By on June 12, 2019

Ford’s F-150 Raptor represents the pinnacle of off-road performance for adventurous full-size truck buyers — it’s a vehicle capable of blasting through brush (not that you would) with its extra-wide stance and enlarged fenders, running full-bore across the backcountry with the 450 horsepower and 510 lb-ft of torque on tap from its high-output 3.5-liter EcoBoost V6, and sticking bone-crushing landings with the help of its long-legged suspension.

And still buyers wish for more. According to one report, the Raptor could be due for an engine upgrade that puts the correct number of cylinders beneath the hood.

As claimed by insider sources who spoke to Ford Authority, the boys and girls at the Blue Oval are in the midst of testing a Raptor outfitted with a V8 engine. The engine would serve in a high-performance variant of the already high-performance truck. If true, this would represent something of a return to tradition for the model, as the first-generation Raptor employed a 6.2-liter V8 for motivation.

Twin-turbo sixes are nice, but the 3.0-liter unit found in the 2020 Explorer ST makes 400 hp and 415 lb-ft. The hybrid Lincoln Aviator promises that engine, plus 450 hp and 600 lb-ft. Lesser engines are beginning to take some of the shine off the Raptor’s 3.5L EcoBoost.

It could just be an experiment, but when it comes to V8s Ford now has a bevy of choices. Why not make maximum use of them?

Image: Ford

Rumors abound that the Raptor will soon adopt the supercharged 5.2-liter Voodoo V8 found in the upcoming Mustang Shelby GT500, said to make north of 700 hp. That could still be the case. However, there’s an alternative that doesn’t have to work as hard: Ford’s naturally aspirated, pushrod 7.3-liter “Godzilla” engine (seen above), built at a newly upgraded plant in Windsor, Ontario.

Destined for the 2020 Super Duty line, the engine boasts relatively compact dimensions and is said by Ford spokesman Mike Levine to be compatible with both the Mustang and Raptor. Power, for now, remains a mystery, though Ford claims the big-bore mill will outmuscle all other gas V8s in its class.

It would seem that the Godzilla is better suited to moving considerable mass in a hurry, though the Voodoo rumors can’t be dismissed just yet. Time will tell what Ford decides to do with its brawniest truck.

[Images: Ford]

Get the latest TTAC e-Newsletter!

Recommended

28 Comments on “Raptor Meets Godzilla?...”


  • avatar
    ajla

    “Ford’s naturally aspirated, pushrod 7.3-liter “Godzilla” engine”
    “to be compatible with both the Mustang and Raptor.”

    No one likes a tease, Ford.

  • avatar
    Hummer

    7.3L and done, being that they finally are going to OHV and leaving the 20th century behind, it opens the door for a proper engine in this beast.

    Rejoice the end of the weed eater Raptor.

    • 0 avatar
      redapple

      Hummer

      Do you mean Overhead Valve? That is old school. Overhead cam is new school.

      Overhead cam can be less preferable. More parts – 4 expensive cams. Very wide Cylinder heads – could cause major packaging problems under the hood.

      • 0 avatar
        Hummer

        OHCs have been around longer than OHVs it’s a misconception that OHV is old tech. OHVs offer a physically smaller and lighter package to produce HP than OHC, and they are almost always more efficient than OHC.

        • 0 avatar
          conundrum

          Right, which is why F1 and those Indy dopes use four valve heads. Toyota’s 40 percent thermal efficiency in their latest engines have four valves. Forget the valve operating system itself, that’s a red herring and nothing very much to do with efficiency at all.

          If a two-valve cylinder typical of pushrod engines is more volumetrically and thermally efficient than a four valve, it’s a secret known only to you, and other people with no clue and an inability to observe.

          Provide technical information for your efficiency claim. Not just out of your left-ear opinion – hard facts.

          • 0 avatar
            Hummer

            Valve flow doesn’t seem to be a limiting factor on anyone turning a 364 LS2 into a 402 stroker, if you need more flow add more displacement, larger valves, make cam changes/vvt, it’s not rocket science. From a real world standpoint OHV engines seem to net better real world fuel economy than their OHC siblings.

          • 0 avatar
            Lou_BC

            I read an interesting article on pushrod V8’s versus overhead cam. The author basically summed up the choice based upon RPM. If you expect the unit to live at higher RPM (don’t recall the set point) then overhead cam engines are the obvious choice.
            Low revving combined with larger displacement tilts the cost/benefit equation towards cam in block/pushrod engines. That is exactly the reason why Ford engineers gave for building a 7.3 industrial truck engine.
            The Raptor being a “halo” vehicle would be the worst place to put such an engine. You don’t want a nose heavy low RPM engine in a pre-runner.

