Would a Raptor Ranger Miss the Point of a Midsize Truck?
The other day I wrote a story about a firm in Australia that takes the current generation Ford Ranger and “Raptor-fies” it for public consumption. This process caught the eye of Ford Performance, and they said they’d love to do something like that if all the numbers lined up. The question is, would they? And if they do, wouldn’t a truck like that defeat the purpose of a midsize truck altogether?
Let’s first look at what numbers would need to add up for Ford to put it into production. Assuming that Ford actually decides to build the Ranger (we haven’t heard any confirmation yet about it), they’d surely build different trim levels for the truck. Since people are willing to pay through-the-roof prices on pickup trucks, Ford could make a pretty penny selling an expensive Raptor version of the Ranger.
Would people buy it? Of course they would! It’d sell like the proverbial hotcakes! A Raptor Ranger would be perfect for someone who wants a Raptor, but doesn’t want to shell out the money for a full-sized F-150 version. How much will the F-150 version cost? We wouldn’t be surprised to see it in the $60,000 range easily.
A Ranger Raptor would have all of the great off-road hardware that the F-150 one has, and will be nearly as capable in a lot of situations. Heck, it might even be more capable because the truck would be a bit smaller.
But at what cost? Looking at the price of some of the midsize competitors, it wouldn’t be cheap. An off-road spec TRD Tacoma starts in the $32,000 range. Options push that higher. It’s probably safe to assume that a full-on Raptor version of the Ranger could easily push $40,000.
If you’re going to spend that much on a midsize truck, why not spend a grand or two more and get an off-road capable full-size truck? Both the Ram Trucks 1500 Rebel and the Toyota Tundra TRD Pro start at $42,000 and would be much more capable than a Ranger Raptor would be. In addition, the TRD Pro starts at that price with a V8 engine and an excellent sound TRD exhaust for the price. The most you’ll probably get out of a Ranger Raptor is an EcoBoost four-cylinder or perhaps the 2.7L EcoBoost.
That’s where the real rub is for the midsize pickup truck market, and not just the Ranger Raptor we’ve speculated about here. These new midsize trucks are fantastic to drive, easier to fit into a garage, come with all the features and technology that you want, but also carry a price tag similar to that of a full-blown pickup truck.
At least, that’s what the pickup truck makers who don’t make midsize pickups say.
For the ones that do, they’ll tell you that a midsize truck buyer is someone who’d never even consider a full size truck. That buyer wouldn’t even consider a full size if it were cheaper, because that buyer is looking for something a full size truck can’t offer.
Sales numbers do seem to back up that argument, since midsize trucks have seen a sales resurgence this past year or so. Which is why the rumors of Ford re-entering the market are getting stronger and stronger. Will they? We have to wait to see. Will they do a Raptor off-road version? They’d almost have to.
What do you think? Let us know over in the forums!