A 710 horsepower mid-size truck? Sign us up.
General Motors may be pulling back from the Australian market, but at least Ford is still going strong. Rumor has it the company might even have a 5.0L V8-powered Ford Ranger Raptor in the works. To be clear, that's two more cylinders than are in the Ford F-150 Raptor, if you recall. And while it may lack the F-150 Raptor's pair of turbochargers, famed Australian tuning house Tickford is at the ready to bolt up a Roush supercharger and create a bona fide sports car slayer.
Potential output could be as high as 710 horsepower - a full 260 more than the US-market F-150 Raptor - and 610 lb-ft of torque. Ironically, such a package is so far not confirmed for America.
"Let's say a V8 Ranger authorized [sic] by Ford themselves through dealers does come out, we will no doubt have people coming to us saying 'supercharge it'," Tickford Group's Commercial Director, Andrew Philpott, told CarsGuide recently. "We've supercharged Mustangs of course, and we supercharged F-150s, so we've had people buy V8s purely with the intent of coming here [and having us install] a Roush supercharger on it."
Plenty in the US market remain hungry for more performance ever since the 2019 Ford Ranger launched here with just a single engine offering. That engine - a turbocharged 2.3L EcoBoost unit borrowed from the Mustang - is rated at up to 270 horsepower and 310 lb-ft.
Unfortunately, there's precious little chance of Ford's 5.0L Coyote V8 joining the US-market Ranger's powertrain lineup, as Ford is unlikely to do anything that might threaten sales of its full-size cash cow: the Ford F-150. That said, rumors have surfaced that Ford is working on a V8-powered F-150 Raptor, although that's not been confirmed.
Nor has a V8 Ford Ranger Raptor been confirmed for the Australian market, for that matter, and even if such a truck does materialize, Tickford R&D Manager Ash Campbell was more cautious in how he spoke about the prospect of a supercharger upgrade.
"It comes down to a couple of things that you really need to be on your game with, and that is how many units they actually produce and sell, and then what the viability is for us as a business to actually go out and spend to time actually developing that tune," he said. With a rumored price tag of $120,000 Australian, plus an anticipated $17,995 cost for a supercharger kit, that business case might be tough to build.