Can Ram Build a Raptor Competitor? They’re Going to Try

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Ford

During the recent reveal of FCA’s five-year plan, Ram said its finally coming after the Ford Raptor.

Mike Manley, who heads up Ram Trucks these days, announced that the company is building a Raptor competitor. Then they apparently showed scenes from Jurassic Park. Why? Because internally, it’s called T-Rex.

Beyond that, there aren’t many details about the truck. Presumably, it’s early in the development cycle because it will be based on the new version of the truck, and not the old Rebel TRX concept that debuted a few years back at the State Fair of Texas. It might retain the TRX moniker, though.

What does that mean for Ford? Well, we already know that the 2019 Raptor is getting some key upgrades to make it even better than ever. Without competition, Ford still has decided to forge ahead continuously improving the truck. Fox Racing’s new active shocks should make that a reality.

While I’m convinced Ram has the engineering talent to build a good truck, it’s going to take a lot to dethrone the Raptor.

Raptor is in its second generation, and suppliers like BFGoodrich and Fox Racing work closely with Ford on the engineering of the product. They’re often at Ford Performance‘s headquarters working with the team to ensure a seamlessly integrated product.

Does Ram have that type of relationship with the suppliers it needs? That’s unclear.

Also, because Raptor is in its second generation, there is feedback from customers and millions of collective miles of data to pull from to make the truck better. This would be Ram’s first truck like this, so they don’t have that data.

Ford

The 3.5L EcoBoost is also durability-tested in the most extreme environments on the planet. Plus, it’s also been around for a long time and all the kinks are worked out.

 

While I’m convinced Ram has the engineering talent to build a good truck, it’s going to take a lot to dethrone the Raptor.

 

Right now, Ram’s major advantage is in the engine itself. Ford has committed to an EcoBoost V6 in the Raptor for the foreseeable future. Ram could deliver a hammer-blow by using the supercharged 6.2L HEMI V8 that’s in the Dodge Hellcat twins and the Jeep Trackhawk.

This is all speculative at this point, since Ram hasn’t given us any details. But the Raptor is an incredible truck that’s set on getting better and better. It’ll be nearly impossible for the folks in Auburn Hills to be able to beat the Raptor, but that’s not going to stop them from trying.

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Chad Kirchner is a regular contributor to Corvette Forum and Ford Truck Enthusiasts, among other auto sites.

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