The Ford F-150 Raptor R is one of the most extreme off-road packages money can buy. It only takes a single look at the truck to understand its intended mission. Not ones to be limited by silly things such as design intentions, Cleetus McFarland and crew have just proved that the V-8-powered Raptor might also have a promising career in the world of drifting.
Like any proper drift machine, the F-150 Raptor R features an immensely powerful engine with forced induction. In this case that engine is a 5.2-liter supercharged Predator V-8 borrowed from the mighty Shelby GT500. Engine output in the truck is slightly down from the track-focused pony car, coming in at 700 hp and 650 lb-ft. The engine is exclusively mated to 10-speed automatic transmission, which comes backed by a transfer case offering rear drive, auto 4×4, as well selectable 4-High and 4-Low. In theory that selectable rear-drive mode means the truck should have no problem roasting some tires off in style.
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It’s clear the Cleetus has already enjoyed some tire-killing antics before this clip, as the truck’s stock 37-inch rear tires were in desperate need of replacing. Instead of letting such an opportunity pass, the crew had some scientific theories to test out. Before installing the fresh set of off-road tires on the Raptor, Cleetus wrapped the Raptor’s rear wheels in a set of sporty Nitto tires borrowed from one of his Crown Victoria racers. For the purposes of this particular experiment, the truck’s gigantic front tires were left in place. This move gave the Raptor R a home-brew Carolina Squat appearance, albeit one that is just as likely to get you pulled over. After a few donuts to test the truck’s new setup, the crew heads to their test track for some real sideways action. Things don’t go quite as well at the track however, with the truck immediately sticking itself into four-wheel drive. The staggered setup then confuses the truck’s onboard modules, illuminating a suite of error messages on the dash. The truck eventually let the team pop it out of 4×4, allowing for the real fun to begin.
The Raptor R looks absolutely graceful cutting figure eights through the course, with that long wheelbase and endless power helping keep those slides going. The truck doesn’t even look all that unstable despite the significant height difference between the axles. The truck’s dampers weren’t all that happy with the behavior, temporarily limiting the ability to change modes. That said, the truck was shortly back on course obliterating the rears. Ram’s TRX might have slightly more power, but its all-time four-wheel drive means it’ll never do something quite like this. I wouldn’t advise you to go get a small set of rears for your Raptor R, but I can understand why you might be tempted.
Born and raised in Metro Detroit, associate editor Lucas Bell has spent his entire life surrounded by the automotive industry. He may daily drive an aging Mustang, but his Porsche 944 and NB Miata both take up most of his free time.