Back in December, Ford announced that they would be introducing at least 12 new performance models prior to 2020. A quarter of the promised dozen rolled out in Detroit on Monday and received a great deal of well-deserved praise, but something seemed a bit off about two of the three models, leading me to believe that there is something that Ford doesn’t want us to know quite yet—and for good reason.
It seems that Ford is making, or at least considering, a serious push to rid their future vehicles of V8 engines entirely, opting instead to more heavily utilize the EcoBoost technology that continues to find its way into just about every model outfitted with the blue oval. Allow me to justify this bold claim.
Is Ford Discontinuing All V8 Engines in 2017?
As I mentioned, there was something peculiar about two of the three Ford Performance products unveiled in the Motor City. As soon as the sheets were pulled from the revived GT and the redesigned Raptor, the bulk of the attention was turned to the powertrains, as the pair of new models will come equipped with a turbocharged EcoBoost V6 rather than a naturally-aspirated V8 like they were presumed to.
Take a second to think about that. A racing-inspired supercar and a high-performance off-road pickup, both of which were offered exclusively with V8 engines in the past, now taking on V6 engines. It seems to suggest a theme for the remainder of the forthcoming performance vehicles.
The exception to the rule was the Mustang GT350R, which debuted in Detroit and let loose a throaty roar that could only be mustered by a V8. The barely street legal, track-ready pony packs a 5.2-liter V8 that has the ability to generate more than 500 horsepower.
Just because the limited-edition Mustang was shown with a V8, however, does not mean that Ford will continue to produce engines with the two-by-four array of cylinders.
The Ford GT showed us that the automaker is capable of producing more than 600 horsepower with just six cylinders, and as the EcoBoost engine found in the supercar can do more than the GT350R with less, the decision to install a V6 rather than a V8 is a rational one. So rational, in fact, that the same thought process could be applied to future performance-based Ford models.
Fully absolving their vehicles of a V8 option would be a sure way of pissing off Ford enthusiasts, and Mustang lovers in particular, but with constant pressure from the EPA and restricting CAFE laws, whether they like it or not, all automakers are going to have to make big changes in the very near future in order to remain compliant.
Ford seems to understand that, and the drop in cylinders and switch from steel to aluminum bodies on the F-150 and Raptor are both major signs that they are trying to get on the government’s good side early.
Currently, no other auto manufacturers are taking as big of efficiency-increasing strides as Ford, and although the Blue Oval is presently venturing down the road less traveled, they seem to be navigating quite well. The GT and the Raptor are proof of that.
Eventually all other automakers will be forced to take a similar route, and by that time, Ford will have already cleared the path, giving the pioneer company a serious edge over all who chose to procrastinate.
Keep in mind that none of this has been confirmed. I could be wrong about all of this, but even if it doesn’t become entirely extinct, the V8 is undoubtedly endangered. Not just in the Ford lineup, but the market in general.