Ford Developing Extreme Off-Road F-150 "Raptor"
OK, I get why Ford wants to build a more off-road capable version of the new F150 than the already capable FX4. Because they can. Although it's a waste of Ford's time and money (halo truck my ass), and the wisdom of equipping a consumer product with an extra long-travel suspension is highly suspect (red Rover, red Rover, my F150's rolled over), I grok the positive shock such a vehicle will give die-hard (one hopes) mud-pluggers. The modded machine's "Boss" V8, wider wheel arches and cosmetic bits ought to give them a major truckgasm. But Raptor? The name flies in the face of the F-22 Raptor's rep (so to speak) and steps on the marketing heels of the Cagiva Xtra Raptor motorcycle (and God knows what else). Luckily, Pickuptruck.com's Technical Editor says the name won't survive into production. Any better suggestions? You know, other than concentrating Ford's resources on a better small car.
No one who needs a pickup would buy that. They're going to buy a stripper model. This thing is exclusively for people who want a pickup, which is a dying breed.
Good point ctoan. This is not the truck for people who need a truck. People who need a truck want something functional that is easy to clean and doesn't have a lot of extras that could go wrong. By the way, the only reason that Ford trucks "outsell" Chevys is because they aren't splitting sales between Chevy trucks and GMC trucks. If you look at GMC and Chevy trucks' combined sales numbers, they were nearly 40% of the market last year despite declining sales.
Like 20" rims on a Caprice or Panther chassis, big(ger) tires on a pick up were just a matter of time. There is no detail in the referenced article to define what "long travel suspension" really means. Outside of desert racing, IFS is a dirty acronym for rock crawlers and mud boggers. And, simply lifting the suspension does not make it "long travel", as you generally sacrifice something (generally droop). Now, if Ford wants to give us a truly long travel IFS, I am all for it. The desert racers have true long travel IFS systems in 4x4 configurations. Of course, having a special frame made to support that suspension seems a requirement... But, I doubt it will happen - to do it right, you need different connectors for the half shafts, plus a different differential, to maximize the length of the half shafts to maximize travel potential. Of course, going back to gear driven transfer cases would be a great idea, as well. Not to mention a special chassis with higher/narrower frame rails. How likely is that to happen? Also, a turbo? Great, I wonder what happens when you get some water in the turbo? I can't imagine that will make the turbo happy. How about force feeding your engine dust, sand and other assorted grit? Seems like a winning idea to me. Bruce
Jmack, I own and drive an American sedan. It will be my last unless they really improve them. As for towing 12000 lbs, I have no need. If I did I would buy a truck only for that purpose, not for every day transportation, and it would be a $16k or less work truck. I have no problem with people buying trucks that need them or can afford to pump their tanks full every day. That's the beauty of America. Now, what do the big three have to offer in the small car segment that is competitive? I can name a Cobalt and its sister the G5, there's the Aveo (Korean), and then we have the Focus. Dodge has the Caliber, but it really doesn't fit well in this class. Now lets look at what the imports offer: Fit and Civic - both better fuel mileage wise and quality wise than any of the listed competitors from the big 3. Toyota has the Yaris and Corolla not to mention the Scion Xd. Nissan has the Sentra and Versa. Hyundai has the Accent and Elantra. Kia has the Rio and Spectra. I left out hybrids entirely from the imports as none of the big 3 currently have an offering worth while in the car market. I'm struggling to see where you're getting your fuel economy figures from that says the big 3 has better fuel economy than the imports...if that were the case why are they failing in that market?