The Ford F-150 Raptor is poised to return to V8 power after the Blue Oval abandoned the bent-eight for a twin-turbocharged EcoBoost V6 six years ago.
In accordance with a rumour that broke last year, The Drive reports that the Raptor, which is currently undergoing testing and development as indicated by the extensive black-and-white masking, will eschew the twin-blown 3.5-litre bent-six for the 5.2-litre supercharged Voodoo V8 used in the Shelby GT500.
Unsurprisingly, the move come being seen as a direct response to arch rival Ram’s new 1500 TRX revealed earlier this week, which uses the same 6.2-litre supercharged Hemi V8 as the Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat and Jeep Grand Cherokee Trackhawk, albeit slightly retuned from 522kW/875Nm to 523kW/880Nm. Outputting 567kW/847Nm in the GT500, the exact output of the F-150 Raptor remains to be seen, but speculation is that it will be detuned to between 540 kW and 559 kW with torque set to be raised in order to better that of the TRX.
In addition to the engine, which will most likely be paired to a reworked version of the General Motors co-developed ten-speed automatic gearbox, the Raptor will receive a coil-spring rear suspension as indicated by the spy shots, and according to motor1.com who also caught the prototype testing, styling tweaks from the facelifted F-150 and tech from the Bronco.
At present, the F-150 Raptor is set to be unveiled in North America early next year before going on sale, but while reports continue to mount of a possible right-hand-drive inclusion amidst pressure from Ford Australia keen on rivalling the Walkinshaw Automotive converted Ram and Chevrolet Silverado 1500, it, along with its standard sibling, will remain left-hand-drive only for now.