From dunes to doughnuts to jumps, the Raptor R was nothing shy of heroic in its most comfortable setting. Admittedly, I have less sand-driving experience than I do on the rocks and trails, but the Raptor R turned me into a pro. Its ability to tackle terrain changes — at high and low speeds — felt like a cheat code. I'll reserve judgment on its everyday livability until our team gets the truck in for a full round of testing. But as a desert runner, this is the best you can buy.
The cost is something to consider
All that ability has to come at a cost. Like any good attraction, the Raptor R asks big money to ride. Ford has priced the Raptor R at $109,145 including destination — a massive $30,575 commitment over the V6 Raptor. That starting price also eclipses chief rival Ram TRX by a sizable margin. A comparably equipped TRX is around $95,000, making the Raptor R a clear loser in the price category. And of course, presumed dealer markups could make that even worse.
Then there is the obvious downer, fuel economy. The EPA has yet to officially rate the Raptor R, but we can expect worse numbers than the V6 Raptor's 14 mpg city/18 highway and 15 mpg combined. An early indication is my test truck's 11.1 mpg figure after mostly driving at normal highway speeds. For what it's worth, we're getting 13.6 mpg lifetime out of our own 2020 Shelby GT500. We've driven it more than 20,000 miles as part of our long-term test program. So take that and reduce it for whatever effect an additional 2,000 pounds and a less aerodynamic shape will have.