New Ford 7.3-Liter V8 Super Duty Engine Will Fit in the Mustang and F-150
When Ford Motor Company introduced the refreshed 2020 Super Duty lineup at the Chicago Auto Show, the biggest change was the introduction of a new 7.3-liter gasoline V8 engine. The automaker introduced this new mill as an alternative to the base-level 6.2-liter V8, offering a bit more power than the 6.2 while likely carrying a considerably smaller price tag compared to the PowerStroke diesel V8.
This is great news for Super Duty buyers who need more power and who want a gasoline engine, but there could be more interesting uses for the new 7.3-liter V8. While speaking with Motor Authority, Ford representative Mike Levine pointed out that the new 7.3-liter V8 will physically fit in the engine bay of the current Mustang and the current F-150.
In other words, there is a possibility – albeit a small one – that this engine could bring about the return of the V8 Raptor or it could become the biggest engine ever offered in the mighty Mustang.
During the first generation of the Ford Raptor, it was offered with a uniquely-tuned version of the 6.2-liter V8 that is still being used in the Super Duty lineup today. The version used in the Raptor was tuned to make more power on the big end, offering quite a bit more horsepower and a touch more torque than the Super Duty version.
Ford hasn’t stated how much power the 7.3-liter V8 will offer, but the company pointed out that it is expected to be the most powerful engine in the segment. This means that it will out-power the 6.4-liter Hemi in the Ram HD lineup, which packs 410 horsepower and 429 lb-ft of torque, but with the Ford 6.2-liter V8 offering 385 horsepower and 430 lb-ft of torque, it seems likely that the 7.3 will have considerably more power.
Something in the range of 450 horsepower and 500 lb-ft of torque would make for a great step up over the 6.2, but for the Raptor, the engine would be tuned to make more horsepower at higher RPM. As a result, the Raptor version – in theory – could see specs like 500 horsepower and 550 lb-ft of torque. Those numbers would make for a stronger Raptor compared to the EcoBoost, while also coming with the V8 sound that so many buyers want.
Big Block Mustang
Sure, by traditional standards, the 7.3-liter V8 in the 2020 Super Duty might not be a big block V8, but it is similarly-sized to the classic big block engines. If the Motor Company actually put this mill in a Mustang, it would be the biggest Mustang engine ever. The biggest engine ever offered in the Mustang from the factory was the 429 Cobra Jet, but Ford hasn’t offered an engine in the Mustang that measured more than 400 cubic inches since the early 1970s.
As for power, figure that the current F-150 and the current Mustang GT share the 5.0-liter V8, but in much the same way that the 6.2-liter V8 is tuned differently between the F-150 and the Super Duty, the Raptor and Mustang engines would be tuned differently. This would likely lead to a jump in horsepower and a dip in torque, so a Raptor engine with 500 horsepower and 550 lb-ft of torque could see those numbers flipped for the Mustang. At 550 horsepower and 500 lb-ft of torque, the 7.3-liter V8 would make for an interesting nostalgia package with a bit more power than the 5.0-liter V8, while still leaving plenty of space below the GT500.
The problem with the Mustang idea is that the Super Duty engine has an iron block, so it would be way too heavy for the pony car, but if the company produced an aluminum version for the Raptor, it would make for an interest Mustang engine as well. Fuel economy would likely be terrible and the package would likely be expensive compared to the Mustang GT, but few things would make for a more unique one-off package than a pony car with a 7.3-liter V8 engine utilizing pushrod technology.
Patrick Rall is a professional writer and photographer with a passion for all things automotive. Patrick has been sharing his automotive expertise in automotive journalism from Detroit for more than a decade covering the Big Three. Having grown up in his father’s performance shop, he spent extensive time at the oval track and drag strip – both driving and wrenching on various types of vehicles. In addition to working as a writer, Patrick previously worked as an automotive technician before moving on to a business office position with a chain of dealerships, and this broad spectrum of experience in the industry allows him to offer a unique look on the automotive world. Follow Patrick on Facebook, Youtube and Twitter.