The partnership between the Blue Oval and Blue Bird continues.
When Ford announced a new pushrod V8 engine for the 2020 F-250 a few years ago, it was jaw-dropping, to say the least. But what was more important was its availability as a crate engine in the middle of last year.
We figured engine swaps will be inevitable, and the massive power output from the equally massive engine would be a hoot to tune to great numbers – such as this twin-turbo Godzilla V8 engine that makes up to 1,114 horsepower (830.7 kilowatts).
Gallery: 2020 Ford F-Series Super Duty engines and transmissions
But the latest vehicle to make use of the aptly-named power plant isn't what you would expect. Blue Bird company continues its partnership with the Blue Oval by using the latest 7.3-liter V8 on its propane and gasoline Vision school buses for the 2022 model year. It will also come with a purpose-built fuel system designed specifically for school-bus application by Roush CleanTech. This effectively replaces the Ford 6.8-liter engine that the Blue Vision previously used.
"The exclusive partnership between Blue Bird, ROUSH CleanTech and Ford continues to flourish as we launch Ford’s new engine with cutting-edge fuel systems in our Vision and Micro Bird school buses," said Phil Horlock, president and CEO of Blue Bird Corporation.
For school bus application, the Godzilla V8 engine makes 350 hp (261 kW) instead of the regular 430 hp (320 kW). Despite the lower output, it still has the best-in-class combination of horsepower and torque, fit for its designation as a commercial workhorse.
Apart from that, the new 7.3L engine is narrower than the previous 6.8L mill, which allows more room for school bus technicians to work with, according to Blue Bird. Orders are now open for buses with the new engine and Gen 5 fuel systems.