If you thought something like the Everest would be the next logical extension of Ford’s growing Raptor family, you may be wrong.
Pricing will reportedly start around US$90,000 (A$133,783).
It will reportedly be powered by a naturally aspirated 5.0-litre V8 engine producing over 373kW of power – that’s how much the flagship Dark Horse produces – mated exclusively with a 10-speed automatic transmission.
Instead of a two-speed transfer case, torque will reportedly be routed to all four wheels through an electronically controlled centre differential.
Car & Driver even suggests a Raptor R with a 522kW+ supercharged 5.2-litre V8 will follow.
Mustang Raptor models will reportedly use Fox Live Valve dampers and retuned suspension, with elongated springs giving it a 2.0-inch lift.
The two-door Raptor will reportedly feature underbody bash plates, all-terrain tyres, and cladding on the fenders.
The doubling down on V8s comes as General Motors retires the rival Chevrolet Camaro, which exits production in January 2024, and Dodge gets ready to introduce a production version of the electric Charger SRT Daytona concept next year.
Electric Dodges will replace the venerable V6- and V8-powered Charger sedan and Challenger coupe, and though the STLA Large platform can accommodate Stellantis’ new inline six-cylinder engine family, Dodge hasn’t confirmed a next-gen petrol pony car.
Ford had been rumoured to be working on both hybrid and all-wheel drive versions of its S650 Mustang, but when the latest-generation pony car was revealed last year there was no official confirmation of either.
“If you’re a Mustang customer, do you want to have all-wheel drive?” Mustang vehicle engineering manager Eddie Kahn said to CarExpert last September, suggesting the answer for most customers would be no.
Of its key rivals, only the outgoing Dodge Challenger offers AWD, and only in V6 guise.
As for the rumoured hybrid, Ford executives said buyers could choose between a petrol Mustang or an electric Mustang Mach-E.
“We have a Mach-E, and that is our electrification story,” said Mr Kahn.
“We really want to give our customer the choice between an ICE and electrification, so they can go either way.”
MORE: Everything Ford Mustang