Even in the good old days of engines, when supercars always had 12 cylinders (or more), VW put eight in a Passat and hot hatches revved to 8,500rpm (or might have had a V6), anything over 7.0-litres was the preserve of really silly stuff. The Zonda, the Viper, and that's about it. Yet here we are, on the brink of the 21st century's third decade, with Ford about to launch a brand-new 7.3-litre, naturally aspirated V8. For a pick up. There's some news for you!
It seemed Ford was (relatively speaking) committed to the downsizing route taken on by the industry, the Raptor's switch to a twin-turbo V6 from a supercharged V8 perhaps the most obvious example. Though for the real big boys - this 7.3 set to feature in the F-550, F-600, F-650 and F-750 - Ford maintains the benefits of capacity over anything else. "This engine has the largest displacement in its class and is designed to provide benefits in key areas like power, durability, ease of maintenance and total operating costs." For use on a farm or in the mountains for years and years, a large, relatively simple V8 would surely give reliable service for longer than anything more complex.
To the motor itself. It makes 430hp at 5,500rpm and 475lb ft at 4,000rpm; it's fitted with piston cooling jets to maintain level temps under duress, a forged steel crank for durability and "extra-large" main bearings. It will be paired with a 10-speed auto, or the old six-speed in the really enormous F-650 and F-750. The engine joins a Super Duty engine line up that also includes the puny 6.2 V8 - presumably for yellow bellies only - and 6.7-litre Power Stroke diesel, the latter set to be upgraded soon.
So there's life in the big engine for a bit, it would seem, if only in pick ups. Sold in America. Still, if you're anything like us and get a bit giddy at the prospect of an engine the size of Jupiter, any news about them is good news. For buyers in the States, expect to be able to place a 2020 Super Duty order soon...