Ford F-150 Raptor R chief engineer discusses engine and chassis
The 2023 Ford F-150 Raptor R is a testament to the fact that well-heeled customers continue to seek an ever bolder, louder, louder and more capable pickup, and with a desire to bring the V8 back to the Raptor, Ford has responded.
Ford Performance engineers tuned the Predator V8 to make it more truck-friendly, delivering higher low-end torque instead of full horsepower (700 hp in the truck versus 760 hp in the S550 Mustang Shelby GT500) . Of course, the F-150 Raptor R is speed limited to 112 mph anyway, so it’s not like the truck is going to win many trophies on the drag strip. But off-road, it’s a different story. Our friend André Smirnov from TFL recently sat down with Ford F-150 Raptor R chief engineer Carl Widmann to discuss the pivotal off-road truck’s engine and chassis.
Ford F-150 Raptor R Engine and Chassis: Details
Starting with the heart of the 2023 Ford F-150 Raptor R, the 5.2L Predator V8. The Raptor R’s engine can trace some of its lineage back to Ford’s old Voodoo engine, which predates Predator a few years old and was only found in the Mustang Shelby GT350. But it’s not a flat V8 like the Voodoo, instead both engines share the same intake valve. Additionally, Widmann revealed that the 5.2L was specifically engineered by Ford Performance for superior durability to the Predator engine found inside the S550 GT500. As a truck, the F-150 Raptor R had to go through a more severe duty cycle that Ford engineers adhere to for all of their trucks, even the little Maverick. For example, the drawn oil pan is different on this version of engine, designed to take steep angles and ensure the pan picks up oil.
Ford Performance also redesigned the exhaust manifold, casting it from stainless steel rather than the tubing found in the GT500 application. The modification was made to ensure that the manifold meets the truck durability requirements that Ford has put in place for its vehicles. Additionally, the supercharger’s pulley system features a smaller pulley that spins faster and gives even more power to the engine. The cooling system has also been redone for the Raptor R. Widmann also revealed that since the truck is larger (than the Mustang) there is more airflow through the exhaust which also helps overall engine power.
Speaking of power, the supercharged 5.2-liter V8 produces 700 horsepower and 640 lb-ft of torque. Considering the power under the hood of the GT500, it was entirely possible that Ford could have outdone the Ram TRX, which produces 702 horsepower and 650 lb-ft of torque. Widmann revealed that Ford wanted to balance the power going to the wheels and the weight at the front of the vehicle. The Raptor R was designed to fly, so by weighting the front end with more power, there is a risk of damaging the vehicle when it’s time to get the wheels back on the ground. On the other hand, the Raptor R weighs a bit less than the Ram TRX, which means it’s still very competitive against that truck.
The video offers a great look at the 2023 Ford F-150 Raptor R chassis, along with a look at the new suspension at the rear of the truck, which helps handle the immense power sent to the wheels with the all-wheel drive system. . In addition, Ford has replaced the leaf springs with arms almost a meter long, which improves the stability of the truck and provides a more comfortable driving experience, especially when driving on washboards.
We can also see the width of the Raptor R’s driveshaft to help send all that power to the rear wheels. Since 37 inch tires are standard on the truck, some modifications have been made to some of the components around the spare tire to ensure that it will fit, despite all parts being tightened, even without the addition of the massive tire. Ford has also developed its own algorithm for the truck, which combines with sensors at all four corners to determine the terrain the car is under. It then adjusts the suspension accordingly to dampen the wheel and ensure the truck has traction at all times and landings are a bit smoother when jumping.