          • 0 avatar
            ajla

            “The Raptor being a “halo” vehicle would be the worst place to put such an engine. You don’t want a nose heavy low RPM engine in a pre-runner.”

            I can’t speak to the new 7.3L but the Ecoboost V6 engines are more of a “low RPM” experience than any of the current cam-in-block offerings from GM or FCA.

            What you read might be a good guide when dealing with naturally-aspirated engines, but nonexotic DOHC engines with modern forced-induction systems do not like to rev.

        • 0 avatar
          Flipper35

          All modern engines are overhead valves. They haven’t made something like the flathead for decades. For cam placement is it all about complexity and packaging. If you only plan on a 2v setup for low end grunt and a 6k to 7k rpm redline then pushrods work fine and dandy and you don’t have the complexity of an overhead cam on a V type engine. If you are going 4v and plan to get high HP numbers at high rpm at the cost of low end torque, then a DOHC is what you would need. None are better or worse but each have their purpose. A pushrod design has more weight in the valvetrain but you can make a smaller package for the same horsepower for a 2v engine for instance.

          • 0 avatar
            highdesertcat

            And now that you mention flatheads, I once owned a used ’52 Mercury with a flathead V8, three on the tree, and manual, cable operated Overdrive.

            Lotta fun times back then, but when that old flathead gave up the ghost in 1962, nobody wanted to work on it, rebuild it, or repair it.

            Even my Autoshop teacher in school told me, “Let it go, son. Let it go.”

      • 0 avatar
        highdesertcat

        Given a choice, I’d choose a Single or Double Overhead Cam engine over any pushrod of the same size and displacement for every-day driving. They’re just much more refined.

        I’ve owned both OHC and pushrod engines in cars, trucks and motorcycles, and OHC and DOHC engines are just light-years ahead of pushrods.

        Downside is, OHC and DOHC engines are expensive when compared to pushrod mills.

        Seeing Ford take a step backward can only mean they want grunt, not a high-spinning super-wide power band.

        I had both a Ford/Mercury 430 cubic inch in a sedan AND the Ford V10 in a 1999 F250. Talk about slow-turning, stump-pulling, stomach-churning grunt from 650rpm on up!

        If Ford can replicate that grunt with OHC/DOHC multi-valve engines? I say more power to them.

        • 0 avatar
          ajla

          I think forced induction and direct injection have taken away a lot of the refinement and high-RPM advantages of OHC engines. My current turbo DOHC engine isn’t any better with NVH or reving-up than my previous 345 “HEMI”.

          I also definitely disagree with the idea that anything short of Ferrari V12 is “light years” ahead of something like the current LT1. I’m not sure the last time you owned one, but the recent crop of pushrod V8s are excellent and can reliably wind out to 6500RPM. They’ve come a very long way from an early 80’s Olds 307.

          Unless you are going to offer a serious scream machine (like with the GT350 & the Lexus “F” cars), or are worried about displacement taxes, I don’t see the downside to an OHV design on “V”-configuration engines in 2019.

          • 0 avatar
            Tele Vision

            *Sigh*. Anyone ever noticed that the torque peak in his or her engine is always less than the horsepower peak?

            I thought so.

            Anyone always run up to redline/fuel cut-off in every gear on the way to work, or to take the kids for Slurpees?

            I thought not.

            We drive torque, not horsepower. HP sells cars but TQ actually moves them. This is why small turbo-4s and -6s have flooded the market in favour of V8s, as they make the same – or better – torque.

          • 0 avatar
            ajla

            I’m not sure of your point. Just because I’m not blasting up at redline *at all times* does not mean that I don’t care about my vehicle’s high RPM performance. I still go up there often enough for it to matter to me. If I was being fully pragmatic I would have bought a Camry Hybrid.

            I’m also not writing about a Ford Escapes or the like. I believe that a nontrivial number of people purchasing “enthusiast” vehicles actually do care about what their car does when the tach goes over 3500.

          • 0 avatar
            jack4x

            ‘Anyone ever noticed that the torque peak in his or her engine is always less than the horsepower peak?’

            It’s almost as if the two are related by some mathematical equation…

  • avatar
    thelaine

    Mmmmmm…pickup porn. Do it, Ford.

  • avatar
    Garrett

    Ugh.

