2021 Ford F-150 Raptor gets V8, V6 hybrid choice, latest rumor goes

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.

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