After the announcement of expanded Ford GT production and sales, Hermann Salenbauch, the vehicle line director for Ford Performance, spoke to us and other journalists about Ford Performance. Among the topics that came up was the Ford Ranger Raptor, and he had bad news for American fans of the wild little pickup: despite America's love of Raptor pickups, Ford has no plans to bring it to the United States.
He explained a few factors that have led the company to not plan a U.S. version. It is based on the global Ranger, and bringing the Raptor version up to U.S. requirements would apparently take enough time and money to make bringing it here prohibitive.
Though he didn't specifically mention it, one of the big issues would probably be the Ranger Raptor's powertrain, a twin-turbo 2.0-liter diesel four-cylinder not offered here. He also noted that the Ranger Raptor was really developed for locations where the F-150 isn't available or popular, so that all regions could have a Raptor. Here in America, the F-150 is, obviously, really popular and there's loads of demand for the F-150 Raptor. During today's GT announcement, Ford executives noted that the F-150 Raptor only stays on dealer lots for an average of 20 days.
These are the only reasons Salenbauch gave for why the Ranger Raptor isn't in the cards for the United States, but we can think of others. One serious issue would possibly be the Ranger Raptor's cost, as it might be too close to that of the F-150 Raptor. The closest American-market analog to the Ranger Raptor, the Chevrolet Colorado ZR2, starts at about $42,000, which is only about $8,000 less than the roughly $50,000 Ford F-150 Raptor. For consumers, that's not that much of a jump to get a bigger, badder truck. And for Ford, given that 20-day dealer dwell time, why bother creating less profitable in-store competition when people seem to be quite happy shelling out 50 grand for an F-150 Raptor?
Of course, we would still love to see the Ranger Raptor come here. We love variety and having as many fun vehicle options as possible, but our hearts aren't usually great for business decisions. One thing to note is that Salenbauch didn't say the Ranger Raptor would never come here, and he and other Ford executives said they're always listening to feedback and open to new models. So maybe one could show up at some point, but at least for the near future, we won't be seeing a Ranger Raptor in the United States.