After months of radio silence on the matter, Ford confirmed yesterday that the 2021 Ford F-150 Raptor will make its debut on February 3. And while this means that official details are only a few weeks out now, the announcement hasn’t stopped the rumor machine. In fact, new spy footage of a New Ford Raptor prototype testing outside of the automaker’s Headquarters may have only made things worse. That is because this new clip contains our first real auditory hint as to what engine will power the off-road pickup. Spoiler alert: It isn’t an EcoBoost.
In the video clip uploaded to the Pickup Truck Plus SUV Talk YouTube channel, spy photographers managed to follow a 2021 Ford F-150 Raptor prototype as it heads towards the interstate just outside of Dearborn. While brief, the clip contains our first real taste of the truck’s exhaust note as it pulls away from a stop. As rumors have suggested for months now, it appears that this particular prototype is powered by a V8 engine. Namely, the supercharged 5.2L Predator V8 from the Shelby GT500.
The decision to toss a V8 engine into the 2021 Ford F-150 Raptor won’t come as a surprise to off-roading fans. When FCA pulled the cover off of the Hellcat-powered Ram 1500 TRX last year, it became clear that the Raptor’s EcoBoost V6 was outmatched. Luckily for Ford, they didn’t have to look very far for a suitable replacement. The Predator V8 produces 760 horsepower and 625 lb-ft of torque in GT500 spec, more than enough to match the Raptor’s new challenger. Rumors have suggested that like with TRX, a more restrictive air box will result in the 2021 Ford F-150 Raptor producing between 725 and 750 horsepower.
The presence of a V8 engine in this particular Raptor prototype doesn’t mean that the EcoBoost V6 is dead however. Rumors also hint that Ford will retain the familiar 3.5L EcoBoost V6 that previously populated the truck’s engine bay. It is thought that the V8-powered model will be priced to combat the $71,690 Ram 1500 TRX, whereas the EcoBoost-equipped truck will remain more in line with the current pricing model. FCA has suggested in the past that they may follow a similar route after the initial rollout of the TRX.
While a spy video isn’t exactly confirmation, listen to what your ears are telling you. The 2021 Ford F-150 Raptor will be available with a V8 engine, and likely one making over 700 horsepower. Good on FCA for pushing Ford out of their comfort zone, and good on Ford for building something crazy. The world likely didn’t need two 700+ horsepower pickups on the market, but we aren’t complaining.