Ford Says Electrified Raptor Won't Be Happening

Matt Posky
by Matt Posky
ford says electrified raptor won t be happening

Ford Performance has confirmed that the Raptor won’t be electrified, with its chief engineer explaining the reasons why in the most direct manner possible. The resulting automobile would be less fun to drive and too heavy to take onto certain terrains. Deep sand would be particularly objectionable, as hulking vehicles that aren’t using tank treads have a tendency to sink into loose surfaces.

If you’re thinking about a career that involves writing about cars, this is why you talk to engineers. Someone working in the media department will feel compelled to give you an overly complicated and non-committal answer on an issue they only vaguely understand. But an engineer will typically give you the straight scoop if they haven't been coached not to.

That seems to be the case with Carl Widmann, head engineer for Ford Performance. In an interview with Motor Authority, he poured cold water on the premise of an electrified Raptor pickup (something that’s been rumored for a while) by suggesting that it would probably suck to drive due to the physics involved.

Heft is important when considering an off-roader.

The all-electric Ford Lightning weighs a minimum of 1,500 pounds more than a similarly equipped gasoline-powered F-Series pickup. Due to the extra hardware that goes into making Raptor models more capable off-road, an electrified version would undoubtedly be quite heavy. The hypothetical Ford might not oink in at the incredible 9,000+ pounds the GMC Hummer EV happens to be. But we’re still talking about an ORV that would easily crest 7,000 pounds if the Blue Oval ever decided to build it.

Widmann is hip to this and said his team even tested the heavy Hummer to see how it felt. "They are good for a shot, but not something you would run at Baja,” he chuckled.

On particularly loose surfaces, lightweight vehicles may be able to skim over the top and maintain their momentum. Heavier rides will be prone to sinking and churning up the ground below. It’s basically the same reason you’ve noticed roads getting worse, just on a slower timeline while ignoring how poorly infrastructure projects are being managed. Vehicles have been getting heavier for years and heavier cars are always going to be tougher on the tarmac, sand, snow, mud, or whatever else you put beneath the wheels.

"What is the benefit as it comes to weight?” Widmann asked, adding that any form of electrification (including hybridization) would equate to something that was less agile and thereby less fun to toss around.

According to the engineer, the combustion engine internal-combustion engine is "the best tech to operate at full power in deep sand, bar none."

"The truck brings that engine to life. You can do things so rapidly," he said of the Raptor R's supercharged V8, noting how easy it was to flick off traction control whenever you just wanted to goof off in the dirt. This is also true for the less powerful V6 option.

That said, it still feels like Ford would still try to market an off-road EV if the Lightning sees sustained attention. The Hummer is already proof that automakers are willing to do something utterly ridiculous if leadership thinks there's a market for it.

[Image: Ford Motor Co.]

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3 of 16 comments
  • EBFlex EBFlex on Nov 04, 2022

    Finally Ford makes a sensible business decision! Aside from all of the inherent drawbacks to EVs, a truck that is designed to be far away from the grid is better served by internal combustion.

    Just watching TFL drive their fake lightning to Alaska tells you all you need to know. Sure it made it but it needed a whole other vehicle that had an onboard generator to do it. Not very efficient. That was more of a testament to the hybrid F150 than the fake lightning.

    • Sgeffe Sgeffe on Nov 04, 2022 an EV wouldn’t be as much fun!! Finally somebody gets it! (And yes, I want a real sound to go along with the push into the seat!! And I sure as he— don’t want to be FORCED into the choice of vehicle!)

  • Zipper69 Zipper69 on Nov 04, 2022

    All these decisions are based on the current state of the art in both battery capacity and speed of recharge.

    Halve the weight of batteries and have 500 mile range as the norm, suddenly the view of what is possible changes...

  • IH_Fever EV charger on a GM lot, probably with a Cummins generator to keep them running. A regular melting pot haha
  • Tassos Wake me up when VW (or any other loser "Legacy" automaker comes up with a "BETTER TESLA" BEV AT THE SAME PRICE. SO far, VW has FAILED MISERABLY AND LOST BILLIONS DOING IT. Its models are way underwhelming and inferior, and cost not much less than the model 3. ANd DESPITE the SCANDALOUS $7,500 tax credit, which is an INVERSE ROBIN HOOD, takes from the average household and gives it to the average BEV buying family, which has an income of $170k+, VW STILL FAILED.ALso notice the so-called "Mobility Officers" at FORD AND Renault QUIT. another HUGE SCAM, Autonomous Vehicles, they wasted 100s of billions (all idiot legacy makers together) and predicted billions of profits, but so far they DROWN IN A SEA OF RED INK with NOTHING to show for it. Morons will be morons, and the ones in this forum will cheer for their failures "AWESOME, WV, Indeed"! LOL!!!
  • Jwee More range and faster charging cannot be good news for the heavily indebted and distracted Musk.Tesla China is discounting their cars. Apart from the Model 3, no one is much buying Tesla's here in Europe. Other groups have already passed Tesla in Europe, where it was once dominant.Among manufacturers, 2021 EV sales:VW Group 25%, Stellantis at 14.5%,Tesla at 13.9%Hyundai-Kia at 11.2% Renault Group at 10.3%. Just 2 years ago, Tesla had a commanding 31.1% share of the European EV marketOuch., changed their data, so this is slightly different than last time I posted this, but same idea.
  • Varezhka Given how long the Mitsubishi USA has been in red, that's a hard one. I mean, this company has been losing money in all regions *except* SE Asia and Oceania ever since they lost the commercial division to Daimler.I think the only reason we still have the brand is A) Mitsubishi conglomerate's pride won't allow it B) US still a source of large volume for the company, even if they lose money on each one and C) it cost too much money to pull out and no one wants to take responsibility. If I was the head of Mitsubishi's North American operation and retreat was not an option, I think my best bet would be to reduce overhead by replacing all the cars with rebadged Nissans built in Tennessee and Mexico.As much as I'd like to see the return of Triton, Pajero Sport (Montero Sport to you and me), and Delica I'm sure that's more nostalgia and grass is greener thing than anything else.
  • Varezhka If there's one (small) downside to the dealer not being allowed to sell above MSRP, it's that now we get a lot of people signing up for the car with zero intention of keeping the car they bought. We end up with a lot of "lightly used" examples on sale for a huge mark-up, including those self-purchased by the dealerships themselves. I'm sure this is what we'll end up seeing with GR Corolla in Japan as well.This is also why the Land Cruiser has a 4 year waitlist in Japan (36K USD starting MSRP -> buy and immediately flip for 10, 20K more -> profit) I'm not sure if there's a good solution for this apart from setting the MSRP higher to match what the market allows, though this lottery system is probably as close as we can get.