2023 F-150 Raptor V8 to receive same dual-clutch transmission from GT500?

2023 Ford F-150 Raptor — A GT500 Transmission, too?

When a new vehicle model is as hotly anticipated as the 2023 Ford F-150 Raptor, it’s only natural that the rumors start flying left, right and center. Up until recently, for instance, there was wild speculation about whether Ford would offer a 5.2L V8 engine option in the new Raptor. The belief that they would offer one stemmed from a confirmation by rival truck producer Dodge that the new Ram TRX would be fitted with their Hellcat engine.

That rumor now seems to be settled, and we know that the 2023 Ford F-150 Raptor will come with a limited edition V8 version. We could say, therefore, that the rumor was actually rather well founded. The engine will be the 5.2L V8 unit from the Mustang Shelby GT500, a car that returned in 2020 with an incredible 760hp and 625lb-ft of torque powertrain. It also delivered us the subject of the newest credible rumor surrounding the Ford F-150 Raptor — the Tremec 7-speed DCT (dual-clutch transmission). We’ll explain below why we think this is more than mere speculation.

What’s the Rumor?

In short, there is some speculation that besides receiving the GT500 V8 engine, the new special-edition Ford Raptor will also be getting this brand-new transmission system from Tremec, first used in the 2020 relaunch model of the Mustang Shelby GT500. It already marked a serious departure from the traditional manual route that many fans loved. Some even thought it something of a scandal that a performance machine like the Shelby would be fitted with an “automatic transmission.”

Those people, however, likely don’t fully understand the system and how it works. While it may be a departure from the traditional stick-shift, it is certainly not right to simply call this “automatic.”

What would it Bring to the Raptor?
With the Raptors biggest rival, the Ram TRX, continuing to offer its previous transmission arrangement with paddle shifters, the question arises as to what this system would deliver to the 2023 Ford F-150 Raptor, should the rumor be true. If the Tremec is not an automatic, then what is it? How will this complement the GT500 V8 engine?

First, let’s look at what we’re dealing with. The Tremec 7-Speed DCT is not an automatic transmission, but it would make the 2023 Raptor behave like one. There is a clutch in this system (two, in fact), but there is no clutch pedal and the system operates without any driver input. It’s not automatic because there is no torque converter, and neither are there bands or planetary gears on the trans. On the inside, this system looks quite a lot like any other manual transmission, but it just works using a more advanced system.

Should the rumor be true, and the Tremec DCT be installed on the new Raptor along with the incredible V8 engine, then driver can look forward to the following benefits:

1. Everything in perfect sync

Imagine just being able to focus entirely on driving your Raptor over that exciting off-road terrain. That’s what such a transmission would deliver to you. The system is entirely synchronized by computer to ensure seamless shifting at a level you would only otherwise expect from a top-level racing machine like an F1 car.

The Tremec DCT is controlled by a 32-bit unit, which works its magic on every function of the system. The intricate design features an underling torque chain that precisely targets for the control valves. Special algorithms work in real time to calculate torque targets, which ensures rapid and repeatable torque control that you otherwise wouldn’t have on nearly any other system.

2. Best of both worlds
Instead of Raptor users considering the benefits of wet and dry clutch technology, they could have the best of both worlds if they receive the Tremec 7-speed DCT. It features a parallel wet dual clutch system that uses separator springs and optimized friction materials. These materials can actually cool the clutches individually using lubrication at exactly the right time it is required. Should you get this on your new Raptor, that would mean a much lower drag factor.

3. Racetrack Performance

Finally, considering this is the transmission they installed into the Mustang Shelby GT500, an added benefit to using the Tremec 7-speed DCT is clearly that you’ll be giving your Raptor race-car like performance capability. Mustang fans initially feared that losing their traditional stick-shift would take something away from the car, but the reverse was true. It freed up the Shelby GT500 driver to perform at levels previously thought unattainable.

Imagine, then, getting that kind of quick-shifting transmission such accurate torque management in your new Raptor in 2023.

The way we see it, when you consider the amount of investment Ford has made integrating this new Tremec transmission into its line back in 2020, it makes all the sense in the world that they’d do the same for their prize pickup truck, the 2023 F-150 Raptor. Now that we know the GT500 engine will be in there, could there be any surprise that the transmission would go along with it? We think not. Time will tell, of course, but the evidence is staring us all right in the face.

1 thought on “2023 F-150 Raptor V8 to receive same dual-clutch transmission from GT500?”

Leave a Comment