The Ford F-150 Raptor is the type of vehicle only the most cutthroat of faultfinders could complain about. Sure, you could quibble about its width making it less than ideal for tight trails, moan about its comparatively lack of towing ability compared with other full-size pickups, or take issue with how tricky it can be to clamber aboard if you’re short of stature. But pretty much any complaints evaporate the moment you climb behind the wheel and punch it over the nearest hill.
And now, it seems, it’s poised to become even better. Because the F-150 Raptor now seems more likely than ever to score a V8 beneath its bulging hood.
Granted, rumors have been flying that the Raptor would gain an eight-pot pretty much ever since Ford announced the second-gen truck would launch (pun intended) with a 3.5-liter twin-turbo V6 as the sole powertrain. (Indeed, we touched on one such claim back in March.) This latest one, however, bears the weight of a bit more legitimacy, as it comes via the authorities at Ford Authority, who say they have multiple sources willing to testify to the fact.
The new eight-cylinder won’t replace the EcoBoost V6, according to FA‘s sources; instead, the V8 model will sit at the top of the Raptor lineup as a new, sportier variant of the sport truck.
The big question, though, is just which V8 will wind up in America’s most badass truck. So far, the odds-on favorite has been the new supercharged 5.2-liter V8 found under the hood of the 2020 Shelby GT500, a motor that Ford cagily will only claim cranks out more than 700 horsepower in the top-flight Mustang. But Ford Authority reports that a dark horse contender has also raised its head: the new 7.3-liter naturally aspirated V8 set to debut in the 2020 Super Duty pickups that goes by the code name of “Godzilla.”
Our money, for what it’s worth, says FoMoCo will go with the supercharged V8; considering the current Raptor engine is closely related to the one in the Ford GT, another reappropriated forced-induction sports car motor seems more in line with the Raptor’s modus operandi than an old-school goliath of a powerplant originally designed to haul trailers up the Eisenhower Pass. (That would also let the beefier Raptor go toe-to-toe with the forthcoming Hellcat-powered Ram TRX, an off-road monster of a truck that Fiat Chrysler is aiming specifically at Ford’s popular rig.)
No word yet on when it might arrive, but considering V8-powered Raptors are allegedly already being tested at Ford HQ, we wouldn’t be surprised to see it arrive within the next year. Or at least, we can hope it shows its face that quickly.
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