The acceleration of the Ford F-150 Raptor R is wild, but strange | Rare Techy
This is what we’ve been waiting for. From the moment Ford announced the Raptor R — its 700-horsepower hypertruck and direct competitor to the 702-horsepower Ram 1500 TRX — our inner ear was excited to see how the two would meet. The Ford’s 3.6-second sprint to 60 mph makes it the fastest gasoline-powered truck we’ve attached our test equipment to. So is the 12.0-second trip through the quarter-mile trap at 112 mph, which is the best fastest TRX we’ve seen and reclaims the title of fastest F-150 from the electric Lightning. (The Rivian R1T is the fastest-accelerating pickup truck ever, with 60 mph in 3.0 seconds and an 11.5-second quarter mile.) But the Raptor R’s record-setting performance doesn’t tell the whole story.
Usually, the fastest way to start these high-powered behemoths is to get a lot of braking torque off the line to increase thrust and revs. Unlike the TRX, the Raptor R is not equipped with an adjustable launch control system or any launch assistance. If any brake pressure is detected, the computers tell the engine to stop and reduce the torque transmitted through the transmission. According to Ford, this is to prevent the engine from overpowering the brakes. If and when you pick up the Raptor R, follow two simple steps for maximum acceleration: Select Sport mode (which automatically switches the transmission to 4Auto) and engage Auto-Hold for the braking system. Step on the accelerator and you’re off. Just flat-footed lifting without using auto-hold is a tenth slower. But that’s right, the Raptor R accelerates from idle to 60 mph in 3.6 seconds.
Given its massive 700-pound weight advantage, we expected the 6,077-pound Raptor R’s advantage to exceed the 0.3-second gap it gives the TRX in the quarter-mile. Blame it on the 37-inch BFGoodrich All-Terrain KO2s and their 112-mph top speed, which doesn’t allow Ford to unleash the true potential of the supercharged 5.2-liter V-8. From 100 to 110 mph, each mph clicks by roughly 0.2 seconds. The Raptor R hits 110 mph in 11.1 seconds, and then the power is pulled as the truck approaches the 114 mph speed limit. 112 mph and the quarter mile takes another 0.9 seconds when it should take half as long. If the Raptor R rolled on 35-inch tires and had the same 120-mph speed limiter as the twin-turbocharged 3.5-liter version, it would give the TRX the biggest punch Detroit has seen since the 2012 World Series. Still, the Raptor wins the quarter-mile by 0.3 seconds, and the F-150’s leanness is evident in the 5-60 mph acceleration test, where it bests the Ram by 0.5 seconds.
Braking, as expected, is not a strong suit for desert-ready trucks with big, shiny tread block tires. The Raptor R came to a stop from 70 mph in 205 feet and stretched that distance to 430 feet from 100 miles, matching the best TRX numbers we’ve seen at 16 and 12 feet, respectively. The Raptor R clocked in at 0.71g on the skid pad, hardly an impressive number, but slightly better than the TRX.
Seven hundred horses tend to be thirsty. On our 75-mile highway fuel economy lap, the Raptor R returned 14 mpg, 1 mpg below the EPA highway rating. That’s still better than the 13 mpg we observed in our long-term Ram 1500 TRX. But is anyone buying a $100,000 truck concerned about fuel economy? Our guess is no.
Of course, there’s the inevitable head-to-head comparison test to get these factory-built monster cars out into their natural habitat to find out who’s who. But for now, Ford’s Raptor R is the performance king.
2023 Ford F-150 Raptor R
Vehicle Type: Front Engine, Rear/4 Wheel Drive, 5 Passenger, 4 Door Pickup
Base / As Tested: $109,145 / $111,935
Options: moonroof and power tailgate, $2,195; spray-on bedding, $595; delete graphics, $0
supercharged and intercooled DOHC 32-valve V-8, aluminum block and heads, port injection
Displacement: 315 inches35163 cm3
Power: 700 HP @ 6650 rpm
Torque: 640 lb-ft @ 4250 rpm
Suspension, F/R: Control Arms/Live Axle
Brakes, F/R: 13.8″ ventilated disc / 13.2″ ventilated disc
Tires: BF Goodrich All-Terrain T/A KO2
37×12.5R-17LT 116S M+S 3PMSF FP
Wheelbase: 145.4 inches
Length: 232.6 inches
Width: 87.0 inches
Height: 80.6 inches
Passenger capacity: 136 feet3
Curb weight: 6,077 lbs
C/D TEST RESULTS
60 mph: 3.6 sec
100 mph: 9.1 sec
1/4 mile: 12.0 sec @ 112 mph
The 0.3-second 1-foot spread is omitted from the above results.
Roll start, 5-60 mph: 4.1 sec
Top Gear, 30-50 mph: 2.2 sec
Top Gear, 50-70 mph: 2.7 sec
Top speed (gov ltd): 114 mph
Braking, 70-0 mph: 205 feet
Braking, 100-0 mph: 430 feet
Persistence off the road, 300-foot pad: 0.71g
C/D FUEL COST
Observed: 10 mpg
75 mph highway: 14 mpg
75-mph highway: 500 miles
EPA FUEL ECONOMY
Combined/City/Highway: 12/10/15 mpg
C/D TESTING EXPLAINED
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