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For the time being, the first-ever Ford F-150 Hybrid is the most powerful version of the hugely popular workhorse in its fourteenth iteration. Its 3.5-liter PowerBoost V6 produces 430 horsepower or just 20 hp shy of the outgoing Raptor while producing an additional 60 lb-ft for a total of 570 lb-ft. The electrified truck offers a compelling mélange of efficiency and power, but those seeking outright performance are waiting for the all-conquering Raptor.

Our pals at The Fast Lane decided to do a bit of prototype hunting this past weekend, and as luck would have it, they stumbled upon a camouflaged prototype of the new Raptor. While we could certainly do without the music playing in the background, it’s a good opportunity to get up close and personal with the speedy version of the 2021 Ford F-150. One big question arises: V6 or V8?

Gallery: 2021 Ford F-150 Raptor Spy Photos

Well, jump to the 2:28 mark and decide for yourself. The F-150 Raptor stops at a red light and you can hear its engine soundtrack as the light turns green. We’re tempted to believe it boasts a V6 because the test vehicle seems to be lacking that typical V8 grunt. That’s not to say the larger-displacement engine is completely out of the question as a recent report states Ford plans both V6 and V8 versions.

With the aforementioned F-150 PowerBoost already pumping out healthy numbers, you can imagine even the V6-powered Raptor will pack quite the punch. Rumors say it’ll have somewhere in the region of 494 hp and 630 lb-ft in the same vein as the plug-in hybrid Lincoln Aviator Grand Touring by using an electrified 3.0-liter twin-turbo V6. If that turns out to be correct, we’re looking at a major bump in output of 44 hp and 120 lb-ft over the old Raptor.

That still wouldn’t be enough to take on the new rebel on the block – the 2021 Ram TRX. Ford is expected to have an answer to the 702 hp and 650 lb-ft offered by the Hellcat 6.2-liter V8. This is where the Mustang Shelby GT500’s supercharged 5.2-liter V8 allegedly comes into play. Blue Oval insiders claim it will produce at least 725 hp or as much as 750 hp, which would be only 10 hp down compared to the range-topping pony car. There’s no word about torque, although that engine is good for 625 lb-ft in the sports car.

Regardless of engine choice, the next-generation Raptor will likely be offered exclusively with a ten-speed automatic transmission as it’s the case with the lesser F-150s. It’s still expected for the 2021 model year, meaning an official reveal can’t be too far away. When it does eventually arrive, the performance pickup could spice things up with a new shade dubbed “Code Orange.”

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