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2024 Ford F-150 Raptor R: Hard Core Capabilities

By Kimatni D. Rawlins

If playing in sand, dunes, mud, and rocky roads is your thing, and high-performance criterion is required, then the new 2024 Ford F-150 Raptor R should be your super truck of choice. A revamped 5.2-liter supercharged V8 ignites the full-size, off-road pickup, dispersing a staggering 720 horsepower and 640 lb.-ft. of torque. As we discovered in the baron lands of Indian Wells, CA, Ford’s indomitable Raptor R is groomed for Baja desert racing.

You rarely have the access or opportunity to sand drift through an autocross. Still, Ford ensured that media guests felt the full capabilities of the 2024 Raptor R. We had to strap on a harness and helmet since the driving was intense and unpredictable at high speeds through the rough terrain and trails before reaching the performance area. Outfitted with beefy 37” BF Goodrich KO2 all-terrain tires, we selected Baja mode to set the truck up perfectly for the tasks at hand. The 5.2, which received an additional 20-horsepower through adjusted airflow engineering, roars and accelerates like big cats in the wild. It’s paired with a 10-speed SelectShift automatic transmission and a 2-speed automatic 4WD system.

Redesigned for 2024, the F-150 Raptor’s roots date back 14 years when it launched with a 310-horsepower 5.4-liter V8 and 411-horsepower 6.2-liter V8. With the current Raptor R offering thrill seekers an all-in-one performance package totaling a whopping $113,640 ($1,995 destination and delivery fee), you can expect every amenity and technology Ford Performance offers. Basically, the only options you can choose are a sunroof and power tailgate. Yet, I prefer to manually open and close my tailgate, so there will be no need for power. Plus, that adds more mechanisms to go wrong. A few notable off-road technologies include:

  • Terrain Management System with seven selectable drive modes
  • Standard Trail Control acts like cruise control for low-speed driving
  • New modular front bumper option to expose the tires more
  • Wider forged tow hooks with strong attachment points to rescue non-Raptor vehicles
  • Skid plates and cast aluminum running boards
  • Rebound Control: electronically controlled hydraulic system
  • 17 x 8.5” forged aluminum beadlock-capable rims with lip moldings
  • Trail Control for low-speed driving and One-Pedal Drive

 

The physical presence of the 2024 F-150 Raptor R is more domineering than ever. Specific additions include an aggressive black grille with fresh headlamps, a unique and larger Power Dome on the hood, new desert-inspired graphics on the rear fenders, Code Orange “R” badge treatment on the grille, Power Dome, and tailgate, and new materials and colors such as Shelter Green. Essentially, the R receives everything that Raptor plus the additions I mentioned, and standard FOX Live Valve shocks with dual valve technology, Continuously Variable Compression, and Rebound Control, which all worked to perfection on the sand jumps and aggressive autocross action at high speeds. Yet, jumping from 60 mph is not the hard part; it’s sticking the landing, so make sure not to brake immediately!

For part two of the trail, we turned on off-road mode which locks the rear differential and flew up sandy, steep hills at high speeds. Again, this was a simple task for the Raptor R. Then we went straight into high-grip rock crawling, which was a cinch. When drivers are in concentration mode Ford makes it simple to adjust the transfer case using the R shortcut on the robust steering wheel. Once you leave the wild, the Raptor R is ready for everyday cruising. Recaro leather sport seats will keep you comforted, though, they seemed more primed for 4×4-ing. But keep in mind neither Raptor inherits hands-free BlueCruise, which I’m not a fan of anyway. I’d rather operate my vehicles 100%.

Inside the rugged but digital cockpit, you will find a limitless amount of convenience technologies and amenities, including the Twin Panel Moonroof, large dials,  a powerful hand shifter, and a performance view screen in the instrument cluster and head-up display. A 12″ digital productivity screen and a 12″ vertical touch screen with SYNC 4 are your truck’s mastermind, while Ford PowerUp over-the-air updates, FordPass Connect, and Intelligent Access keep you on your game. A 14-speaker Bang & Olufsen sound system takes over the listening experience when you are not playing in the dirt.

For truck owners who tow as part of their lifestyle, I’m sure you will put Pro Trailer Backup Assist, Pro Trailer Hitch Assist, Reverse Sensing, and Rear View Camera to good use. The 360-degree camera was one of my favorite features as well. A few safety and security packages include ADVANCETRAC with RSC, Stolen Vehicle Services, Perimeter Alarm, SOS Post Crash Alert System, and Securicode Keyless Keypad.

The Raptor brand continues to expand and now includes the Bronco Raptor and Ranger Raptor, allowing Ford Performance to tap into the psychographics of every type of truck owner. Thus, since the third-generation Raptor (R) is the baddest, high-performance off-roader on the market, the super truck will never disappoint you.

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