Super Duty Raptor Not Off the Table: Ford
Just like the scientists at Jurassic Park kept coming up with new and increasingly terrifying raptors (weaponized heat-seeking Indoraptor, anyone?), Ford seems content to infuse Raptor DNA into most of the trucks it sells – even the mighty Super Duty, according to a fan forum.
Ford Authority is reporting that company spox have not ruled out the possibility of cranking a Super Duty to eleven and calling it a Raptor. The outlet quotes Aaron Bresky, Super Duty engineering manager, as saying: “There’s nothing limiting this as far as I’m concerned, and we’re always listening to our customers,” presumably while downing his fifth Red Bull of the day and crushing the can on his forehead. He goes on to explain if there’s an appetite for a Raptor atop the existing Tremor, they may “listen to our customers.”
Fair enough – but is the Super Duty fit for such dune bashing? The existing Tremor package already infuses Super Duty with 35-inch tires, a front locker, and a front-end lift in addition to programming trickery like Trail Turn Assist and Rock mode. A Raptor would need to up the ante far beyond those features and at least add Raptor-style dampers, a gonzo lift, and maybe even 37-inch rubber. Dune jumping is a hallmark of Raptor LyfeTM and the Super Duty’s mass would be tough to manage in that scenario. Same with its sheer bulk whilst snaking through trails, though that consideration is of no notice on the wide open dunes at Glamis.
This is always a tricky game, of course, since car companies tend to mine their own successes for every single shred of popularity it has accumulated. Witness the sudden proliferation of ATX trims at GMC, or the Denali-fication of that same brand’s entire lineup to the point where they now have to offer a trim above Denali called – naturally – Denali Ultimate. If Ford is looking to milk the Raptor name for all it’s worth, the company will need to make sure the rigs to which it applies the trim are worthy of the title lest it dilute the entire sub-brand. This phenomenon has happened time and time again in Detroit.
Fortunately, the suits at Ford seem to be good stewards of the Raptor name – so far. The original truck was a smash hit, as have all the variants since that model, whilst the Bronco Raptor need make no apologies for its off-road cred. Some customers have been crying for a Ranger Raptor since it showed up overseas, with Ford finally relenting for the upcoming 2024 redesign. That truck should be equally stout as its brothers, having raced in the mighty Baja 1000 and then driving home.
Can the brutish Super Duty pull some of the same tricks? It seems there might be a couple of people inside Ford just salivating to find out.
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