The full-size truck segment is moving fast in the US. It’s hard to believe the current-generation Ford F-150 is several years old, but a mid-cycle refresh for the best-selling rig is already well into its testing phase. That puts the hardcore F-150 Raptor R in an odd position, because technically it’s an F-150. This means that it will also get a facelift even though it only debuted less than a year ago.
These photos offer our first look at the Raptor in updated style. Like other F-150 trims we’ve seen recently, the Raptor R’s exterior changes will be relegated to the front and rear. Even so, the emphasis falls on the front where a larger grille sits beneath the shutter. 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 layout of the dual lenses stacked in a C-shaped bracket with LED lights will remain unchanged.
Spy shots from other F-150 test vehicles have shown heavy camouflage covering part of the bed and rear door. Here, there’s just a little square camo wrap in the corner of the bed. The new taillight design heavily influenced by the F-150 Lightning is all revealed here. We believe the standard F-150 model will have a new multi-function tailgate design, but the off-road-focused Raptor (and Raptor R) will continue with the current gate.
We haven’t gotten a great look inside the facelifted F-150 test vehicle yet, but our insider sources say some major changes will be made to the interior. More camouflage on the dash suggests a large vertically oriented touch screen will be present, 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 the 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 tuned for the duty truck. . That makes 700 hp on point, though we wouldn’t be surprised if Ford tweaked the factory enough to beat the 702-hp benchmark currently held by the Ram 1500 TRX.
We believe the core F-150 lineup will take on a new face later this year, unveiled 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 trucking scene in America.