Ford Motor Company has been through a lot. It survived the Great Depression, built thousands of planes during World War II, navigated through the meltdown of 2008, and has been producing top-tier vehicles for well over 100 years (forgoing the Mustang II, which was a blight upon the world). I haven’t always been a Ford man myself – that changed when I bought an Explorer in 2016 – but they’ve easily topped the list as my favorite American automaker.
Well, I’m sad to say, but they dropped a few points in my book today. That’s because I’ve learned that the Blue Oval is keeping the Ranger Raptor out of the U.S. And I’m not down with that.
Ford fans like us have been keen on getting the Ranger back since it left unceremoniously back in 2011. Sure, it was outdated, and sure, it was small and didn’t come in a crew cab. But it was still a rad little pickup that you could drive to college on weekdays and bash around in the dirt on weekends. I still have fond memories of learning stick-shift (and yes, burnouts) in my older sister’s 1997 Splash, its creaky bushings and clapped-out shocks giving the truck a very… ahem… “memorable” driving experience.
So when Ford announced the Ranger was coming back, and then soon followed with news of the Ranger Raptor, I was all ears. An F-150 Raptor is a truck I want to buy when I win the lottery; a Ranger Raptor is a truck I want to buy right now.
We know manufacturers have a way of tantalizing fans with radical, awesome vehicles – they’re called concepts, and they’re poor substitutes for having the real thing. Anyone remember the GT-90? Yeah, that never came to fruition. Well, as far as availability goes, the Ranger Raptor is practically a concept at this point.
Ford has reasons for not bringing the Raptor Ranger to the homeland, and they vary between understandable – the rest of world wants Raptors too – and half-hearted – the costs of making it legal to sell here would be too high to justify, or so they say.
But at the end of the day, I guess we’ll have to settle on the ZR2 being the only midsize that comes in diesel and does off-road on a more serious level. Sadly, Toyota won’t touch diesel with a 30-foot Tacoma, if you catch my drift.
Is Ford making the right choice about the Ranger Raptor? My gut tells me no. But feel free to deposit your two cents below!