New spy video hints at GT500-powered Raptor

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Brandan Gillogly

A new video of the next-gen Ford Raptor, still enveloped in camouflage, suggests a return of a V-8 engine to the Blue Oval’s desert-running pickup. The videographer notes that the test driver, suspicious of being tailed, did their best to go easy on the throttle on the way back to a Roush facility, but the sound is definitely not EcoBoost V-6. This gives credence to the rumor that the next Raptor will bring a version of the GT500’s supercharged 5.2-liter V-8.

When the first Raptor launched for 2010, it was powered by a 310-hp version of Ford’s 5.4-liter Modular V-8. That kind of output seems a bit sluggish by today’s standards, when the much lighter Colorado ZR2 has a V-6 with a similar output; yet we assure you that those early Raptors were still a lot of fun. Ford tooled up its 411-hp, 6.2-liter V-8 as an option in 2010 and by 2011 it was the sole engine available in the high-flying pickup. However, when the second-generation Raptor debuted as a 2017 model, the naturally aspirated V-8 was gone, replaced by a rowdy, 450-hp version of the EcoBoost V-6 paired with a 10-speed automatic.

Other hints at new hardware revealed in the video come from the underbody camouflage, thought to cover a coil-spring rear suspension. Plenty of pickups have used (and continue to use) a trailing/leading arm and coil-spring setup: The current Ram comes to mind (front/rear), as well as Ford’s own Super Duty (front only). In addition to the handling and ride benefits, that new configuration would help harness the tremendous torque unleashed by a supercharged V-8 that might otherwise cause a leaf spring to wrap up as the pinion gear climbs the ring gear under acceleration.

We’ve been waiting for Ford to counter the Ram TRX—we’ve been waiting even longer for Chevy to join the battle with a full-size pickup—and this video is some of the first evidence that more power is headed to the Raptor. It seems like overkill for the Raptor to get the GT500’s full 760 hp, so we wouldn’t be surprised if this gets a slightly different tune. Then again, it once seemed like overkill for Ram to drop a Hellcat in the TRX.

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