Bad news for those hoping to get a sporty small truck from Ford: the Ranger Raptor will not be coming to North America.
From afar, we’ve been drooling over the Ranger Raptor, the small, off-road performance truck that Ford makes for Australia, Europe, and Asia. When Ford announced that the Ranger would finally be returning to North America, we were hoping against hope that it would mean the Ranger Raptor would also make the journey too.
Sadly, those dreams are now dashed. According to a new report from Autoblog, Ford has no plans to offer an American Ranger Raptor.
Speaking at the announcement for the extended GT production run, Ford Performance line director Hermann Salenbauch said that there are two big issues with bringing the Ranger Raptor to America.
The first is the powertrain. Powered by a 2.0-L twin-turbo diesel 4-cylinder, the Ranger Raptor’s engine simply isn’t used on any other vehicle in the United States. America’s Rangers will be built in Michigan, and it doesn’t make financial sense to either ship over diesel engines from Argentina or to retool the Michigan plant to make a single, unique engine.
Salenbauch also said that the Ranger Raptor was made for regions that don’t have access to the F-150 (or where the F-150 simply isn’t popular) so that Ford could have a Raptor in every geographic location. The US already has a Raptor, so there’s no need for it to have two Raptors, right?
This seems like spurious logic, but once again, there’s likely a larger financial reason for this.
In America, the F-150 Raptor sells for a highly profitable $53,000. If the Ranger Raptor were to be sold here, it would likely sap demand from the regular Raptor, and since it’s a smaller truck it would have to sell for less than the regular Raptor. Why would Ford offer a cheaper, less profitable truck when anyone who wants a Raptor will shell out the extra cash for a bigger, badder pickup?
Of course, this logic ignores the reason why the Ranger is returning to the US in the first place: people want small trucks. By not offering a performance mid-size pickup, Ford is essentially tossing those customers to Chevrolet to buy the Colorado ZR2.
But never say never, as they say. Ford may find that the demand for the Ranger will eventually warrant a performance version with a different gasoline engine--an American Ranger Raptor, if you will. There are plenty of American-made engines that can power a Ranger with the right attitude.