The electric Ford F-150 Lightning will continue to be faster than the rest of the F-150 lineup for the foreseeable future.
At the launch of the 2023 Ford F-150 Raptor R, Ford Performance boss Carl Widmann pulled no punches: Electrification, whether hybrid or fully electric, is not on the cards for the Raptor lineup.
2023 Ford F-150 Raptor R
Raptor glued to ICE
The reason? Widmann said that the internal combustion engine is “the best technology to operate at full power in deep sand, bar none.”
“The (Raptor) truck brings that engine to life. You can get things done very quickly,” Widmann said. He noted that it’s not hard to turn off the Raptor R’s traction control system and fire off a rooster tail with a right foot jab.
The Raptor R’s supercharged V-8 adds about 100 total lbs. to the truck over a turbocharged Raptor V-6 while adding 250 hp and 130 lb-ft of torque.
The silver-haired performance enthusiast, responsible for ridiculous machines including the 2020 Ford Mustang Shelby GT500, 2022 Ford Bronco Raptor and third-generation Ford F-150 Raptor, said his team has driven the GMC Hummer EV. “They’re good for a shot, but not something you’d run in Baja.” Widmann laughed as he pointed out that the Hummer weighs more than 9,000 pounds.
Widmann said that electric vehicles (referring specifically to trucks with off-road capability) aren’t as agile as a V-8-powered vehicle because of all the extra weight of the batteries.
As for hybridization, the change would need to add benefits to customers. “What’s the benefit weight-wise?” Widmann asked, adding that there’s simply no way around the added weight of the battery and electric motor, which reduces agility.
Ford 7.3-liter V-8
When the 2020 Ford F-250 Super Duty lineup was introduced in 2019, it featured a clean-blade 7.3-liter V-8 called Godzilla. Ford rated the output of the Super Duty’s 7.3-liter V-8 at 430 hp and 475 pound-feet of torque.
When it was revealed, Ford spokesman Mike Levine confirmed to the Motor Authority that the Godzilla engine would technically fit in the F-150 Raptor and Mustang engine bays, though Levine noted that the large engine was designed for trucks and features a block of heavy iron. But there were questions about whether it would end up on 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 power in the front of the truck,” noting that Godzilla is just too heavy.
Keyword: Ford F-150 Raptor won’t be electrified anytime soon