    I have literally never observed a vehicle that is so universally driven so poorly and in such an asshole-ish manner as the Ford Raptor.

    I honestly cannot think of a single unmodified vehicle I’ve ever be in favor of banning, but the Ford Raptor makes me question that view.

    Perhaps some day I will see one that doesn’t cut someone off, doesn’t tailgate someone already doing 20mph over the limit, or who doesn’t use their accessory lights to blind someone.

    I won’t hold my breath.

  • avatar
    raph

    The 5.2 in the GT500 isn’t struggling very hard to make 700++ horsepower (Ford speak for over 700) its making that on 12 psi. By way of comparison my old GT500 with a 2.9 Whipple was making just a bit more power at the crank with nearly 5-6 pounds of added boost.

  • avatar
    raph

    The 5.2 in the GT500 isn’t struggling very hard to make 700++ horsepower (Ford speak for over 700) its making that on 12 psi. By way of comparison my old GT500 with a 2.9 Whipple was making just a bit more power at the crank with nearly 5-6 pounds of added boost.

  • avatar
    jack4x

    This has been teased endlessly since the 7X was just a rumor.

    As sad as it makes me to say this, there is almost no way this could be true. It would amount to admitting to nearly a decade of wasted marketing emphasizing the power and efficiency of the Ecoboost line (when was the last time you heard or saw a V8 in a Ford truck ad?). Once you acknowledge that what the customer really wants is a V8, how can you ask them to buy a V6 as the performance engine with a straight face? If the GT couldn’t even get a V8, why would they give one to a Raptor?

    That doesn’t even get into the fact that the F150 is subject to fuel economy rules that the Super Duty is not, and offering a 7.3L that will get low teens MPG while likely making less power than the 3.5 High Output doesn’t make sense from that perspective.

    The 5.2SC from the GT500 would make a bit more sense because it could be sold in low quantities as a $100K supertruck. Still unlikely IMO because of marketing reasons above. The 7.3L makes no sense. This is going to be a low revving, long-lived workhorse, not a performance engine. Only us die-hard cylinder count/no-replacement-for-displacement guys would buy one, and there just aren’t enough of us.

    • 0 avatar
      ajla

      I don’t think there is a need to give the EB engines a “halo” any longer. At this point it is obvious that the “volume” F-series shopper is fine with the turbo engines. Giving the Raptor a V8 isn’t going to kill XLT 2.7T sales. And, although “THE FUTURE” may not be V8-powered, it isn’t going to be turbo-V6 powered either.

      Plus, there is some logic to the “7.3L it” madness. Right now Ford has three different V8 families (plus a fairly modified flat-crank offshoot) serving a relatively low volume. They could conceivably replace the Coyote, Boss, and Voodoo with the Godzilla engine. That would put them down to 1 V8 family (with two tunes), on a comparatively low-cost pushrod engine, and it goes along with my idea that the V8 in the Mustang is going to be moved behind a bigger paywall soon.

      So future Mustang:
      2.3EB – Base
      3.5EB – GT
      Hybrid/PHEV/BEV – ???
      7.3L – Mach 1
      7.3SC – GT500

      Future F-150:
      3.3, Hybrid, 2.7EB, 3.5EB – All trims
      3.0PS, 7.3L – Behind a trim level paywall.

      • 0 avatar
        jack4x

        I think if the 7.3 was intended for the GT500 in any form, we would have seen it in this generation, not the next. If anything, that would have been a potential marketing boost to the 7.3 for Super Duty sales. My guess is that whatever form the next uber-Mustang takes, it won’t be gas only.

        I do agree that it makes no sense to have 4 different V8s with very little shared. I think the 6.2 and the 5.2 variants are gone fairly quickly, or maybe the 6.2 becomes fleet only in the Super Duty.

        I think the Coyote has to stay around in some form because I don’t think an iron block 7.3 is going to be very suitable for a light duty truck or a Mustang. We will know more when the power figures are released, but assuming they come in around 425 hp/500 lb-ft and (charitably) 15 mpg, I think that’s a tough sell against a 400/400/20 mpg 5.0, or a 450/510/21 mpg 3.5 HO, unless you need heavy towing/longevity. Hence, Super Duty only, for the same reason there was never a 454 or 8.1 Vortec in a Camaro or 1500 truck (454SS aside)

        • 0 avatar
          ajla

          “I don’t think an iron block 7.3 is going to be very suitable for a light duty truck or a Mustang.”

