Why Don’t We Get the New Ford Ranger Raptor?

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The rest of the world gets the new Ranger Raptor, but the United States doesn’t, at least not yet.

When Ford introduced the new Ranger back at the Detroit Auto Show, we had simply one question; when will get the new Ranger Raptor.

At the time, the Ranger Raptor wasn’t officially unveiled, but the company had teased the truck’s debut. We knew it was coming, we knew where it was going to debut, and we knew that that the new Ranger shared the global Ranger platform.

We also were told, quite adamantly, “No” when it comes to getting the Ranger Raptor in the United States.

It seemed like an odd answer. It was definite, which is more serious than a the typical “we don’t comment on future product or speculation.” If the Ranger Raptor were to happen, we’d expect it to come a few years after the Ranger gets out of the gate, just like the new F-150 Raptor didn’t hit the scene until 2017 — the F-150 was updated in 2015.

It comes down to this; the new Ranger shares the platform with the global Ranger, meaning many of the hard points are the same. But the U.S. Ranger has an entirely different frame. That alone should tell you that the components on the Raptor Ranger probably wouldn’t fit just right on the U.S. version of the truck.

Secondly, there’s the diesel engine in the Ranger Raptor. While Ford is committed to selling diesels here — just look at the new Transit Connect — there is a certification process to get a diesel engine sold here. Odds are, in its current spec, the Ranger Raptor’s diesel engine would pass our strict emissions requirements.

Also, speaking of diesel, diesel engines perform differently than gasoline engines. For desert running, you want high horsepower for high speed. Gasoline engines are better at that than diesel, which prefer low-speed crawling type of work. Driving a Colorado diesel back-to-back with the gasoline engine and you’ll see what I’m on about.

The big boy Raptor is said to be able to do 100 mph anywhere. That high speed work would also be expected from the Ranger Raptor here, so the diesel engine would have to go.

 

I’m sticking with a Ranger Raptor with a tuned 2.7L EcoBoost V6. Tune it to around 375 hp & 430 lb-ft. It would be less than the current Raptor’s 450 hp & 510 lb-ft from the 3.5L EcoBoost, but it’d still be enough to decimate all in the midsize pickup truck segment.

 

All of these factors are likely why we won’t see the Ranger Raptor anytime soon. But that doesn’t mean that it won’t ever happen.

Ford has already hinted that the U.S. market would be a good market for a Ranger Raptor. They’re betting on Ranger here again, and with how well the full-size Raptor sells, they’re leaving money on the table by not offering it.

Ideally, I’m sticking with a Ranger Raptor with a tuned 2.7L EcoBoost V6. Tune it to around 375 horsepower and 430 lb-ft. It would be less than the current Raptor’s 450 hp and 510 lb-ft from the 3.5L EcoBoost, but it’d still be enough to decimate all in the midsize pickup truck segment.

It’s also a relatively compact engine, so it should have no problems fitting in the Ranger, and the 10-speed automatic in the current Ranger is basically the same transmission that is in the F-150, meaning the 2.7L should be able to bolt up to it without too many issues.

So, while we aren’t getting our hopes up for a Ranger Raptor this year or next, there could be one on the horizon. And if Ford pulls the right parts from its global bin, it could make one heck of a monster pickup truck.

I, for one, can’t wait!

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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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