It sounds like a sensible strategy.
Earlier in the summer, Ford pulled the wraps off its brand new, fourteenth-generation replacement for the current F-150, and suffice it to say that with a new F-150 comes an all-new Raptor. The outgoing Raptor, lauded by critics and off-road enthusiasts alike for its exceptional off-road prowess, has perhaps one weak point: the lack of available V8 power. The US market loves a V8.
With the Raptor-fighting Ram 1500 TRX now officially on the way, featuring a supercharged 6.2L V8 borrowed from the SRT Hellcat models, that weak point has become more critical than ever before.
As we heard recently, this will be addressed with the all-new-generation F-150, according to TFL Truck.
Its sources claim that the 2021 Ford F-150 Raptor will offer a choice of two engines, one of which is a clear direct response to the Ram 1500 TRX: the same supercharged 5.2L DOHC "Predator" V8 that powers the all-new 2020 Shelby GT500 Mustang. In that application, the mill peaks at 760 horsepower and 625 lb-ft of torque, although we might expect the Raptor's tune to prioritize a thick, fat torque curve at the expense of some peak power.
The other powertrain option? Per TFL Truck, it's a "PowerBoost H.O." ("High Output") system that will couple a twin-turbo V6 - almost certainly the 3.5L - with an electric hybrid system, akin to the 2021 Ford F-150's regular new PowerBoost hybrid system. The electric motor could conceivably contribute a little extra power and torque to the 3.5's already impressive 450 hp and 510 lb-ft of torque, and we wouldn't be surprised to see 500-plus hp and well north of 600 lb-ft.
Both of these powertrain options sound perfectly plausible, although it's crucial to note that for now, this is all hearsay, courtesy of TFL Truck's anonymous sources. But each option would serve a purpose in the 2021 Ford F-150 Raptor, the PowerBoost H.O. building on the foundation established by the outgoing Raptor with extra performance and efficiency, and the 5.2L Predator V8 helping to make sure the Ram 1500 TRX isn't able to poach too many customers away from Raptor.