Trucks & SUVs

Ford Ranger Fans Will Have to Wait for a V8 Raptor

What Ford fan wouldn’t want a Ford Ranger Raptor with a powerful V8 engine? All that power combined with the Raptor’s dynamic drivetrain and suspension would a dream come true to many. Earlier in 2020, when the news hit that a Ranger Raptor V8 was coming to Australia, it generated a huge amount of excitement in the auto world.

Is it a dream come true? No. More like a dream that’s not going to happen. 

Raptor V8 Rumors

At the beginning of 2020, a breaking news story stated that a Ford Ranger Raptor V8 would be coming to Australia. The Ranger Raptor would be equipped with the same Coyote V8 5.0-liter engine used in the Mustang GT. The powerful engine gets 455 hp and 410 lb-ft of torque. It was also said the Raptor V8 would get drivetrain and suspension elements from the larger F-150 Raptor.

The story was ultimately proven to be a complete fabrication. It was more wishful thinking than an actual approved project, to the disappointment of many.

As it turns out, the idea of the Mustang V8 engine in the Ranger Raptor had been merely a concept. It was disregarded about six months before the rumors ever surfaced according to CarAdvice in Australia. It was reported the project ended up on hold because of the coronavirus pandemic but that was also a rumor. The project never progressed to the approval stage.

In an interview with CarAdvice, Ford Australia executive Kay Hart said the Ford Ranger Raptor V8 was “a purely speculative story.” According to the Australian site’s sources, one big problem the concept had was the potential price. The engine swap would have pushed it past what was deemed acceptable in cost.

The Ford Ranger Raptor

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A smaller version of the popular Ford F-150 Raptor, the Ranger Raptor is off-road ready with a unique grille, good ground clearance, flared fenders, and all-terrain tires. Coming to the U.S. in 2021, the Ford Ranger Raptor will use the same completely boxed ladder frame as the standard Ranger. The Ranger model will also get a longer travel suspension to take on big jumps and a more athletic engine for quick runs over rough terrain.

According to Car and Driver, it’s anticipated that Ford will only offer one body style, likely a crew cab with a five-foot bed. They expect the interior to be unique for the model and to have an infotainment system that’s feature-rich.

What’s going to be under the hood? Outside the U.S., the Ford Ranger Raptor is powered by a four-cylinder diesel engine. That’s unlikely to be the version appearing on the North American market.  

Many are hoping that it will be equipped with its bigger sibling’s engine: the 2.7-liter twin-turbo V6 engine. To make that happen, however, Ford would have to do some substantial reworking of the truck. With budget restraints, that’s highly doubtful.

All that’s left is the 2.3-liter turbocharged four-cylinder you once found in Ford’s Focus RS and used now in the Mustang. It gets 350 hp and 350 lb-ft of torque and would play nice with the 10-speed automatic transmission on the standard Ranger. 

Could a Ranger Raptor V8 happen?

Couldn’t this happen in the future? Wouldn’t it be easy enough to switch out engines?

According to Motor1.com, there are several obstacles to making the Ranger Raptor V8 happen and one or more of them may well be insurmountable. 

Switching out engines may sound easy, but actually involves quite a complex process. It would require new crash tests, durability testing, emissions compliance reviews, engine and transmission calibrations, and a complete review of the stability control and suspension systems. They’d have to replace the fuel tank and lines too.

How long would it take? About two to three years. And in that period of time, according to Motor1.com, Ford Australia could develop the next generation of Ford Ranger and Ranger Raptor.