Skip to main content

Dear Mr. Farley, Please Put A Supercharged V8 Into The 2021 Ford Raptor

With rival Ram announcing the Raptor-like Rebel TRX with a V8 and more than 700 horsepower, will this force Ford to pivot on the Raptor and offer a V8? Current generation Raptor lacks V8 and previous Ford leadership opposed the V8. Now is the time for Ford to rethink the performance truck.

There’s now more fuel to the fire regarding the tiresome argument: “There’s no replacement for displacement.” This argument, of course, has provoked many fights amongst muscle car enthusiasts and amongst truck enthusiasts.

It’s no secret that people love V8 engines. The power and even more importantly the noise a V8 makes is unrivaled. But in recent engineering advances, a bigger engine does not always mean more power and performance.

Well . . . maybe it does again, thanks to Ram who just announced the jaw-dropping performance from the upcoming 2021 Ram Rebel TRX. This off-road and high-performance pickup truck, which will rival the Raptor for sure, will get a supercharged 6.2-liter Hellcat Hemi. My colleague Patrick Rall, who is definitely a fan of V8s, has more about the TRX here.

Patrick reported that the Ram Rebel TRX will become the “quickest, fastest and most powerful mass-produced truck in the world”. Will Ford let that record stand?

2020 Ford Raptor SupercabFord’s Supercharged V8 From The Mustang GT500 In The New Raptor?
I asked Mike Levine from Ford if the Raptor would have a V8, and of course, he won’t comment on future vehicles. He did send me an email that said cryptically “stay tuned.”

We are all tuned in and waiting to hear more about the Raptor. It stands to reason that Ford will put the 5.2-liter supercharged V8 (known as the Predator) from the Mustang GT500 in the new Raptor. In the Mustang GT500 that equals 760 horsepower. That would certainly be a shot back at FCA to have a supercharged V8 in the Raptor.

And we can assume that given the weight of the Raptor vs the Mustang that the horsepower from this supercharged V8 would be less than 760, but would still likely exceed the TRX’s 702 horsepower.

That’s if they go with a V8 and if they go with that V8. With Ford’s new leadership, it would stand to reason that that if can become a reality. Outgoing CEO President Jim Hackett did not want a V8 in the Raptor, but incoming CEO Jim Farley is known to favor horsepower and displacement. So will he sign off on a V8 in the Raptor?

2017 Ford RaptorWhat About Ecoboost?
The current generation Ford Raptor has a performance-oriented version of the V6 Ecoboost. And it’s good for 450 horses.

I wrote a while back about my love for this current generation Raptor and how when you factor everything, it’s not all about the horsepower, but about the truck’s overall performance. And the current generation Raptor with the twin-turbo V6 is quite an overperformer.

That same TTV6 in the current Raptor also powers the GT supercar to the tune of 660 horses. So to say that Ford manages to squeeze power and performance out of V6 engines is an understatement.

Does Ford need a V8 just to keep up with Ram or will they continue their trend of performance-oriented turbocharged V6s? I think it’s a given that the Raptor will for sure have a V6 of some kind and maybe (hopefully) some kind of V8.

What We Do Know About the 2021 Ford Raptor
In addition to new looks, the 2021 Ford Raptor will get some pretty major overhauls. Just how close it will pickup some of the awesome features found on the 14th-generation F-150 is to be determined.

There will be a new suspension system for the 2021 Ford Raptor. Ford will put a new five-link rear suspension, replacing the current leaf spring suspension.

The benefit of this suspension includes better ground clearance and significantly better articulation, for off-road performance and climbing over rocky terrains. It should also make the 2021 Raptor have a smoother ride.

Also, we know there will be some new colors for the Raptor, just as Ford launched new colors for the 2021 F-150 and also discontinued some colors. The Raptor will have a more limited palette than the F-150, but expect some bold color options too. I’d be disappointed if there weren’t.

2017 Ford Raptor waterfall

As I’ve written several times before, I do not want nor expect Ford to be a follower. They’ve been the leader when it comes to trucks and to the muscle car segment for that matter for decades. So just because a “rival” announces something does not guarantee that Ford will follow suit.

Let’s not forget the Dodge Challenger with its Hellcat variants has out “muscled” the Mustang at times, but has never been able to overtake it in sales. The same logic can be applied to the Raptor. Just because the TRX has a Hellcat V8 does not mean that Ford needs to drop in a V8 into the Raptor. But since both trucks are more niche vehicles and neither are overly established like the Mustang or F-150, it might make sense for Ford to try to appease the enthusiasts out there with a V8.

Please, I beg you Mr. Farley, put the 5.2-liter supercharged V8 into the Raptor not because you’re trying to follow Ram’s lead, but because it would be awesome and make the Raptor amazing.

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.


Digitaldoc (not verified)    August 18, 2020 - 4:27PM

While I am often in the "Needs more power" camp, I do think that the Raptor already has plenty of power. I also applaud Ford's use on a turbo V-6 in the Raptor, and would like to see that powertrain in more vehicles (as an aside, would like to see it as an option in the Mustang). I don't think pickup trucks on the road need 700+ HP, and most drivers can't handle that type of power safely. Where does it end? 800, 900 or 1000 HP? The goal needs to be the performance, and plenty of cars can get there without giving it such an overwhelming amount of power, which just results in unusable fuel economy, and greater expense in an already expensive truck. The Lotus Esprit Turbo in the 1980's showed us you can make a supercar with a small engine, so a supercharged V-8 in a Raptor is really going to make it excessive. The Raptor has already proven itself in Baja racing, and not sure how much faster it needs to go.

Maria (not verified)    August 19, 2020 - 12:05PM

Asking Ford to waste its few resources on a niche vehicle that can only be a "halo" vehicle of limited use is foolish.
I get that boys want more power to compensate for something but Ford already has a blockbuster that will be a cash cow for years. Wasting money on a V-8 that can only be on the market for a couple of years before the fuel and emissions regs kill it deprives the company of needed resources to be profitable and actually in business in the future.

Jeremy ninness (not verified)    August 19, 2020 - 2:25PM

I think a v-8 would be great supercharged in the raptor. I have a regular 2014 f150 fx4. 6.2 supercharged. Love it. Wished it had more power. Ppl like me would definitely spend the money on an ass kicking ford like 7.3 godzilla super charged in the new raptor. Just an in to racing like crazy. Every vehicle I own is ford. I would hate to be out done by a dam dodge.

TS (not verified)    August 19, 2020 - 4:00PM

This is 2020, and we still have CAFE (until Trump guts it in his next term). Don't hold your breath for Ford replacing the V6 EB with a supercharged V8.