The Ford F-150 SVT Raptor pickup may be getting a badass little brother.
The chief engineer of the Ford Performance division, Jamal Hameedi, visited Australia this week to meet with the team in charge of the Ford Ranger truck, CarsGuide reports. Ford discontinued Ranger sales in the United States in 2012, but an all-new version has been on sale in over 180 countries around the world since then.
While Ford offers several versions of the Ranger, a Raptor isn’t one of them…yet. This has led many, particularly in Australia and New Zealand, to create their own lookalikes without the same level of high-performance equipment featured on the F-150 SVT Raptor. One Ford dealer in Christchurch, N.Z, has made a business of it, selling its custom diesel-powered Ranger Raptors for around $35,000.
Apparently the trend hasn’t gone unnoticed by Ford, and sources tell CarsGuide that Hameedi spent two days discussing the possibility of creating a Ranger-based Raptor with the engineers Down Under.
He wouldn’t confirm the report, but told CarsGuide that "at the end of the day, we would love to do a vehicle like that but it all comes down to the business case. How many can we sell?"
If the F-150 SVT Raptor is any guide, quite a few. Ford moved around 1,000 each month in the United States before the last generation was discontinued, its last year on the market being the best. An all-new one is on the way next year, owing as much to the halo affect the truck has on the brand as to its sales.
And this American popularity could be part of Ford’s reported interest in adding a Ranger version to its lineup. With the recent uptick in sales in the midsize pickup segment, recent reports surrounding the current UAW contract talks suggest that production and sales of the Ranger will return to the United States as soon as 2018.