Called the Raptor R, it will take on the Ram 1500 TRX

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The 2021 F-150 Raptor’s unveiling might have been lackluster, or dare I say, disappointing, but this news more than makes up for it. At the end of the premiere video, Ford dropped a “more to come in 2022” message. It wasn’t as cryptic as suspenseful as it sounds. The media release clearly mentioned it was the Raptor R, but no other details were given.

Later, however, a few sources from Ford confirmed that the Raptor R will be powered by a V-8 engine. How’s that for your “Pop the hood” jibe, Ram?

Brace Yourselves, The F-150 Raptor With A V-8 Engine Is Coming In 2022! Exterior Wallpaper quality
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This is a pretty big deal, to be honest. A few hours before Ford launched the Bronco, Jeep announced a Wrangler with a V-8, thus nullifying the former’s hype to a certain extent. Last week when the automaker teased the Raptor on Twitter, Ram tweeted “Pop the hood”, which, again, was a taunt at Ford. But, this time, Ford was prepared and announced that there’s more to come in 2022.

As expected, Twitter was abuzz with Raptor talks, but one particular tweet caught everyone’s attention. Edmunds noted that the Raptor F-150 doesn’t feature a V-8, to which Ford’s Head of North America Product Communications, Said Deep, replied, “Yes, new Raptor will have a V8. It is called Raptor R. More to come!”

Which V-8 Will The Raptor R Feature?

Brace Yourselves, The F-150 Raptor With A V-8 Engine Is Coming In 2022! Exterior Wallpaper quality
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Now, the question is which V-8 engine will Ford plonk under the Raptor’s hood. Ford has four V-8s to choose from, two of which are the most likely options.

Since its biggest rival will be the Ram TRX which comes with a 6.2-liter, supercharged V-8 that churns out 702 ponies and 650 pound-feet of twist, we can assume mills that can offer similar displacement and power outputs.

The Predator

Brace Yourselves, The F-150 Raptor With A V-8 Engine Is Coming In 2022! Drivetrain
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The first one is the Mustang GT500’s 5.2-liter, V-8 Predator engine that makes 760 horses and 625 pound-feet of torque. It comes with a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic gearbox. To keep the GT500 the most powerful car in the portfolio, Ford could offer a detuned version of this engine that makes just enough to trump the Ram TRX.

The Godzilla

Brace Yourselves, The F-150 Raptor With A V-8 Engine Is Coming In 2022! Exterior Wallpaper quality
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The next most-likely option would be the Godzilla V-8 engine seen in the Super Duty Series. While it serves as a heavy-lifter engine in the lineup, Ford would be tempted to plonk it with a supercharger and go up against the Ram truck. Currently, the engine produces 430 horsepower and 475 pound-feet of torque and is mated to a 10-speed automatic transmission.

But,Whipple has developed a 3.0-liter, Gen V, twin-screw supercharger head unit for this mill. This Stage 2 supercharger kit will help produce 700 ponies and 750 pound-feet of torque. We’ve not seen its application in any mass-produced vehicle yet. It doesn’t make a lot of sense to use it in the Super Duty trucks, so it leaves us with the Raptor being the only option.

The Coyote

Brace Yourselves, The F-150 Raptor With A V-8 Engine Is Coming In 2022! Exterior Wallpaper quality
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This tried, tested, and trusted V-8 has been in the Blue Oval’s lineup for a very long time now. There was news of this 5.0-liter V-8 engine going out of production, but Ford seems to have given it a new lease of life since it made its way into the 2021 F-150 as well. In the latest iteration, it develops 400 horses and 410 pound-feet of twist, a bump of five horses and 10 pound-feet of torque over the 2020 F-150 model. This is the least-likeliest to be the powerhouse that takes on the TRX’s V-8 HEMI Hellcat. Offering the same workhorse mill in the standard F-150 and the new, costlier Raptor R doesn’t bode well in any case.

The 6.8-liter V-8 Pushrod

Brace Yourselves, The F-150 Raptor With A V-8 Engine Is Coming In 2022! Exterior Wallpaper quality
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A piece of news recently came to light that mentioned that Ford is working on a new 6.8-liter, V-8 engine. It was said to power the F-150 and the Mustang. In terms of displacement, it is close to the TRX’s size, and it is a new engine that is not seen in any other vehicle yet. Ford doesn’t have any other new product on the horizon anytime soon that would benefit from this.

The same engine, in a different state of tune, could also be offered on the Bronco (Bronco Warthog) as an answer to Jeep’s masterstroke of announcing a Wrangler V-8 hours before the Bronco’s launch. It’s a 6.4-liter, V-8 engine that makes 450 horses and 450 pound-feet of torque. We digress, but considering all the factors, this engine could be the one that Ford will use to power the F-150 Raptor R, “if” it plans to supercharge it.

Final Thoughts

Brace Yourselves, The F-150 Raptor With A V-8 Engine Is Coming In 2022! Exterior
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Ford used to have V-8s powering the Raptor initially. A 5.4-liter and a 6.2-liter V-8 were the options back then. Both were dropped later on and the second-gen Raptor saw the V-6 takeover. But, with the rise of the TRX, which looks to be a very formidable contender even to the new standard Raptor, introducing a V-8 engine again has become inevitable for Ford.

The four engines that Ford has other than the Coyote have chances of becoming the face of the Raptor R. The Predator engine serves the Mustang and will lose its exclusivity to an extent if it makes it into the truck category. The Godzilla engine is being tested with a Whipple supercharger, so there’s that. The new 6.8-liter, V-8 pushrod makes a strong case for itself and could be the go-to engine for all sporty, performance-oriented versions of off-road vehicles. Quite confusing, isn’t it?

Which engine do you think will power the F-150 Raptor R? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below.

Sidd Dhimaan
Sidd Dhimaan
Associate Editor and Truck Expert - sidd@topspeed.com
Sidd joined the Topspeed.com team in 2017 as an intern and in less than a year he earned a full-time position as an associate editor and junior automotive expert. He is currently our pickup truck expert and focuses his attention on heavy-duty and off-road vehicles.  Read full bio
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