This could get naughty. Wonderfully naughty.
Back in 2010, the first generation Ford F-150 Raptor hit the market powered by a naturally aspirated 5.4-liter V8 with 310 hp. Today, a turbo four can produce more. The following model year, Ford wisely dropped this V8 in favor of a 6.2-liter unit with 411 hp and 434 lb-ft of torque. Not bad, but today's second-gen Raptor has 450 hp and 510 lb-ft thanks to its twin-turbo V6. More power is more power, right? Of course, but the V8's absence is very much felt. However, Ford could be up to something wonderfully naughty.
According to Ford Authority, anonymous sources familiar with the Blue Oval's product planning claim testing is happening right now for a V8-powered, ultra-high performance Raptor. Which V8? Unknown at this time but there are two very obvious options: the supercharged 5.2-liter found in the Mustang Shelby GT500 or the 7.3-liter V8 that'll be found in the 2020 Ford Super Duty.
Now, it's important to remember this isn't the first time we've heard about a V8-powered Raptor rumor. Back in March, we reported Ford had plans to stuff the GT500's V8 into the Raptor's engine bay where it could produce upwards of around 700 hp. Unfortunately, details regarding the latter engine are almost non-existent at this time, with one exception: it can fit in the Mustang, too, though it's been designed and engineered specifically for truck duty.
These same sources did say, however, that whichever V8 currently undergoing testing in Raptor mules is more powerful than the twin-turbo EcoBoost V6. And this begs the question: will the V8 replace the V6? Will it be offered alongside it? Again, unknown. We also don't know when the V8 could debut. Last we heard, the F-150 itself is due to be replaced by 2022, meaning an all-new Raptor will also arrive around that time.
There is a possibility the new V8 could be delayed until then. Or, and this sounds like a more realistic approach, it could debut in the last model year or so of the current Raptor and then be carried over. We've also reached out to Ford seeking comment and we'll update if you hear back. In any case, the return of the V8 to the Raptor sounds like a sure thing and we can hardly wait.