The Blue Oval delivered the goods at the Detroit Auto Show, trotting out a new Ford GT with 600 horsepower and the 2017 Ford Raptor, a successor to the off-road homerun. Replacing the 6.2 liter V8 in the 2017 Raptor is a 3.5 liter EcoBoost engine, which Jalopnik reports should be good for about 450 horsepower. That’s a 10% improvement over the old V8, and could clear the path for more dramatic revisions to the Ford engine lineup.
Ford has so far been mum on the 2017 Raptor’s new power ratings, only saying that it’ll make more than the 411 horsepower and 434 lb-ft of torque the outgoing 6.2 liter motor made. Most buyers would have been happy with 420 or 430 horsepower, which would put it on par with the 2015 Mustang. But during a live broadcast, Ford Global Product VP Raj Nair said that the EcoBoost V6 would be good for 450 horsepower in the Raptor. That’s 20 horsepower more than the Mustang GT, and just 100 ponies shy of the 5.2 liter V8 in the Shelby GT350. The Raptor also gets a 10-speed automatic transmission, four more speeds than the pony car has to offer.
While Ford has been quick to confirm that V8 engines aren’t being put out to pasture just yet, it’s clear that the Blue Oval sees smaller-displacement turbos as the definitive replacement for displacement. It’s an important statement that Ford’s top-of-the-line truck now packs a V6 instead of a V8, and within a decade the Mustang may be the only car wearing a Ford badge to even offer an eight-cylinder configuration.
It’ll be the end of an era if that happens, and the birth of a new, even more exciting one. Perhaps a hybrid Mustang might happen in my lifetime after all?