The dust is still settling on the launch of the 2021 Ford Raptor but while Ford‘s newest off-road bruiser brings plenty of technology and performance right out the gate, a much more potent predator is lurking in the waters and will make its debut in 2022. Here’s a few things that should excite you about the 2022 Ford Raptor R
Wilder Styling Will Make Raptor R Stand Out
The standard Ford Raptor already brings plenty of styling mojo right out of the box, but look for all that to be ratcheted up for the Raptor R. With the new Raptor variant making its debut in 2022, it should come as no surprise that Ford chose to not release any official images of the model (we get to make do with design images of the standard Raptor for now.) But we can look at its chief rival the Ram TRX for some clues on what Ford will bring to the table. For example we’re confident that Ford Performance stylists will add some distinct elements to the front fascia, with bigger intakes and perhaps a revamped hood being part of the package. Look for a healthy amount of graphics to also be splashed onto the truck, with R logos being included in all the right places.
The interior will probably retain alot of the Raptor’s core DNA but look for R models to stand out more in this regard too with special logos and perhaps a few surprises as well to help them be a noticeable step up from the standard Raptor.
What Will Be Lurking Under The Hood Of The Raptor R?
That’s arguably the million dollar question, but today’s unveiling appeared to confirm our theory that the GT500’s 5.2 liter supercharged V8 will be the engine that will answer the call to arms. Ford is obviously targeting the Ram TRX with the R and with the big Ram making over 700 horsepower, the Raptor R will need some serious firepower to take on what’s arguably the alpha predator in the off-road truck segment. In the GT500 the engine (dubbed Predator) makes 760 horsepower so it would be interesting to see if Ford engineers can keep performance roughly in that ballpark.
It also doesn’t hurt either that select Ford representatives in the past that the 5.2 liter could in theory fit under the hood of the F-150. That’s also true the other way around with Ford’s 7.3 liter “Godzilla” V8 fitting in the Mustang. However, the latter is not used due to some of the weight issues that it would create with a Mustang. In the case of the 5.2 liter, we suspect that some of the extra low end punch offered by the supercharger would help the engine work with the extra weight that a Raptor application would bring to the table. Look for the GT500’s DCT transmission to also make the leap to the R to help it make consistent launches. As for the 7.3 liter, it’s certainly not off the table, but with that engine being made for heavy duty applications, the same issues about weight management could keep it from being used in the Raptor R.
It’s Street Legal
After Ford confirmed that the Raptor R would be coming, a number of executives took to Twitter to try and clear the air surrounding the mysterious model and we have included a few of them below.
Yes, new Raptor will have a V8. It is called Raptor R. More to come!
— Said Deep (@TheSaidDeep) February 3, 2021
Raptor R will be street legal.
— Mike Levine (@mrlevine) February 3, 2021
The notion of the R being street legal seems to suggest that it will go far beyond being a mere one-off show truck though it will be interesting to see if Ford will make the R a limited run special in a bid to enhance both desirability and rarity at the same time. Either way the Raptor R will be a welcome surprise for off-road enthusiasts especially those looking for a truck that not only embodies some of the evolution that the standard Raptor brings to the table, but also amplifies it with a few new spins on performance. We will keep our eyes peeled for any further Raptor R developments and will keep you updated on any new developments as they become available.
Carl Malek has been an automotive journalist for over 10 years. First starting out as a freelance photographer before making the transition to writing during college, his work has appeared on numerous automotive forums as well as websites such as Autoshopper.com.
Carl is also a big fan of British vehicles with the bulk of his devotion going to the Morgan Motor Company as well as offerings from Lotus, MG, and Caterham. When he is not writing about automobiles, Carl enjoys spending time with his family and friends in the Metro Detroit area, as well as spending time with his adorable pets.