The electric Ford F-150 Lightning will remain quicker than the rest of the F-150 lineup for the near future.
At the 2023 Ford F-150 Raptor R launch, Ford Performance boss Carl Widmann didn’t mince words: Electrification, be it hybridization or all-electric, isn’t in the Raptor lineup’s cards.
Raptor sticking with the ICE
The reason? Widmann said the internal-combustion engine is “the best tech to operate at full power in deep sand, bar none.”
“The truck (the Raptor) brings that engine to life. You can do things so rapidly,” Widmann said. He noted that it’s not hard to turn off the Raptor R’s traction control system and shoot a rooster tail with a jab of the right foot.
The Raptor R’s supercharged V-8 adds about 100 lb total to the pickup over a turbocharged V-6-powered Raptor while adding 250 hp and 130 lb-ft of torque.
The silver-haired performance enthusiast, who’s responsible for ridiculous machines including the 2020 Ford Mustang Shelby GT500, 2022 Ford Bronco Raptor, and the third-generation Ford F-150 Raptor, said his team has driven the GMC Hummer EV. “They are good for a shot, but not something you would run at Baja.” Widmann laughed while noting the Hummer weighs in at more than 9,000 lb.
Widmann said electric vehicles (specifically referring to off-road-capable trucks) aren’t as nimble as a V-8-powered vehicle due to all the extra weight of the batteries.
As for hybridization, the change would need to add benefit to the customers. “What is the benefit as it comes to weight?” Widmann asked, adding there’s simply no way around the added weight from the battery and electric motor, which reduces agility.
When the 2020 Ford F-250 Super Duty lineup was introduced in 2019 it brought forth a clean-sheet 7.3-liter V-8 dubbed Godzilla. Ford rated the Super Duty’s 7.3-liter V-8’s output at 430 hp and 475 lb-ft of torque.
When it was revealed, Ford spokesperson Mike Levine confirmed to Motor Authority the Godzilla engine would technically fit in both the F-150 Raptor and Mustang engine bays—though Levine noted that the large engine was designed for trucks and features a heavy iron block. But there was a question as to whether it would end up in the Raptor.
Standing next to the Raptor R, Widmann pointed to the supercharged 5.2-liter V-8 and said, “this is the most power you can pack for the power into the truck’s front end,” noting that Godzilla is simply too heavy.
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