A highly anticipated Ford Ranger model has been killed, likely due to the coronavirus crisis. Ford was developing a Mustang 460 hp, V8-powered Ranger Raptor in Australia. There was a push for it to land in the US where it would have done very well. Now comes word that Ford has killed the effort and there will not be a Ranger Raptor at all. Say it ain’t so? It’s a combination of belt-tightening by Ford and where it thinks the market will be as we get into 2021. With huge unemployment and fully 40% of businesses closed during the pandemic not expected to reopen things aren’t looking good for vehicle sales as we head into 2021.
If the economy and jobs spring back there a possibility the Ranger Raptor could happen
But, that’s the other thing. If the economy and jobs spring back then there is still a possibility the Ranger Raptor could see the light of day. This thing was developed and ready to go. According to Which Car, Ford’s and the economy’s current situation “has resulted in that final sign-off now being withheld indefinitely. There is a slim chance the Mustang-powered dual-cab could be revived if things change for the better in a rapid fashion, however that appears highly unlikely.”
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A couple of things have led to this besides the economy and Ford’s dire financial Q1 and projected Q2 2020 losses. An all-new Ranger is expected by the end of 2021 as a 2022 model. If that’s still on the schedule then Ford may be looking at a different type of Ranger Raptor for that model. Probably not powered by a V8, but powerful and muscular just the same.
Ranger sales decreased in 2019 after a strong initial showing back in 2018
The other thing is that Ranger sales decreased in 2019 after a strong initial showing for its first year back in 2018. So the Ranger was on a slow trajectory down already. That may have something to do with it being an older truck. It debuted in Australia in 2011. It has had a couple of updates but has remained essentially the same.
Maybe Ford is looking to have something like a Ranger Raptor for after 2022. Vehicles get more bang after their introduction. The first year or two they can sell on the fact they are new. But then you need some extra trims and features to keep the hype going. A Ranger Raptor in, say, 2024 would be the perfect way to keep eyes on the Ranger line.
This is all speculation but it makes some sense
Of course, this is all speculation, but it makes some sense. So while we won’t be seeing a Ranger Raptor in its current guise there may be one coming down the road. And, if all-electric trucks catch on then an EV Raptor would make sense. It could have a motor at each corner and some serious horsepower maybe on a par with the planned V8 Ranger Raptor.
At this point, this won’t be the only model killed due to the coronavirus crisis. Manufacturers need to produce vehicles with the most margins and are the most popular. That will preclude more specialty vehicles like the Raptor.
Let’s just hope that the economy and people’s livelihoods are not in turmoil for too long. Stay safe!