desert outside Palm Springs, California, for this line from the 2024 Ford F-150 Raptor R’s development team to ring true. Staring down a sandy dune several stories tall, our goal was to claw our way up the mountainside, rip a big fat drift, and meander back down. Some members of our cohort didn’t give the throttle the commitment it needed on the way up, but as the truck’s vertical progress began to slow, the relative silence gave way to a supercharged eight-cylinder aural assault, as all 720 horsepower and 640 pound-feet of torque went to work putting the Raptor R back on its intended course.

On paper, the changes to the 2024 Raptor R seem mild. A new hood gave Ford engineers the airflow needed for them to extract 20 extra horsepower from the R’s supercharged 5.2-liter V-8 and flatten the engine’s torque curve a bit. New Fox Dual Live Valve shocks allow for control of both compression and rebound (only compression was adjustable previously). Combined with a control unit loaded with the Blue Oval’s in-house algorithms, Ford claims this more advanced suspension setup will expand on-road comfort and off-road capability in equal measure.

To see how these changes enhance the Raptor R’s off-road prowess, we went through a series of different dirt-tinged scenarios. While we did spend a bit of time on the road, our 37-inch BFGoodrich K02 all-terrain tires were aired down (27 to 29 psi up front, 23 psi out back) for better desert-running grip, so we can’t speak much to how the truck would operate normally during daily use. But don’t worry, it sure as hell gets up to the speed limit in no time, and the truck’s gigantic footprint means 90 mph feels a lot closer to 40 than it should.

Our first adventure led us to an off-road course meant to mimic desert racing. Pushing past 70 mph on gravel on a slight uphill stretch is not for the faint of heart; even with the BFGoodrich tires providing immense amounts of grip, the Raptor R’s front end lightens, and the body becomes subject to the lateral whimsy of the rocky path underfoot. A light drag on the brakes straightened the body in time for us to give the left pedal a much stronger hug, and the tires once again dug in as we dove into the first turn and powered out. The immense amount of suspension travel dispatched a series of gnarly-looking whoops with less drama than expected. Throughout, the Raptor R remained eminently composed—we were never left searching for grip from either axle—and only encouraged us to go faster in search of bump stops we never found.

Following our best efforts to shake our bones to goop, we headed over to an autocross of sorts that Ford built on a dry lakebed, which gave us a chance to toss up some big brown rooster tails and cake the nearby terrain in dust. In the Raptor R’s Baja mode, the stability-control system permitted a lurid amount of yaw, allowing us to slap the 10-speed automatic transmission into manual mode, heave the front end into a corner and apply power to send it sideways. It drifted with ease—as anything with 720 horsepower should.

Before being sent up a multi-story dune, we had some proper mountain crawling to knock out. Swapping to Off-Road mode changes the powertrain’s behavior, focusing more on low-speed, low-rpm crawling than high-speed, high-rpm whoop-demolishing. This change in throttle mapping made it easy to move forward at whatever pace was comfortable, using the front camera’s feed on the standard 12.0-inch touchscreen to place the tires atop rocks that could otherwise slash some sidewalls if they weren’t surmounted correctly. Ford wasn’t about to put us into a situation that only a Chinook could solve, but it wasn’t exactly mini golf either; still, the Raptor R ate that steep, rocky trail for lunch, without even so much as a glance at 4LO.

Naturally, it wouldn’t be a Raptor R drive without a jump, and Ford happily obliged. There wasn’t much hang time, but no matter what angle the Raptor R actually left the sandy ramp—hitting highway speeds in the desert will cause an awful lot of unintended juking and yawing—the truck plopped back down to terra firma (terra firm-ish, we suppose) with a satisfying lack of metal-on-metal noise, and a small bit of countersteer kept the nose pointed in the right direction.

The Ford F-150 Raptor R already exists in the upper echelon of off-road-truck capability, and the small adjustments made to the pickup for 2024 give the pilot the confidence to add pace and get up to even more hoony shenanigans. Dearborn will want more than a pound of flesh for the privilege though—while the six-cylinder Raptor starts at a mildly sensible $80,325, upgrading to the Raptor R requires another $31,925, and with a couple other options, our example’s window sticker reached an eye-watering $113,935. But considering the Ram 1500 TRX’s replacement and the Raptor’s closest competitor, the Ram 1500 RHO, is only offered with six cylinders of motivation, this muscled-up Ford is the only V-8 dune-demolisher in town.



2024 Ford F-150 Raptor R
Vehicle Type: front-engine, rear/4-wheel-drive, 5-passenger, 4-door pickup


Base: Raptor R, $112,250


supercharged and intercooled DOHC 32-valve V-8, aluminum block and heads, port fuel injection
Displacement: 315 in3, 5163 cm3
Power: 720 hp @ 6650 rpm
Torque: 640 lb-ft @ 4300 rpm


10-speed automatic


Wheelbase: 145.4 in
Length: 232.6 in
Width: 87.0 in
Height: 80.6 in
Curb Weight (C/D est): 6050 lb


60 mph: 3.5 sec
100 mph: 9.0 sec
1/4-Mile: 11.9 sec
Top Speed: 112 mph


Combined/City/Highway: 12/10/15 mpg

Cars are Andrew Krok’s jam, along with boysenberry. After graduating with a degree in English from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 2009, Andrew cut his teeth writing freelance magazine features, and now he has a decade of full-time review experience under his belt. A Chicagoan by birth, he has been a Detroit resident since 2015. Maybe one day he’ll do something about that half-finished engineering degree.

Source: Reviews -


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