After the unveiling of the all-new Ford Ranger Raptor for markets outside North America this month, most of the discussion here in the US has surrounded the question: Will we ever get our own mid-size Raptor pickup? But equally important while much less discussed is whether the “Raptor” formula can and will be applied to other nameplates.
Given that Ford just last month revealed a new Edge ST performance crossover, while rumors circulate that a similar Explorer ST could be on the way, it doesn’t seem out of the question that Ford might choose to Raptor-ify one or more of its global SUV models.
In particular, the Ford Everest – and by extension, North America’s forthcoming Ford Bronco – seem like prime targets for the Raptor treatment. Both are based on the same platform as the mid-size Ranger pickup, making them true, full-frame SUVs, unlike the car-based unibody crossovers that have become so ubiquitous.
“There’s no reason” Ford couldn’t build a Ford Everest Raptor in the future, Ford Performance Chief Engineer Jamal Hameedi told Australian website Drive recently. However, there would be some engineering challenges: “To do an SUV is a little more difficult because you have to figure out how to deal with the rear suspension. In the form of a bodyside outer it’s not just a box outer, [and that] poses a unique challenge in how you package that.”
Drive also spoke to Ford Australia Product Communications Manager Damion Smy, who indicated that a Ford Everest Raptor might very well have a solid business case. “Long term it would make sense if you look at the fact that passenger vehicles were overtaken by SUVs” in 2017, he said. “There’s definitely a case for more performance oriented or at least more sports styled SUVs in the future.”
So, while North America waits for the next titillating sound bite regarding a Ford Ranger Raptor for that market, we might all have something else to look forward to: a high-performance Ford Everest Raptor and Bronco Raptor. Yes, please.