Yes, Ford’s new 7.3-liter V8 could fit in the Mustang and the F-150 Raptor

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In December last year, the site

Ford-Trucks.com posted a story

about the then-rumored

7.3-liter gas engine for Ford’s Super Duty

trucks. A commenter on that story wrote, “[Can’t] wait till these get to the wreckers! Be going into

Mustangs

just you wait….” Now we know the engine codenamed “Godzilla” was no mere

rumor

. And since

Ford

spokesman Mike Levine told

Motor Authority

the motor will fit inside the

Mustang

and the

F-150 Raptor

, we know that commenter was telling the truth, too.

Just don’t expect

Ford

to pull such a trick on the Mustang out of the factory, because the 7.3-liter’s iron block doesn’t pair well with sports-coupe performance. Levine did say he expected to see the conversion at

SEMA

at some point.

The Raptor is another story. It’s certain that someone will put the 7.3-liter in a Raptor, the question is whether Ford will be part of that gang. Ever since Ford dropped the 6.2-liter V8 from the Raptor lineup for 2017, Raptor lovers have pined for the V8. And that’s even though the 3.5-liter EcoBoost V6 — shared with the

Ford GT

— outdoes the old 6.2L by 39 horsepower and 76 pound-feet of torque.

The two big hitches in any potential plan to put the 7.3-liter in the Raptor are CAFE, weight, and power. Ford

still

crows about how the

second-gen Raptor lost almost 500 pounds

compared to the first-generation truck. Replacing a small aluminum block with a giant iron block called “Godzilla” would mute those celebrations. On top of that, the 7.3-liter would be more thirsty and almost certainly less powerful than the 3.5-liter. Ford would take a CAFE hit — admittedly small compared to overall F-Series sales — and charge Raptor buyers more money for less performance.

In nine years on sale, the Raptor has never had any real OEM competition. The first proper challenger the Raptor faces, the

Ram Rebel TRX

, won’t show up until mid-2020 at the earliest. That truck’s predicted to get two engine options, the top one

with “well in excess of 575 hp.”

Ford can afford to wait and see how progress develops on the other side of town in Auburn Hills, but if Ram brings a properly sorted suspension, Ford will need to load its charge. We figure Ford has a larger engine in mind for the Raptor, but our guess is that whatever it is, it won’t be the 7.3. Tuners like Shelby, Hennessey and PowerPax could have different ideas.

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