If it’s true that there’s no rest for the wicked, then pickup truck product planners must be the worst, because they can’t ever sleep. Every day there’s a report of some new feature, new trim or special edition, higher tow rating, or more horsepower. This report goes in the last category, TFL Truck saying it got word from a Ford source that the next-generation F-150 Raptor will — for the second time in the truck’s history — offer two engines. To catch everyone up on things, remember, the first-gen Raptor launched with a 5.4-liter V8 making 310 horsepower and 365 pound-feet of torque, then added a 6.2-liter V8 with 411 hp and 434 lb-ft before dropping the 5.4-liter. The second-gen downsized to a 3.5-liter twin-turbo EcoBoost V6 with 450 hp and 510 lb-ft in 2017. When rumors got hot and heavy about the output Ram planned for 6.2-liter supercharged V8 in the TRX, rumors got hot and heavy about Ford re-installing a V8 in the Raptor so as not to fall to second place in a pickup niche it created. And meanwhile, Chevy will be doing what it can with a Silverado ZR2.
Last month, The Drive quoted a Ford insider as saying, «Honestly, we had to counter Ram once we knew it installed the Hellcat in the TRX.» The hot money threw down on the third-gen Raptor going with the 5.2-liter supercharged V8 from the 2020 Mustang Shelby GT500. Output would come down only slightly from the 760 hp and 625 lb-ft in the muscle car, to something like 725 or 750 hp in the Raptor. That would deliver a minimum of 23 horsepower over the Ram 1500 TRX. According to TFL Truck, Ford plans to make the V8 a special edition with limited production numbers, which won’t be the case with the Ram TRX.
The entry-level engine would be called PowerBoost HO, taking Ford’s new nomenclature for the 14th-generation F-150 Hybrid. The question is which of Ford’s hybrid systems the Raptor would get. One theory posits the powertrain from the Lincoln Aviator Grand Touring, based around a 3.0-liter twin-turbo EcoBoost V6 with electrical help to produce 494 hp and 630 lb-ft of torque. However, the current Raptor, and the coming F-150 PowerBoost hybrid, both use a 3.5-liter EcoBoost V6, the one in the Raptor not electrified. Also, the Lincoln is a plug-in hybrid with an all-electric driving mode, while the F-150 PowerBoost is not a PHEV. TFL Truck muses that if Ford goes with the larger-displacement engine, a hybrid Raptor could make «well over 500 horsepower and well over 630 lb-ft.» All of these numbers would add a huge dollop of cream to the current Raptor’s figures.
Nevertheless, a V6-powered Raptor would probably keep that truck’s price not far off the current model’s $55,150 after destination, well down on the $71,690 starting price for the TRX. Ram has made noises about a potential non-supercharged TRX perhaps doubling the TRX trim count, meaning a V6 Raptor would keep that angle of attack covered.
Handy reminder goes here: This is all speculation. No matter what happens, it seems like everyone wins. Except those sleepless product planners.