Reno, Rochester, Roswell … take your pick to complete the alliteration puzzle above. Whichever one you choose, itâ€™s a safe bet that the Ford Raptor Ranger will be plying its roads at some point in the future. We think. Maybe.
Last week, the Blue Oval dropped a Raptorized version of its Ranger at an event in Thailand. At the time, Ford remained mum about the truckâ€™s chances of showing up on American soil. Now, thanks to a Glass House engineerâ€™s conversation with Australia’sÂ Drive, we have a bit more confidence in saying the Ranger Raptor will be sold in the United States.
In a conversation with the Aussie site, the performance brand’s chief engineer, Jamal Hameedi, said the Ranger version is â€œbetterâ€� to drive than even the F-150 Raptor, though the engine would likely need to be gasoline-powered if it were to be sold in the States. From the exchange:
â€œRaptors are a slam dunk for the US,â€� he told Drive. â€œI think it [the Ranger Raptor] would do really well in the states.
â€œNo, no way, no way, [its size would be] perfect.
â€œI think itâ€™s certainly like itâ€™s a baby Raptor, it depends what youâ€™re looking for. There are a lot of people that just want that size in a pickup truck and they donâ€™t want anything larger.â€�
The man is correct. I can personally think of at least two individuals in my iPhone contact list who want a Blue Oval off-road bruiser that is not the size of six city blocks. Chevy has an answer for them in the form of its Colorado ZR2, while Toyotaâ€™s has recently snorkel-ized Tacoma TRD Pro looks like an increasingly compelling package. Ford would be wise to snap up these shoppers before they vacate the Blue Oval showroom for other brands.
The Ranger Raptorâ€™s off-road rÃ©sumÃ© reads well, with approach and departure angles (32.5 and 24 degrees, respectively) within a hairâ€™s breadth of the Chevy but enough for Ford to claim they are better than the bowtie measurements. The truck shown in Thailand was equipped with a 2.0-liter turbodiesel, but the chances of that engine showing up in the Ranger Raptor for our market is virtually nil. Bank on some version of Fordâ€™s 2.3-liter EcoBoost inline-four or, if the company is feeling especially randy, the 2.7-liter EcoBoost V6 found in the F-150.
I think thereâ€™s little doubt that the baby Raptor will eventually be available stateside. The question of when, however, may remain unanswered for a while.
[Image: Ford Motor Company]