After many years, the presence of the Ram TRX and the apparently imminent demise of supercharged V8 factory vehicles have convinced Ford to bring the Raptor back to its eight-cylinder roots for what is probably one delicious last hurrah. And that’s how the 2023 F-150 Raptor R was born. Well, with more and more customers getting their examples delivered these days, some people simply feel an urge to one-up the factory output of 700 hp. Enter the first nitrous-fed 2023 Raptor R, albeit with this featuring what the YouTube behind it calls a ghetto shot of nitrous.
Not unlike its Mopar archenemy, the Raptor R got its supercharged heart for one of the fiercest muscle cars around. In this case we’re looking at the S550 Mustang Shelby GT500, which has been axed for 2023 and may or may not return with the upcoming S650-gen 2024 Mustang.
Since tuners are already familiar with the blower-aided 5.2-liter Predator V8, you can expect a wave of modded Raptor Rs soon. In the meantime, YouTuber Cleetus McFarland, whom we mostly know for his drag racing shenanigans, decided to have his crew point a nitrous bottle at the intake of his Raptor R and spray some good ole N2O.
A 1,000 HP 2023 Ford F-150 Raptor R? Oh, that’s coming, but we’re not there quite yet
Now, that big, black bottle is good for a 300 nitrous shot, which should theoretically add just as much horsepower and make for a nicely rounded 1,000 hp Raptor R.
Then again, this sounds like the kind of math you’d do while on laughing gas—yes, it’s the same as the nitrous they shoot into car engines. You see, that kind of added muscle would probably require a built engine, especially if you’re looking for the unit to last more than a couple of dyno runs.
Speaking of which, Cleetus—his real name is Garrett Mitchell—mentions the 580 rear wheel horsepower as a benchmark for the baseline run. Note that the output is measured in RWD mode, with the drivetrain losses being smaller this way.
He’s probably referencing the dyno run done by tuner Late Model Restoration (LMR), which got 580 hp and 533 lb-ft last month—factoring in the official crankshaft numbers of 700 hp and 650 lb-ft, we get a drivetrain loss of around 17%. And, given the heavy-duty components, from the mechanical bits to the 37-inch tires that barely allow the truck to fit on Cleetus’ dyno, that figure seems natural.
However, the YouTuber got 557 hp and 547 lb-ft of twist at the rear wheels—this was the stock run, but you can check out the nitrous run at the 15:44 point of the video below. The deficit compared to that LMR run? That’s okay, since the readings vary between multiple dynos. Besides, these numbers are uber-close to what another tuner, namely Hennessey Performance, extracted out of the Raptor R (stock) earlier this week.
Following that ghetto nitrous shot, though, Cleetus McFarland’s F-150 Raptor R went all the way to 645 hp and 579 lb-ft of torque at the rear wheels. And, before anybody grabs an N2O bottle and decides to set a new micro record, we’ll remind you that forcing too much nitrous oxide in there can blow up the engine. Hey, you can always buy one as a crate unit (part M-6007-M52SC), but that will set you back a solid $28,935.
Raptor R vs GT500, Predator V8 differences
Compared to the Mustang Shelby GT500 (think: 760 hp, 625 lb-ft), the Predator V8 under the hood of the F-150 Raptor R comes with a smaller blower pulley and different engine calibration. Sure, this means a bit less power, but also adds more torque, including down low, which is ideal for the road-legal Baja Truck that is the Raptor R.
However, it’s probably a matter of weeks, if not days, until we get the first 2023 Raptor R sporting a proper power adder, be it a different supercharger/a pulley upgrade, twin turbos or a complete nitrous kit. The money for the added goodies coming this way? That may not matter, at least to the—not so few—people who are paying Raptor R dealer markups “generous” enough to cover the price of a brand new TRX.