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2024 Ford F-150 Raptor R has a whopping 720 horsepower and 640 lb-ft of torque

Ford F-150 Raptor R is basically a Lamborghini that can haul mulch

2024 Ford F-150 R airborne as it comes up a desert sand hill.
Ford Motor Company / Ford Motor Company

If you like desert racing trucks that go airborne at will, the 2024 Ford F-150 Raptor R will make you smile. The newest Raptor R puts out 20 more horsepower than last year’s model from the desert stomper’s 5.2-liter supercharged V8. The 2024 Raptor R’s 720 horses also outnumber its most direct competitor, the RAM 1500 TRX, which pulls 702hp from a supercharged HEMI 6.2-liter V8.

Ford’s first generation F-150 Raptor, from 2010 to 2014, used standard 5.4-liter or optional 6.2-liter V8s. After a two-year break, Ford launched the second generation F-150 Raptor 2017 with a turbocharged V6 engine. The 2024 Raptor’s 3.5-liter twin-turbocharged EcoBoost V6 cranks 450hp and 510 lb.-ft of torque.

After the 2021 RAM 1500 TRX debut with a V8 and 702hp, Ford answered the challenge in 2023 with the 700 hp Raptor R, now 720hp for the 2024 model. The horsepower bragging rights competition would likely continue with each subsequent model year if RAM hadn’t already announced it would discontinue the TRX after the 2024 model year.

Direct front view of a 2024 Ford F-150 R sitting in desert sand.
Ford Motor Company / Ford Motor Company

The Raptor 2 is more than just an engine

For 2024, the F-150 Raptor and F-150 Raptor R are more alike than they’re different. The V6 and V8 engines are built at other plants, but both trucks are assembled at Ford’s Dearborn Truck Plant in Michigan. Both Raptors have SuperCrew bodies with aluminum cabins and beds on high-strength steel frames.

The two models have two-speed automatic four-wheel-drive with neutral towing, so the odometer won’t register miles when the truck is towed. The trucks use the same 10-speed automatic transmission, have identical 4.10:1 final drive ratios, and require premium unleaded gasoline.

Fox LiveValve shocks on a 2024 Ford F-150 R.
Ford Motor Company / Ford Motor Company

The Raptor R’s shockingly good suspension

The 2024 Raptor is available with standard 34-inch or optional 37-inch wheels. The Raptor R comes standard with 37-inch wheels.

The 2024 F-150 Raptor has optional 37-inch tires, and the Raptor R has FOX Racing Shox with Dual LiveValve Technology. The shocks work with the Raptor’s five-link rear suspension system to adjust the damping effect and rebound based on the terrain. The adaptive control system improves traction, lateral stability, and overall off-road performance but also enhances performance and rider comfort for on-road driving.

2024 Ford F-150 R hood scoop.
Ford Motor Conmpany / Ford Motor Company

F-150 Raptor and Raptor R brakes, lights, and safety

The Raptor and Raptor R have identical standard brakes, lights, safety controls, and nearly the same technology features. The brakes have 350 x 34mm Nitr4o Tough iron rotors with dual calipers in front and 336 x 34 mm Nitro Tough iron rotors with single calipers in the rear.

Both trucks have standard LED quad-beam headlamps, taillamps, and Rigid LED fog lamps. In addition to the usual safety features such as ABS, a full suite of airbags, tire pressure monitoring, and an SOS post-crash alert system, the Raptors also have Ford’s AdvanceTrac with Roll Stability Control.

2024 Ford F-150 R facing out over a sand hill left side view from a distance.
Ford Motor Company / Ford Motor Company

The new F-150 Raptor competitors

With the RAM 1500 TRX ending production with the 2024 model, the F-150 Raptor R could be the big dog of desert racing, at least for a few years. The Rivian R1T and Tesla Cybertruck are potential competitors in the near term. Rivian and Tesla may or may not decide that intentionally sending newer technology vehicles to compete in lengthy challenges with no charging infrastructure is a beautiful idea. It’s more likely that RAM, GM, and Ford will be the manufacturers to field the next generation of desert racing trucks.

Bruce Brown
Digital Trends Contributing Editor Bruce Brown is a member of the Smart Homes and Cars teams. He also writes technology news…
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