Ford Ranger Raptor “Would Do Really Well” in the U.S., Exec Says
The Ford Ranger Raptor debuted earlier this week, but the automaker made it clear that the launch was for the Asia Pacific market. But there’s now a good indication Ford wants to bring one of these high-performance trucks to the U.S. as well.
Speaking with Australia’s Drive, Ford Performance chief engineer Jamal Hameedi said a Ranger Raptor would suit the U.S. However, he said buyers in the States would want a gas engine instead of the 2.0-liter twin-turbodiesel engine announced for Asia Pacific. That unit makes 210 hp and 369 lb-ft of torque.
“Raptors are a slam dunk for the U.S.,” he said. “I think it [the Ranger Raptor] would do really well in the States.”
Hameedi also doubts customers in the U.S. would be turned off by the Ranger Raptor’s smaller size compared to the F-150 Raptor. Calling its size “perfect,” he said some buyers in the States want off-road performance in a smaller truck. “I think it’s certainly like it’s a baby Raptor, it depends what you’re looking for,” Hameedi said.
All these clues point to a strong possibility of the Ranger Raptor heading to the U.S. But it’s still an uncertain prospect, and if it does come to the U.S., it could be quite some time before we see it. “We haven’t said anything about availability in the U.S., our first priority is to get a Raptor available to everyone on the planet earth. So Americans already have an F-150 Raptor, we’ve got to spread Raptors to the rest of the planet.”
Along with a diesel engine, the Ford Ranger Raptor headed to Asia has a coilover rear suspension with a Watt’s link setup, front and rear Fox Racing Shox, and a beefed-up brake system. The model also boasts a 10-speed transmission found in the F-150 Raptor.
Australia was home to much of the work done on the Ranger Raptor. Here, Ford gathered inspiration from the F-150 Raptor to create some of truck’s lines, and the model also underwent engineering development at Ford’s You Yangs testing center. Near the end of the process, the Ranger Raptor made its way to Borrego Springs in California for additional testing, according to Drive. We recently spotted a Ranger Raptor in Oklahoma, and though we’re not sure what it was doing here, the prototype’s left-hand-drive layout gives us hope that the off-road truck is being considered for U.S. consumption.