Now that the Raptor name has become more widespread and, dare we say, international, perhaps it has the potential to become as fixed as the ST or RS. Following the unveil of the Ranger Raptor, the second model within Ford’s current batch offerings to bear the name, what could be next?
In keeping with the high speed off-roading focus of the Raptor duo, both in F-150 and Ranger guise, the next potential entrant cannot be anything but a 4WD high rider. While certain markets do have large SUVs and even crossovers that have already been hotted-up, the obvious candidate is the T6 Ranger’s own wagon bodied twin, the Everest.
The connection was so plain that the question of the possible existence of such a vehicle was posed to Ford Performance chief engineer Jamal Hameedi at the recent Thai launch of the Ranger Raptor.
Only the differing ways that the rear bed on the Ranger is opposed to the integrated structure of the passenger cell would pose a temporary engineering impediment. Otherwise, there’s really nothing of significance to separate the Raptor treatment given to the T6 Ranger versus that of the Everest. “There’s no reason (we couldn’t make an Everest Raptor)”, said Hameedi.
Ford had to go out of their way to endow the Ranger with a coil sprung rear end to meet the needs of the Raptor brief, but since the Everest already as a similar setup, the transition should be even less intensive from an engineering perspective.
Since we can break down the visual and mechanical changes made to the Ranger Raptor over, say, a Ranger Wildtrak, the changes can be carried over almost unmodified over to the Everest frame, including the high performance off-road suspension, Fox Racing shocks, as well as more hardcore wheels and tyres.
Naturally, the real magic comes down to how Ford makes the entire setup work as a cohesive whole, but it shouldn’t be anything outside their already extensive repertoire to accommodate for the heavier rear end of the 7-seater Everest.
Mirroring the high-performance Ranger ute, a potential Everest Raptor would be powered by the same ‘Panther’ twin-turbocharged 2.0-litre four-cylinder EcoBlue diesel unit, developing 157kW and 500Nm, that’s mated to a 10-speed automatic transmission.
The small displacement, high output diesel motor is - quite frankly - the most appropriate engine choice for the Ranger Raptor given the various markets Ford wishes for it to succeed in. However, should they choose to have it accompanied by a petrol counterpart in a hypothetical hot Everest, they could choose the same 2.7-litre V6 turbo that was most recently slotted into the Edge ST.
In that North American tune, it produces an more than adequate 250kW and 515Nm. That said, seeing as how the Endura has only been detailed for the Australian market with a diesel-only engine range, we won’t be holding our breaths.