Raptors in Richmond? Ford Makes Noises About Bringing the Uber-Ranger to America

Matthew Guy
by Matthew Guy
raptors in richmond ford makes noises about bringing the uber ranger to america

Reno, Rochester, Roswell … take your pick to complete the alliteration puzzle above. Whichever one you choose, it’s a safe bet that the Ford Raptor Ranger will be plying its roads at some point in the future. We think. Maybe.

Last week, the Blue Oval dropped a Raptorized version of its Ranger at an event in Thailand. At the time, Ford remained mum about the truck’s chances of showing up on American soil. Now, thanks to a Glass House engineer’s conversation with Australia’s Drive, we have a bit more confidence in saying the Ranger Raptor will be sold in the United States.

In a conversation with the Aussie site, the performance brand’s chief engineer, Jamal Hameedi, said the Ranger version is “better” to drive than even the F-150 Raptor, though the engine would likely need to be gasoline-powered if it were to be sold in the States. From the exchange:

“Raptors are a slam dunk for the US,” he told Drive. “I think it would do really well in the states.

“No, no way, no way, [its size would be] perfect.

“I think it’s certainly like it’s a baby Raptor, it depends what you’re looking for. There are a lot of people that just want that size in a pickup truck and they don’t want anything larger.”

The man is correct. I can personally think of at least two individuals in my iPhone contact list who want a Blue Oval off-road bruiser that is not the size of six city blocks. Chevy has an answer for them in the form of its Colorado ZR2, while Toyota’s has recently snorkel-ized Tacoma TRD Pro looks like an increasingly compelling package. Ford would be wise to snap up these shoppers before they vacate the Blue Oval showroom for other brands.

The Ranger Raptor’s off-road résumé reads well, with approach and departure angles (32.5 and 24 degrees, respectively) within a hair’s breadth of the Chevy but enough for Ford to claim they are better than the bowtie measurements. The truck shown in Thailand was equipped with a 2.0-liter turbodiesel, but the chances of that engine showing up in the Ranger Raptor for our market is virtually nil. Bank on some version of Ford’s 2.3-liter EcoBoost inline-four or, if the company is feeling especially randy, the 2.7-liter EcoBoost V6 found in the F-150.

I think there’s little doubt that the baby Raptor will eventually be available stateside. The question of when, however, may remain unanswered for a while.

[Image: Ford Motor Company]

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  • Sub-600 Sub-600 on Feb 12, 2018

    You can bring your Ranger Raptor to Roswell. Do not, however, bring it to Albuquerque, America’s stolen car capital. 1,373 auto thefts per 100,000 residents in 2016. Mind boggling numbers.

    • PrincipalDan PrincipalDan on Feb 12, 2018

      Oddly I never had my 1997 to 2004 generation F150 stolen in Albuquerque and it was on the top 10 most stolen vehicles list for many years.

  • Oberkanone Oberkanone on Feb 12, 2018

    Unfortunate the North American Ranger is 100% different (per Ford) than global Ranger. Have to start all over to engineer a Ranger Raptor for USA and Canada.

  • SilverCoupe I am one of those people whose Venn diagram of interests would include Audis and Formula One.I am not so much into Forums, though. I spend enough time just watching the races.
  • Jeff S Definitely and very soon. Build a hybrid pickup and price it in the Maverick price range. Toyota if they can do this soon could grab the No 1 spot from Maverick.
  • MaintenanceCosts Would be a neat car if restored, and a lot of good parts are there. But also a lot of very challenging obstacles, even just from what we can see from the pictures. It's going to be hard to justify a restoration financially.
  • Jeff S Ford was in a slump during this era and its savior was a few years away from being introduced. The 1986 Taurus and Sable saved Ford from bankruptcy and Ford bet the farm on them. Ford was also helped by the 1985 downsize front wheel drive full sized GM cars. Lincoln even spoofed these new full size GM cars in an ad basically showing it was hard to tell the difference between a Cadillac, Buick, and Oldsmobile. This not only helped Lincoln sales but Mercury Grand Marquis and Ford Crown Victoria sales. For GM full size buyers that liked the downsized GM full size 77 to 84 they had the Panther based Lincoln Town Cars, Mercury Grand Marquis, and Ford Crown Victorias that were an alternative to the new GM front wheel drive full size cars that had many issues when they were introduced in 1985 and many of those issues were not resolved for several years. The Marks were losing popularity after the Mark Vs.
  • SCE to AUX Toyota the follower, as usual. It will be 5 years before such a vehicle is available.I can't think of anything innovative from them since the Gen 1 Prius. Even their mythical solid state battery remains vaporware.They look like pre-2009 General Motors. They could fall hard.