To prove how durable, tough and powerful the all-new 3.5-liter EcoBoost V-6 can be in a half-ton truck, Ford plans to torture it later this year in a Raptor R off-road race truck, according to our sources.
Recently, our spies took photos of an EcoBoost-equipped 2011 Ford F-150 FX4 half-ton pickup racking up test miles in the desert, but that’s child’s play compared with the grueling conditions the engine will face powering the Raptor R.
The Raptor R is a competition-modified version of the 2010 F-150 SVT Raptor. It has raced in the legendary Baja 1000 (finishing third in its class) and portions of the 2009 “Best In The Desert” series. But that was with a modified version of the all-new naturally aspirated 6.2-liter V-8 with taller-profile race-tuned cams that produced roughly 500 peak horsepower -- about 100 hp more than the production Raptor.
How much power might the direct-injection, turbocharged EcoBoost Raptor R 3.5 produce? We wouldn’t be surprised if its horsepower and torque ratings come close to the Raptor R 6.2, if not top it. This is Ford SVT we’re talking about, after all.
We expect to see the Raptor R 3.5 compete in this year’s BITD, and there might be another run in the Baja 1000 this November.
Like the 6.2-liter V-8, we expect Ford will market the 3.5-liter V-6 as a premium engine for the 2011 F-150 lineup, with power ratings of about 400 hp and 400 pounds-feet of torque when it’s available late this year.