The sound isn't definitive, but our sources say it's happening and it could be a TRX killer.
We got our first glimpse of the next-generation Ford F-150 Raptor just a few days ago. A lengthy video showed the truck from all sides, but there was some debate about its engine sounding like a V6 or V8. Now we have a new video that supports team V8, but more importantly, we have reliable sources telling us that yes, V8 power will return to Ford's segment-busting off-roader. It's not just any V8 either – more on that in a bit.
First things first, let's talk about the above video. It's only 14 seconds long, and the sound is muted so it's not a definitive smoking gun for the V8 argument. Listening closely, we think there's a properly low rumble that would fit a V8. It's possible that some exhaust tuning could have an EcoBoost V6 chatting lower in the acoustic range, but we don't hear any clear turbocharger whistle either. Automakers can camouflage engine noises as well as body panels, but this truck still sounds more like a muted V8 to us.
Gallery: 2021 Ford F-150 Raptor Spy Photos
This time around, the spy video and photo set come to us with some tantalizing information. Anonymous sources claim that Ford will absolutely go after the Hellcat-powered Ram TRX with its new Raptor. To do that, the company is allegedly fitting the truck with the same 5.2-liter supercharged V8 found in the mental Mustang Shelby GT500. These sources say the engine will make somewhere between 725 and 750 horsepower (541 to 559 kilowatts). That is a bit less than the 760 hp (567 kW) in the Shelby, but it's more than what Ram offers in the new TRX. We suspect that was Ford's goal all along.
Aside from the engine, the next Raptor will ride on the new coil-spring suspension setup. Of course, it will tweak the fresh styling from the new-for-2021 F-150 and have Raptor-specific items like the bold FORD grille. It should also be awash with off-road tech, possibly borrowing some of the features included with the new Bronco.
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The current word for a Raptor debut is early 2021. If that timeline holds true, it could go on sale for either the 2021 or 2022 model year.