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Ford is among the biggest U.S. automakers. But like other storied American brands, the Blue Oval caters to the tastes and trends of different markets. Even a name as strong as the F-150 adjusts for unique variants sold in other regions. For instance, Ford’s full-size truck is known as the Lobo in Mexico. The Spanish word for “wolf” is a good match for a pickup atop a pack of tough, hard-working trucks. And now, the Ford Lobo finally gets a trim that nods to another famous predator: the Raptor.

The Ford Lobo is a familiar pickup with an unfamiliar name to most Americans

The Ford Lobo — sometimes referred to internally at the company as the Wolf — emerged in 1992. The monosyllabic “Wolf” evokes strong imagery, but “Lobo” comes off more like the kind of name a truck would pick up on. Even though wolves aren’t the largest predators, the name is apt for a truck marketed as fast and strong as the F-150.

After the ninth-generation F-150, the name came to a more specific use: differentiating which trucks were for work and which were for personal use. That’s why the F-150 XL carries over the American branding, distinguishing it from the Lobo line. All versions of this truck have a significant gray-market presence, so when Ford officially supports a given market, it tunes its branding carefully.

The 2023 Ford Lobo finally got a Raptor trim

A gray 2023 Ford Lobo Raptor R kicking up sand as it travels along a dune
2023 Ford Lobo Raptor R | Ford Motor Company

The Ford Lobo is finally teaming up with another predator: the Raptor. Until earlier this year, the automaker had left the off-road-focused trim out of the Mexican lineup. Now, the popular F-150 Raptor makes its way south of the border as the 2023 Ford Lobo Raptor R.

The Raptor trim’s introduction will give Mexican consumers access to a wider, lifted truck built to handle challenging terrain. It comes stock with massive 37-inch tires, long-travel suspension, and a chunkier hood design. All of that adds up to notably improved speeds and stability in off-road environments. Like its best-selling American counterpart, the Lobo Raptor packs a modified 5.2-liter V8 engine harnessing 700 hp and 640 lb-ft of torque.

How did the F-150 become the Lobo in Mexico?

The Lobo Raptor R might be the coolest name in Ford’s lineup. That attention to matching a vibe to the consumer base was crucial for the company, which initially had trouble moving F-150s in Mexico. The Dodge Ram was long seen as the standard, so Ford targeted a younger customer base instead.

That was the right move. Those customers grew up and stuck with the Lobo decades later. Ford Authority reports that the U.S. automaker saw a dip in sales about a decade ago. But lately, Mexican sales have jumped 5% overall.

The F-Series — including the F-150 and Lobo — is a big part of that increase. Sales rose 21.69%, totaling 948 units in March 2023. Those figures look small compared to American sales, which tend to number in the five-digit range per month. But those are big numbers for these relatively expensive trucks in Mexico.

The 2023 Ford Lobo Raptor R goes for $135,630 U.S. dollars in Mexico, placing the pickup firmly in luxury or commercial spending territory. Also, the influx of gray-market trucks in the region makes it difficult for new cars to compete as well as they do in the States. For average customers, something like a Chevy Silverado often goes for less than half that price. Thus, the Lobo is a profitable vehicle that’s likely keeping Ford happy even at this level of sales.


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