Chick’s Corner: O Ranger Raptor, Where Art Thou?

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 Sure, it was outdated, and sure, it was small and didn’t come in a crew cab.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.

The Raptor Ranger isn’t coming to America because we already have the F-150 Raptor. That’s like saying you can’t buy a $100 Nintendo Wii because you already have $500 PS4s on the market.

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.

Its increased track width, mean-looking front end, better shocks, a turbodiesel four-banger, the classic blue Raptor paint – what’s not to love? The fact that it’s not coming to America, that’s what.

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.

You don’t show images like this and then say, “No, you don’t get to have one.” Come on, Ford!

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!

About the author

David Chick

David Chick comes to us ready for adventure. With passions that span clean and fast Corvettes all the way to down and dirty off-road vehicles (just ask him about his dream Jurassic Park Explorer), David's eclectic tastes lend well to his multiple automotive writing passions.
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