Slowly but surely, Ford has been usurping the status quo with its pickups, first by offering the 3.5 liter EcoBoost V6 as a V8 replacement, and then wholly embracing an aluminum body. Now Ford is reportedly tinkering with the formula to the popular SVT Raptor, a no-holds-barred off-road truck that has become of of the most beloved Blue Ovals.
AutoGuide reports that spy photographers caught the new SVT Raptor test mule, and said it sounded more like an EcoBoost V6 than the 6.2 liter V8 from the last model. That would be a radical departure from the Raptor we know and love, but it’s the direction Ford needs to go.
Without a hybrid or small diesel engine for the 2015 F-150, Ford is going to have to rely on the new 2.7 liter “Nano” EcoBoost V6 to provide the fuel economy boost its trucks need. While the 5.0 V8 will still be offered though, taking the Raptor down EcoBoost Street will prepare enthusiasts for what’s next.
With the 2015 Mustang EcoBoost offering a four-cylinder turbo for the first time in almost three decades, the Blue Oval banking on performance enthusiasts embracing downsized engines. The Focus ST and Fiesta ST led the way, but now with big dogs like the Mustang and Raptor (probably) offering EcoBoost engines, the slow-but-inevitable push towards dropping big V8s is beginning.
It won’t be a quick or sudden change, and the Mustang at least is likely to always offer a V8 of some kind. But it’s likely that the V8 engine will be reserved for the Shelby or other high-end models, while smaller EcoBoost engines pick up the slack. It’s the only way Ford can continue to meet fuel economy standards that are increasing both here and abroad.
As far as the Raptor is concerned, nothing is set-in-stone. The 6.2 liter V8 that powered earlier models will still be offered in the 2015+ Ford Super Duty models, but it was a 3.5 liter EcoBoost that helped a F-150 breeze through the Baja 1000. Head over to AutoGuide to check out the spy pics.
An EcoBoost Raptor is the right move Ford; don’t disappoint!