The new 2023 Ford F-150 Raptor R is the off-road super truck that many enthusiasts have been waiting for a long time. It has a sophisticated real-time adjustable suspension, but what happens when we max it out on the Ike Gauntlet™ – the world’s toughest towing test? Take a look below.
The 2023 Raptor R is the most capable F-150 Raptor truck in terms of towing capacity. It’s rated to tow a maximum of 8,700 lbs. TFLtruck has owned every generation of the F-150 Raptor. We tested a 1st-generation 2014 F-150 SVT Raptor crew cab for three years. We tested a 2nd-generation 2020 Ford F-150 Raptor crew cab for about a year, and TFLtruck is now starting our ownership of the 3rd-generation 2023 Raptor R. The original Raptor truck maxed out at 8,000 lbs of towing. The next generation was rated to tow 8,100 lbs. The next generation was at 8,200 lbs of trailer capacity for the twin-turbo V6 models. The new R with its 5.2-liter supercharged “Predator” V8 is rated higher still.
We max it out on the Ike Gauntlet at close to 8,300 lbs of trailer weight. We are towing our Jeep Wrangler JK AEV Edition.
The Ike Gauntlet™ is the world’s toughest towing test because it’s an 8-mile stretch of I-70 in the Rocky Mountains with a 7% grade and a top elevation of 11,158 feet above sea level.
Ford F-150 Raptor R – Downhill
The new Raptor R impresses on the downhill section of the Ike Gauntlet. The truck registers just one brake application on the way down. Many standard half-ton trucks do between 4-10 brake applications during this 8-mile stretch. The Raptor R uses its 10-speed automatic transmission grade shifting capability and the larger displacement of the engine to its benefit. It is super stable and comfortable with a trailer that is near its maximum capacity.
The Raptor R suspension did squat a considerable amount – around 3.5 inches of total squat. This plays into its final Ike rating.
Ford F-150 Raptor R – Uphill
The powerful 700 horsepower & 640 lb-ft of torque engine carries this loaded truck up the mountain with ultimate confidence. We registered a 9-second 30-60 mph acceleration on the on-ramp as we are merging onto the uphill section of the test. The truck’s stability and relatively quiet cabin are noteworthy. The truck completes the climb in a benchmark 8 minutes. The efficiency is one of the worst we registered on the climb (3.2 mpg).
However the over towing efficiency after nearly 170 miles of towing was 7.6 MPG. This is still a lot of towing range considering that the Raptor R is equipped with a 36 gallon fuel tank (premium fuel 91+ octane is required).
This Raptor R has a window sticker of just under $110,000.
In the end, Kase and I give the new Raptor R 4.2 out of 5 stars on this maxed out “Super” Ike Gauntlet. Check out the video below for all the details.