The Ford F-150 Raptor has been around more than a decade now. For most of that time, it was considered to be the logical, and to some, illogical conclusion to the big American pickup truck---as far as the concept could go.
Then, a couple of years ago, Stellantis dropped the 702 horsepower RAM 1500 TRX on an unsuspecting world and Ford showed restraint by....
...only countering with 700 horsepower in the new 2023 Ford F-150 Raptor R.
Yes, I'm being sarcastic. This is the truck version of the nuclear arms race---stupid amounts of power on 35-inch tires being sold to literally anyone who has or can borrow the money at his, her or their local dealership.
Even with two fewer horses under the hood, the Raptor R accomplishes the main objective---beating the TRX to 60 miles per hour. The RAM could do it in 3.7 seconds, according to Car and Driver. The Raptor R gets it done in 3.6. That makes it the quickest gasoline-fueled pickup truck in history. It also knocks back quarter-mile runs in 12 seconds flat at 112 miles per hour, which would leave all but a couple of classic muscle cars staring at its tailgate.
There are several costs to this. Let's start with fuel economy, which the EPA says will be 10 miles per gallon (yes, ten) city, 15 highway and 12 combined.
Then there's the cost to you. The EPA says filling that 36-gallon fuel tank will set you back $129, which means they're basing that on gas only costing $3.58 a gallon. And we know it can and does go higher. The EPA also says that over five years of ownership, you'll pay $13,000 more in fuel costs than you would driving the average new vehicle.
And then there's the cost of the truck itself. The 2023 Ford F-150 Raptor R starts at $109,145, including destination.
And that's not all---our tester had two extra-cost options---a moonroof for $2,195 and a spray-in bedliner for $595. Bringing the total up to $111,935.
And the final cost is to the environment. Even beyond the abysmal fuel economy, trucks like this (and I'm including the RAM 1500 TRX) are doing damage to the world around us.
I can cut the regular Raptor some slack---it's an off-road truck with all-around abilities---but an additional $31,575 for this just strikes me as wasteful and tone-deaf. If you think I'm being tough on it, there's another auto writer who referred to it as a "four-wheeled affront to God."
So, props to Ford for being first among the majors to bring a full-size electric truck---the Ford F-150 Lightning---to market. But, guys---how many of those do you have to sell to offset the negative impacts of one Raptor R?