There's a lot we don't yet know about the upcoming Ford F-150 Raptor R. We know it will have a V8 engine, but we don't know which one. We don't know exactly when we'll see the truck in its entirely or when it will go on sale, we don't know how much it will cost ... and we don't know just how terrible its fuel mileage will be (not that its owners will care, even in the days of $5-plus per gallon). But we do know it's gonna rip.
To drive that point home, Ford trotted out a prototype of the F-150 Raptor R to whet our appetites while we were in the Johnson Valley OHV area of the California desert testing out the Bronco Raptor. We'll have plenty more to say about the Bronco in the near future. But without any advance warning, we were treated with a quick preview of the F-150 Raptor R doing donuts in the sand from what we figure was about a quarter mile away.
We only had time to whip out our phones for a quick video, so apologies that we can't offer a closer look. We could definitely tell it was powered by a V8, and rumors indicating it will be a version of the Ford Mustang Shelby GT500's supercharged 5.2-liter engine seem likely. We can't make out any discernible supercharger whine (as you can in a Hellcat-powered Ram TRX), but the same is true of the Shelby. We also can't be sure of the truck's transmission, but those quick shifts could come courtesy of the 7-speed dual-clutch gearbox used in the Shelby, too.
If it's going to compete on at least equal footing with the Ram (and we're sure it will), it will have to have something more than 700 horsepower. The GT500's engine spits out 760, so even if it's down on power a bit for truck duty, we're hoping Ford can coax more than the TRX's 702 ponies. Ford even offers a supercharger kit for the Mustang 5.0-liter engine, which brings output to 750 horsepower, so it's possible that the Raptor R could use a variant of that. But the durability upgrades of the GT500 engine would seem to make it a stronger possibility for something as high-performance (and likely expensive) as the Raptor r.
All that's left to say, then, is stay tuned.