Listen to this article

The full-size truck segment moves fast in the US. It's hard to believe the current-generation Ford F-150 is already a couple of years old, but a mid-cycle refresh for the best-selling rig is already well into the testing phase. That places the hardcore F-150 Raptor R in a strange position, as it's technically an F-150. That means it will also get a facelift despite debuting less than a year ago.

These photos offer our first look at the Raptor with updated styling. Like other F-150 trims we've spied recently, the Raptor R's exterior changes will be relegated to the front and rear. Even then, the emphasis falls on the front where a larger grille exists behind the coverings. That will lead to an updated bumper, and we expect minor changes to the headlights as well. With the Raptor R's wide stance, that could mean additional updates to the fenders. That said, the stacked dual-lens layout in a C-shaped bracket with LED running lights will remain largely unchanged.

Gallery: Ford F-150 Raptor R Refresh Spy Photos

Spy shots of other F-150 test vehicles have shown heavy camo covering portions of the bed and tailgate. Here, there are just small squares of camo wrap on the corners of the bed. New tail light designs heavily influenced by the F-150 Lightning are all but revealed here. We believe standard F-150 models will have new multifunction tailgate designs, but the off-road-focused Raptor (and Raptor R) continue on with the current gate.

We've yet to get a good look inside a facelifted F-150 test vehicle, but our spy sources say some hefty changes are coming to the interior. More camouflage on the dash suggests a large vertically-oriented touch screen is coming, once again borrowing from the electric F-150 Lightning.

The beefy suspension and aggressive bodywork easily identify this truck as a Raptor, but our spy photographer noted a distinct V8 rumble that's exclusive to the Raptor R. Power comes from a supercharged 5.2-liter V8, borrowed from the Shelby Mustang GT500 and retuned for truck duty. It makes 700 hp on the dot, though we wouldn't be surprised if Ford tweaked the mill just enough to beat the 702-hp benchmark currently held by the Ram 1500 TRX.

We believe the core F-150 lineup will debut its fresh face later this year, launching for the 2024 model year. Whether the Raptor R follows suit at the same time remains to be seen. In the meantime, check out the Rambling About Cars podcast for more content on the current truck scene in America.

Got a tip for us? Email: tips@motor1.com