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Exclusive: Ford Raptor V8 to go on sale in Oz

By Toby Hagon, 02 Jan 2020 News

2020 Ford Ranger Raptor V8 Blue

Ford’s toughest ute will finally get the engine it deserves thanks to clever Australian engineering

Ford is secretly readying a high-performance Ranger Raptor super ute complete with V8 power.

The brand that sells more 4x4 utes than any other is gearing up to shift the goalposts of load-lugging performance by replacing the four-cylinder diesel engine fitted to the Ford Ranger Raptor with a Ford Mustang-spec 5.0-litre V8.

Rather than a global project, the top-secret V8 Raptor project has been sanctioned by Ford Australia and will be the result of a local engineering effort.

Read next: News of a V8 Ranger Raptor has Aussies smashing the 'Buy Now' button!

But instead of utilising the 1000-strong local workforce that helped create the T6 architecture that underpins the Ranger and Everest, the project is being farmed out to an external engineering firm.

Read next: 2021 Ford Ranger busted in these exclusive snaps!

2020 Ford Ranger Raptor V8 Design

The latest in a growing list of low volume local engineering solutions – which include the upcoming Mustang R-Spec created by Herrod Performance and just-released Nissan Navara Warrior by Premcar – will adhere to OEM durability and safety requirements and be sold through Ford dealers will full five-year warranty protection.

Can’t wait for the end of the year for a V8 performance ute? Here’s how you can get one today.

Behind the scenes, there’s an elaborate process to turn regular Ranger Raptors into roaring V8 performance machines.

Read next: Next-gen VW Amarok will be based on the Ford Ranger

The donor Raptors will arrive in Australia with diesel propulsion and will then undergo an engine transplant as part of extensive performance upgrades.

Key to the transformation into a Raptor V8 is Ford’s Coyote V8, the engine that is the heart of the Mustang GT.

Read next: Learning how to drift a Ford Ranger Raptor

2020 Ford Ranger Raptor V8 Motor

The 5038cc, direct injection, dual overhead cam V8 was upgraded in 2018 to produce 339kW and 556Nm – more than the final 6.2-litre V8 in the Holden Commodore SS (304kW).

While exact outputs for the Raptor tune are yet to be confirmed, it is expected to make close to the numbers pumped out in the current Mustang GT.

Crucially, the new V8 injection promises to answer one of the biggest criticisms with Ford’s Baja racer-inspired truck: straight-line performance.

Read next: Here's why the Ford Ranger Raptor is 4x4 of the year

January 3 update: 

While Ford will not officially confirm the V8 Raptor is in development ahead of an anticipated on-sale late 2020, the company's Australian communications boss Matt Moran was keen for WhichCar to include the following statement: 

"There has always been speculation around the Ranger Raptor - naturally we have nothing share right now about any future plans, but we're thrilled by the passion and how much people love this great truck, designed and engineered right here in Australia."

Read into that what you will; it may not be a confirmation, but it's also far from a denial.

 

For the full story on Ford’s secret Raptor hero, make sure to pick up the January 2020 issue of Wheels on sale January 3.

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