► Ford Ranger Raptor V8 in works
► Special Aussie-market V8 pick-up
► Exclusive details of Stang-engined ute
Ford is secretly readying a high-performance Ranger super pick-up complete with V8 power. The plan has been uncovered by our sister publication Wheels magazine in Australia.
The brand that sells more 4x4 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 Ranger Raptor with a 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.
Ford Ranger Raptor review
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.
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.
How they're adding the Mustang V8 to the Ford Ranger Raptor
Behind the scenes, there’s an elaborate process to turn regular Raptors into roaring V8 performance machines.
The donor Raptors will arrive in Australia with diesel propulsion but will undergo an engine transplant as part of an extensive performance upgrade.
Key to the transformation of the Raptor V8 is Ford’s Coyote V8 (above), the engine that is the heart of the Mustang GT.
The 5038cc direct injection dual overhead cam V8 was upgraded in 2018 to produce 454bhp and 410lb ft – more than the final 6.2-litre V8 in the Holden Commodore SS (407bhp).
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.
This article originally appeared on whichcar.com.au