Ford has scrapped plans to build a V8-powered version of the Ranger Raptor, according to a fresh report out of Australia.

At the start of 2020, whichcar.com.au reported Ford Australia was “secretly readying” a high-performance Ranger Raptor model, ditching the standard 157 kW 2,0-litre, four-cylinder turbodiesel engine in favour of a 5,0-litre V8 petrol unit from the Mustang.

Now the same publication says the project has seemingly hit “an insurmountable roadblock”.

The reason? Well, the report says “budget constraints” related to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic have resulted in the V8-powered bakkie’s sign-off being “withheld indefinitely”.

After that original story broke, the head of Ford Australia confirmed the Blue Oval brand had “absolutely discussed” the possibility of a V8-powered version of the Ranger Raptor bakkie.

Soon after the reveal of the Ranger Raptor in early 2018, Ford reacted to criticism of its choice of powerplant, saying the off-roading bakkie was “not about the engine” and rejecting talk of a petrol option.