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By Charl Bosch

Motoring Journalist

Ford makes it official: No V8 for Ranger Raptor

Size of the engine bay and V8 makes it impossible for both to co-exist with the desired effect.

With speculation having flared-up back in January, Ford has officially renounced rumours of introducing a V8-powered Ranger Raptor at any stage.

Although it returned to bent-eight motivation in a Raptor badged earlier this year with the F-150 Raptor R, the Blue Oval’s head of performance, Carl Widmann, stated that while it has access to a V8 in the shape of 5.0-litre Coyote mill used in the Mustang, it has no plans to transplant it into the Ranger as a result of limitations with the T6.2 platform that underpins it.

Why not?

Responding to US publication MotorAuthority’s question of whether the Bronco, which uses the same foundation, would offer a V8 variant above the 3.0 twin-turbo EcoBoost V6 Raptor, Widmann stated that the engine bay of the Bronco, and therefore also that of the Ranger, is not big or wide enough to accommodate an eight-cylinder engine that would adhere to the requirements set out by Dearborn.

As well as the likelihood of being nose heavy that would impact on performance and off-road ability in spite of being more powerful, Widmann stressed that a V8 Bronco would be too expensive and that the investment needed for it and the Ranger would be too great and not financially viable in the long-run.

Last year, reports from Australia alleged that the now outgoing Ranger Raptor had been tipped to receive a V8 engine as a means of offsetting the criticism directing at the 2.0-litre bi-turbodiesel engine.

ALSO READ: Ford Ranger Raptor V8 back in the spotlight

While it subsequently confirmed that the possibility of a V8 Ranger Raptor had been looked into, approval never materialised with in spite of Ford admitting high interest and demand that ultimately resulted in it equipping the latest Raptor with the mentioned EcoBoost V6.

“The reason we focused on the twin-turbo V6 [petrol engine for the Ranger Raptor] is because it is power dense – for the amount of package space and the amount of weight that it puts forward – and that’s why we chose it,” Widemann told Australia’s drive.com.au back in March.

“We don’t choose big, heavy motors… we want to get the power out and do it in the best way possible. If you’re adding an extra 200 kg to the vehicle… whatever it is… I wonder whether you’ll have the same performance and the agility that you have right now.”

Raptor in South Africa next year

While it keeps the mentioned oil-burner in certain markets, South Africa-bound Ranger Raptors will only be fitted with the EcoBoost that produces the full 292kW/583Nm and not the 212kW/491Nm offered-up the European version.

Originally planned for unveiling in October, sales will only commence in 2023, due to exceedingly high demand and limitations of the Rayong Plant in Thailand that also builds the new Everest.

Unlike the standard Ranger made at Ford’s Silverton Plant in Pretoria, both the Raptor and Everest are now imported from Thailand as a result of emphasis being placed on assembly of the Ranger and its twin, the new Volkswagen Amarok.

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