Serious off-roading fun (overseas).
The fact that America does not have a Ford Ranger Raptor is kind of hard to accept. If you want extreme off-roading capabilities from Ford direct from the factory, there's the larger and more expensive F-150 Raptor. Of course that truck isn't for everyone, nor is the Ranger Raptor, currently sold in Europe, Australia, South Africa, and a few other overseas markets. But still, having a choice in size would be nice. We remain hopeful Ford will make the right call and Raptor-ize the North American-spec truck soon.
In the meantime, the Blue Oval has announced that because the demand for the new Ranger and Ranger Raptor is so big, it has added a third shift at its Silverton Assembly Plant in South Africa.
Ford says Ranger sales set a year-to-date record in its 20 European markets, meaning it hit the highest sales level since the model was first introduced way back in 1999. The Ranger is now officially Europe's best-selling pickup truck with a 30.4 percent market share, at least according to data obtained last May. We don't have a breakdown comparing the number of Ranger versus Ranger Raptors sold, but strong sales clearly dictate increased demand and Ford is more than happy to oblige. Unlike the just discontinued Mercedes-Benz X-Class, the Ranger actually sells. Main competitors include the Toyota Hilux, Nissan Navara (which serves as the basis for the X-Class), and Volkswagen Amarok.
The Ranger Raptor, however, is literally in a class all of its own. In North America, this hardcore off-road mid-size truck is dominated by the Chevrolet Colorado ZR2. The Toyota Tacoma TRD Pro is also a formidable player.
The current generation Ford Ranger is derived from the automaker's T6 global midsize truck architecture designed by Ford of Australia. The new for 2019 North American-spec Ranger underwent additional modifications such as improved safety standards and a payload increase. A Ranger Raptor for this market would make an awful lot of sense. Hopefully, Ford will start thinking the same.