New spy photos capture the hotly anticipated Ford F-150 Raptor R completely uncovered in public. At first glance, this orange truck looks like a standard Raptor. But as often the case, the devil is in the details. And a close look does reveal some clues that say this is the V8 model enthusiasts have been yearning for.
We will start with the obvious catch. A green sticker on the windshield is labeled new model, though to be fair, it could refer to the standard 2023 F-150 Raptor. It seems unlikely unless Ford has some minor changes in store, but hey, you didn't click this article to read about a generic green sticker. You're more interested in the R badge hiding on the grille.
It's covered with black tape, and we might learn later on that there are other updates for the Raptor R's grille. But perched underneath the letter D on the driver's side is a small square that you won't find on the EcoBoost Raptor. It suggests Ford is taking a more subtle approach to the Raptor R's exterior, and if you look lower on the bumper, you'll see black where the skid plate connects instead of silver. For those wanting a bit more visual punch, a graphics package adding Raptor R stickers to the quarter panels at the back is certainly a possibility.
Gallery: 2023 Ford F-150 Raptor R Spy Photos
Speaking of the back, those trailing arms underneath are different than what we see on the standard Raptor. And if you look very closely at the dual exhaust, you'll see familiar dark tips but the piping behind them is bigger. That's critical, as it ties directly to what's almost certainly the Shelby GT500's supercharged 5.2-liter V8 engine under the hood. We know a V8 is in there; Ford executives confirmed it back in 2021. Taking on the supercharged Ram TRX requires a significant power boost from the 450-horsepower (336-kilowatt) twin-turbocharged V6, and the Shelby's 760-hp (567-kW) mill is too good to pass up.
Whether the Raptor R will keep all 760 ponies remains to be seen, but something in the 700-hp range seems all but guaranteed. All we have to do now is wait, and with Ford driving uncovered test models on the street, an official could be just weeks away.