By on February 15, 2018

Ford Ranger Raptor

Ford’s 2019 Ranger might be new to the U.S., but the model’s uninterrupted existence in overseas markets means those customers get first dibs on the brawny Raptor variant. This assumes North Americans eventually get their hands on the wide-track, off-road Ranger model, and it’s a reasonable assumption.

As for the reborn Ford Bronco, a Ranger platform-mate slated for U.S. production in 2019, the existence of a beastly Ranger Raptor is enough to generate the faintest of hopes for a wilder SUV. Now, thanks to comments made to an Australian publication, those dreams don’t seem nearly as crazy.

Speaking to Drive, Ford Performance head engineer Jamal Hameedi remarked on the possibility of doing to Ford’s overseas Everest what it did to the Ranger.

The Everest, like the upcoming Bronco, is a midsize SUV built on the Ranger’s T6 frame. The SUV’s rear suspension — a coil-sprung solid axle with a Watt’s link — is similar to that of the Raptor, which ditches the stock Ranger’s rear leaf springs. It’s not a total carryover, but the two vehicles share enough similarities to make an Everest Raptor worth talking about.

And talk, Hameedi did.

“There’s no reason [we wouldn’t do an Everest Raptor],” he said. “The first F-150 Raptor was way beyond our wildest dreams in terms of success, and that success spawned a Ranger Raptor. So to do an SUV is a little more difficult because you have to figure out how to deal with the rear suspension. In the form of a bodyside outer it’s not just a box outer [and that] poses a unique challenge in how you package that.”

Ford Everest Front 3/4, Image: Ford

The most obvious difference between the Ranger and its Raptor sibling is the added width. The Raptor’s body stretches nearly a foot wider, with a track increased —  front and rear — by nearly 6 inches. Frame modifications became necessary. While stretching the skin of an SUV over a much wider track would pose its own challenges, it’s an idea Ford of Australia doesn’t  dismiss out of hand.

“Long term it would make sense if you look at the fact that passenger vehicles were overtaken by SUVs this [2017] year,” said Ford Australia product communications manager Damion Smy. “There’s definitely a case for more performance oriented or at least more sports styled SUVs in the future.”

It’s still a longshot, and who knows what Ford’s American crew feels its customers deserve, but faint hopes don’t need much fuel to stay alive. We now have a Ford Edge ST, with an Explorer version on the way. The future, at least at the Blue Oval, seems dependent on crossovers and SUVs, some of them with added performance cred.

Is a butchier Bronco too much to ask?

[Images: Ford]

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17 Comments on “Suddenly, a Ford Bronco Raptor Enters the Realm of Possibility...”

  • avatar

    How about one that is notably and obviously different from all other Ford CUV/SUVs? One that is unmistakable as a Bronco and not some offshoot of some other vehicle?

  • avatar

    Everest is going to be VERY close to Bronco.

    Sorry Adam, search your feelings – you know it to be true!

    • 0 avatar
      Adam Tonge


    • 0 avatar
      Big Al from Oz

      No need to apologise to Adam.

      I’d reckon you are very correct and I also think this new Bronco will not be as cheap as many are hoping for.

      The Everest is an expensive vehicle, with an expensive chassis. Unless the chassis is lightened and “cheapened” for the US market ie, US Colorado vs global Colorado.

      It will be interesting to make a comparison between the global Rangers and Everest – Bronco.

  • avatar

    If they make the Bronco as a 4-door blobmobile I’m going to buy stock in Ford once it finishes crashing from the announcement.

    • 0 avatar

      Agreed. Having owned one back in the day, it was a very good vehicle and was at least acceptable for my minor level of off-roading.

      I tend to think a 2-door model would not be a good thing, due to the CUV disease that is rampant in the market today, and Mom will have a say in the buying decision. They HAVE to do something with the styling to differentiate the vehicle, I’m just afraid they won’t.

      I believe there was another post here about how Ford was throwing chump change to increase Expedition production. How freaking stupid do you have to be if the damn vehicles are on the lot for about 2-3 weeks and then sold?

      I have held F stock for a long time, going back to the time when they kicked out an extraordinary dividend to placate the Ford family. I love the 5.7% dividend, but it’s that % because of the 25% drop in the share price, so it looks pretty, but it can’t make up the share price. Maybe it’s time to shake up the Board, heck if I know, but I’m growing very impatient.

      I have seen how GM and Mary have helped propel the stock price up because we are now to consider GM as a “services” company, what with all of the future being Level 5 autonomous vehicles picking us up and dropping us off. I seriously doubt I’ll be around to see that (unless I want to hit a fire truck, sorry Tesla, had to sneak that one in), but, perception is maybe not everything, but close.

      The only reason I don’t currently hold GM stock is because I was one of the shareholders and bond holders who got screwed because “GM was too big to fail”, and the UAW voter block used to mean something, not so much now. Flipping the market by giving folks like me the middle finger made me swear off GM stock. Maybe I do need to re-evaluate my holdings.

      Having typed this, I feel like my last retort should be, “get off of my lawn”!

  • avatar

    The wheelbase seems too short for 100 mph hijinks floating over the surface of washboard roads.

  • avatar
    Kyree S. Williams

    He’s got a point. If they want to do this, they’re going to need new side stampings, at least.

  • avatar

    I want to see what the regular Bronco will be before I get too excited about a Raptor version. Because if it’s a slightly more butch version of the Everest, I’ll stick with my old ‘12 Raptor.

    • 0 avatar
      Big Al from Oz

      It’s not about size. It about what you need or requirement you want to fulfil.

      If you can get away with a huge F150 Raptor, then do you need the Bronco?

      If you can get away with a Bronco, you would of gotten away with a 4 door Wrangler. So why did you buy the Raptor for a lot of extra money?

      Hmmm…….. a pose?

  • avatar

    Here in Oklahoma there’s an army of big ugly trucks, so I guess now we can have an army of small ugly trucks. Oh, be still my beating heart (yes, this is sarcasm).

  • avatar

    Ford should just make the Bronco a clone of the new G Class wagon the G550! I buy the Bronco cloned G550 on pre-order!

  • avatar

    Just use the expedition.. Put in the 5.0..and all the tricks from the raptor and bam!

  • avatar
    Big Al from Oz

    With the shorter wheelbase and wider stance an Everest/Bronco “Raptor” would be fast in the desert, buggy like.

    If there is a Bronco Raptor it will be expensive. I did read many comments on how the Bronco should have really sharp pricing. But, many comments on this site are from tight asses that don’t seem to want to pay much for anything, even road infrastructure, then blame everyone else but their tight ass selves for cheap imports in the US.

    The Bronco will be an expensive vehicle compared to the old Bronco, and a Raptor Bronco will be quite expensive.

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