Ford Bronco R
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2021 Ford Raptor Will Have V8 Engine and 2023 Bronco Will Have V8-Powered Raptor Version

Ford will challenge rivals with V8-powered Raptor truck and V8-powered off-road Bronco. High-performance truck and Bronco should be music to the ears of those who have clamored for V8 power. Rumors of both remained unconfirmed from Ford, but all signs and information appear to point to it.
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Rumors of V8 engines coming to some of the most-popular Ford vehicles are proving out to be true. So the V8 enthusiasts will be thrilled to learn that the 2021 Raptor will likely have a V8 in it. Also, through savvy internet trolling and serendipity, we’ve also learned that a future Ford Bronco will also get a Raptor trim which should also mean V8 goodness coming to the iconic off-road brand.

According to a LinkedIn profile that a savvy Reddit user found, a Ford engineer, or someone we can assume may now be a former Ford engineer, posted about working on a 2023 Ford Bronco Raptor. More on this further down in this article.

What we are learning is that those tried-and-true V8 lovers out there should be appeased to hear that Ford has not given up on the V8. Sure Ford’s engineers have really mastered turbocharging smaller displacement engines for maximum out and maximum efficiency. And that Ecoboost trend isn’t going away.

Just look at the current generation Ford Raptor with its high-out 3.5-liter V6 Ecoboost. I have professed my love for this second-generation Raptor as one of the best trucks on and off the road. I never once felt it needed a V8 to make it better.

But I also recognize that some people want the sound of the V8. And you can’t really argue about the visceral appeal of the revving sound of a V8.

As Ford successfully launched the Bronco there was absent a V8, even in the race-focused Bronco Baja R which will have a 2.7-liter V6 Ecoboost. With Jeep announcing a V8 Wrangler coming, it only makes sense for Ford to also have a V8 version of the Bronco ready to go. It appears that will happen for a future model year, as there appears to be a Raptor Bronco coming in 2023.

2021 Ford Raptor

2021 Ford Raptor With V8 Engine

Last week I wrote an open letter to Ford’s new CEO Jim Farley begging him to put a V8 in the new Ford Raptor. Of course that decision would’ve already happened. But that article showed that my gut and the rumors I had been hearing were correct.

Several reputable websites have confirmed that Ford will be putting the 5.2-liter Predator V8 into the 2021 Ford Raptor. This is the same engine found in the Mustang GT500 that makes 760 horsepower. It’s assumed that in the heavier Raptor that horsepower would come down some.

We can assume that 2021 Ford Raptor with the Predator V8 will still exceed 725 horsepower. This outperforms the upcoming Ram Rebel TRX which was announced to have a Hemi-powered engine exceeding 700 horses.

I will await official word from Ford, but the cat appears out of the bag on this one. It’s a good thing, in my book to have the V8 option, but I still think there will be a high-output Ecoboost V6 option too for the 2021 Raptor. More options are a good thing in my opinion.

Rumors of V8 engines coming to some of the most-popular Ford vehicles are proving out to be true. So the V8 enthusiasts will be thrilled to learn that the 2021 Raptor will likely have a V8 in it. Also, through savvy internet trolling and serendipity, we’ve also learned that a future Ford Bronco will also get a Raptor trim which should also mean V8 goodness coming to the iconic off-road brand.

Ford engineer 2023 Bronco Raptor

According to a LinkedIn profile that a savvy Reddit user found, a Ford engineer, or someone we can assume may now be a former Ford engineer, posted about working on a 2023 Ford Bronco Raptor. More on this further down in this article. What we are learning is that those tried-and-true V8 lovers out there should be appeased to hear that Ford has not given up on the V8. Sure Ford’s engineers have really mastered turbocharging smaller displacement engines for maximum out and maximum efficiency. And that Ecoboost trend isn’t going away. Just look at the current generation Ford Raptor with its high-out 3.5-liter V6 Ecoboost.

2004 Ford Bronco Concept

2023 Ford Bronco Raptor
As I alluded to, there was some interesting information screenshotted and leaked on Reddit that indicates that rumors of a Raptor version of the Bronco are in fact true.

See the above LinkedIn profile of a Ford engineer who claims to have worked on a Bronco Raptor. Now this doesn’t necessarily mean that a Raptor Bronco will be a V8, but we can extrapolate that if the next-generation Raptor will have the Predator V8, that so too would a 2023 Bronco Raptor.

This is all heresay of course and Ford’s normal line on these things is that they don’t comment or discuss future vehicles. Ford is focused on their as of now successful Bronco launch where pre-orders are through the roof and rumors of orders exceeding 150,000 seem to be true.

But for those enthusiasts who want a V8 with their off-road Bronco, your time may be coming, but you will have to be patient.

Ford Bronco R

Return of the Bronco R
Bronco R’s attitude, reflecting the most extreme flavor of Built Wild DNA, is set to return to the SCORE Baja 1000 this year. The race prototype build by Ford Performance and Geiser Performance continues to serve as test bed for the brand’s innovative design, capability and extreme durability testing.

Bronco R leverages the all-new Bronco four-door’s chassis, twin-turbo 2.7-liter EcoBoost V6 engine, 10-speed SelectShift automatic transmission and electronic shift-on-the-fly 4x4 transfer case. It features an extreme race version of the high-performance off-road stability suspension with independent front, position-sensitive shocks, end-stop control plus ultra-high-speed desert race tuning. Participation in the brutal off-road competition is part of the Built Wild Extreme Durability testing – a series of demanding tests to ensure all Broncos deliver the highest levels of performance, durability and capability to every owner.

Ford is the Official Truck and SUV of SCORE-International Off-Road Racing and lead sponsor of the SCORE World Desert Challenge Series, which includes the 2019-22 SCORE Baja 1000 races. Ford is also official vehicle of the King of the Hammers ULTRA4 series. Together, they underscore Ford’s commitment to off-road motorsports and serve as a platform to develop the Bronco brand and connect with off-road enthusiasts.

The V8 vs. V6 discussion is tiresome. Those V8 lovers won’t sway off their opinion and those turbo fans have validation for their argument. What seems to make sense is Ford catering to both camps while also responding to some of their key market rivals with V8 offerings. That’s a win-win in my book.

Leave me your comment below to weigh in on a V8 goodness in the Raptor and Bronco.

Jimmy Dinsmore has been an automotive journalist for more than a decade and been a writer since the high school. His Driver’s Side column features new car reviews and runs in several newspapers throughout the country. He is also co-author of the book “Mustang by Design” and “Ford Trucks: A Unique Look at the Technical History of America’s Most Popular Truck”. Also, Jimmy works in the social media marketing world for a Canadian automotive training aid manufacturing company. Follow Jimmy on Facebook, Twitter, at his special Ford F-150 coverage on Twitter and LinkedIn. You can read the most of Jimmy's stories by searching Torque News Ford for daily Ford vehicle report.


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