Ford's V8-powered Ranger Raptor project is now "unlikely" to move ahead, with the auto giant understood to have hit pause - if not stop - on the project.
Earlier reports, first published in Wheels Magazine, suggested Ford was working on a new powertrain for its popular Ranger ute, with the brand expected to shoehorn the Mustang's 5.0-litre Coyote V8 into the engine bay to pump up the outputs to around 339kW and 556Nm.
But CarsGuide understands that a V8 Ranger project is now "unlikely" to proceed at all.
Most major automakers are in the process of battening down the hatches, cancelling extra spending to focus on their core business. It's not clear if the Ranger V8 has fallen victim to that sense of caution when it comes launching new projects.
But while sources wouldn't rule the project - which is yet to be officially confirmed by Ford - out entirely, they did suggest it was highly unlikely to appear anytime soon.
The brand was expected to outsource the work to en external engineering firm, but the project was immediately shrouded in mystery after CarsGuide spoke to three of the major outfits capable of completing the work - Tickford, Herrod Performance and Premcar - all of whom assured us they weren't involved in the Raptor build.
Sources at the time suggested the project was in its infancy, and would possibly occur in 2021 with the new Ford Ranger, rather than act as a going away party of the current-generation vehicles.
Engineers were also quick to point out the complexity of the work involved, and suggested that, if the vehicle did arrive, it would have to carry a price tag significantly north of $100,000, with one even suggesting it would need to sail closer to $140,000 to cover the cost of engineering what will be a small-number project.
For now, we'll have to wait and see what Ford has up its sleeve with the new Ranger and Ranger Raptor. But it would appear a V8 won't be a part of that story.