With Ford due to reveal the all-new Ranger Raptor next month, speculation has once again flared-up that the Blue Oval could introduce V8 example under the Raptor R designation.
According to Australia’s carsguide.com.au, a senior Ford executive has thrown his support behind the idea of a hardcore V8-powered Raptor, despite there being no official confirmation from Dearborn about such as model.
The latest account comes on the back of similar claims in 2020 about the now outgoing Raptor heading the V8 route, reports that ultimately came to nothing after the Blue Oval confirmed in May that year that such a project had never received final approval.
At the time, it was reported that the Raptor would feature the 5.0-litre Coyote V8 engine from the Mustang and produce more than the 291kW/556Nm made by the Ram 1500 that currently serves as Australia’s most powerful bakkie.
“There is a very clear customer want for an enhanced Raptor [but] there is nothing to confirm, nothing to speculate on. We have no Raptor V8 to talk about,” Ford Australia President, Kay Hart, told defunct online publication, caradvice.com.au, at the time.
In conversation with CarsGuide though, former Ford Australia engineer Trevor Worthington, who famously berated critics over the decision to equip the Raptor with the 2.0-litre bi-turbodiesel engine, stated that lessons could be learned from the Bronco DR Baja desert racer that uses a V8 engine.
“There is a lot of that Bronco DR that is standard Bronco, and the underpinning of the standard Bronco and the underpinnings of the Ranger we’re just in the process of releasing is the same architecture. There’s a lot of opportunity,” the now Vice-President of Ford’s Global Product Development said.
“But at the end of the day, it’s got to be sensible and work for the business. I’d love to think we could do something like that. No plans at the moment, but we want to work on it”.
Despite the V8 being nothing but rumours at present, it is widely anticipated that the incoming “standard” model will, for the first time, offer a choice of two engines; the 3.0-litre turbodiesel V6 for global markets, and either the 2.7 EcoBoost or the twin-turbo 3.0 EcoBoost V6 petrol from the Explorer ST for North America.
Although little is known about the new Raptor at present, don’t be surprised if details in the shape of leaks or official teaser emerge before its reveal next month.