Exclusive: Ford Raptor V8 to go on sale in Oz

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

By Toby Hagon
Article from WhichCar

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

The brand that sells more 4×4 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.

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.

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.

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

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.

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.

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.

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Comments 7

  1. If it’s not a Diesel engine, then it’s no good for the outback, tell these tree hugging hippies to get over themselves and bring back the diesel V8’s.

    1. With the small number of diesels actually sold world wide (America is mostly petrol and Europe is phasing out diesel) maybe the Australian outback should wake up and future proof themselves by making petrol and electric charge points more readily available.

      1. Absolutely correct Craig.
        The future of diesel engines is indeed a bleak one.
        Look at all of the car magazines talking about their demise, they aren’t making it up.
        I would prefer a diesel engine myself, but I am continually reading about the toxins that are emitted by the diesel engines, the emission laws will only get tougher, and this will be what kills diesels. The electric car will no doubt be the future, whether it is some type of hybrid hydrogen I don’t really know, I expect that the petrol engine will be with us for a while yet though.

    2. Straight line performance may be well and good in suburban settings and towing the boat down to the ramp on the weekend but honestly, out Bush , petrol v8 engines just don’t cut it.
      What the hell is Ford thinking.

  2. A V6 twin turbo diesel plus 3.5 ton tow should be great, and also like the extra back seat space the raptor has in the dual cab.

  3. I also would rather a diesel, maybe a V6? High torque engine, to run on bio diesel made from vegetable oil or any plant based oil! That would keep our farmers happy growing the new generation of fuel & oil supplies! The oil companies already produce synthetic engine oils, so they have the technology available.

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