When the all-new, third-generation 2021 Ford F-150 Raptor was revealed last year, it did so with updated styling, a brand new suspension setup, and a 37-inch tire option, bringing a host of improvements to the second-generation model. However, there was one glaring oversight – the twin-turbo Ford 3.5L V6 EcoBoost H.O. powerplant present in the third-gen Raptor carried over with the same exact output as the second-gen model, though Ford made it clear at the time that the V8-powered 2023 Ford F-150 Raptor R would eventually make up for that disappointing news. And that begs the question – will the 2023 Ford F-150 Raptor R make the regular Raptor irrelevant when it launches?
Way back in June of 2019, Ford Authority was the first to report that the Ford F-150 Raptor would once again be available with a V8 engine, which we now know will come in the form of the supercharged Ford 5.2L V8 Predator that’s also used in the Ford Mustang Shelby GT500. With at least 750 horsepower on tap and a fortified 10-speed automatic transmission behind it, the Raptor R should outperform the regular Raptor on essentially every level.
Ultimately, however, whether or not the 2023 Ford F-150 Raptor R can make the regular Raptor irrelevant boils down to a couple of different factors – price and availability. The regular Raptor retails for around $72,000 (minus markups), though we don’t yet know the price of the Raptor R. If the V8 version features an MSRP of somewhere around $80,000, it will undoubtedly be hard to justify passing on it to go with the EcoBoost version, though it’s also unclear how many Raptor Rs Ford will use able to produce.
Given the fact that the regular Raptor is currently difficult to find and purchase at MSRP, the same should hold true for the Raptor R, which figures to be both rarer and more sought-after when it launches. This could actually have a positive effect on the EcoBoost-powered Raptor, however – it may cause buyers to shun it in favor of the R, which could mean greater availability and fewer markups, the same impact that the launch of the S550 Mustang Shelby GT500 had on the GT350.
In that case, if we’re talking about spending $70k on a Raptor or perhaps $100k or so on a marked-up Raptor R, one could make the case that the former is the superior value. This is especially true since the Raptor R won’t look much different than the regular Raptor, though it will certainly sound different. Regardless, we’re curious to hear what our readers think about this hot topic, so be sure and vote in the poll below!