          No, they would not be able to dump the 7.3L straight from the Super Duty into the other vehicles. My thought is that there would have to be an aluminum block (and possibly de-stroked) version with different hp/tq outputs for the F-150 and Mustang. But, automakers has been doing that sort of thing with engine families for eternity. I don’t have to tell a Viper owner that there is precedence of turning a “truck” engine into a performance option.

          Obviously I don’t know Ford’s costs. Maybe it’s cheaper to have the Coyote and ‘workhorse’ Godzilla stay separate rather than do two versions of the Godzilla. But if it isn’t, might as well go for it.

          • 0 avatar
            jack4x

            Hey, if they can:

            1)Make it work CAFE-wise such that the V8 upcharge isn’t outrageous,

            2)Stay competitive with the forthcoming 500 hp LT2 from the C8 that I assume will soon be in the Camaro SS with corresponding power boost for the 6.2 in the trucks,

            Then I am all for it. I’m on record here saying I’d buy a 5.2SC Raptor if they make it, and I’d make the same statement for an aluminum block, performance tuned 7.3 Raptor.

            The fact that we are even discussing an all new big block V8 for 2020 is pretty amazing to me. Whatever they decide to do with it, my hat is off to Ford just for building it.

            And the Viper V10 was conceived and designed first, then turned into the truck V10 :) But your point is well taken.

        • 0 avatar
          Dan

          “We will know more when the power figures are released, but assuming they come in around 425 hp/500 lb-ft and (charitably) 15 mpg, I think that’s a tough sell against a 400/400/20 mpg 5.0, or a 450/510/21 mpg 3.5 HO”

          SAE ratings are calculated differently for the HD trucks, which are usually governed for towing durability on top of that, the numbers wouldn’t be anywhere near that low in a half ton application. Scaling the specific output of the current 6.2 as rated in the 09-14 gen would already put you at 480/510. A premium gas tune would put the brochure horsepower well past 500.

          Remember that the last big OHV motor on the market was the LS7, and that was rated at 505/480 on 93. This is a performance valve train away from the same thing, only better because the block is bigger so they could bore it out another 100 thousandths.

          Second, you’re kidding yourself if you think that the market for $70,000 trucks gives half a chit about fuel economy. The EPA, which should be abolished, might. But the buyers? Please. The first stop for 90% of these trucks is another $5,000 to lift them a couple inches and put on bigger tires. MPG LOL.

  • avatar
    Garrett

    (Reposting due to getting caught in the filter)

    Ugh.

    I have literally never observed a vehicle that is so universally driven so poorly and in such an ahole-ish manner as the Ford Raptor.

    I honestly cannot think of a single unmodified vehicle I’ve ever be in favor of banning, but the Ford Raptor makes me question that view.

    Perhaps some day I will see one that doesn’t cut someone off, doesn’t tailgate someone already doing 20mph over the limit, or who doesn’t use their accessory lights to blind someone.

    I won’t hold my breath.

    • 0 avatar
      0Gravity

      Agreed. It’s basic human behavior. A macho aggressive truck attracts macho aggressive aholes.

      Most are also in debt up to their eyeballs for a vehicle that spends all of its time on pavement going from the suburbs to the office park. That fancy Fox suspension occasionally sees a pothole, maybe.

  • avatar
    nrd515

    If I was looking to buy a Raptor, the only way Ford would get my money is if I could get an NA V8 in it. I want nothing to do with any EB garbage motors. Well, unless Ford started covering them for 100,000 miles or 10 years.


Back to TopLeave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.

Recent Comments

  • akear: People don’t like working for Hackett. Hackett lost a lot of top talent at Steelcase as well.
  • Corey Lewis: Sometimes manufacturers produce cars in more than one place, or can come up with a quick alternate...
  • NeilM: “Well, I’m pleased for Woodhouse and I think he’s done an admirable job at Lincoln” Wow! Does that...
  • MoparRocker74: I’ve put a LOT of miles on 5 different Jeep CJ’s and Wranglers. I’ve never experienced any death...
  • Featherston: “[I]t’s illegal for any new vehicle to exceed 74 decibels in Europe. While your personal car can...

New Car Research

Get a Free Dealer Quote

Staff

  • Contributors

  • Timothy Cain, Canada
  • Matthew Guy, Canada
  • Ronnie Schreiber, United States
  • Bozi Tatarevic, United States
  • Chris Tonn, United States
  • Corey Lewis, United States
  • Mark Baruth, United States
  • Moderators

  • Adam Tonge, United States
  • Corey Lewis, United States