Ford Trademarks Ranger Raptor And FX4 Nomenclatures
It looks as if Ford might be expanding the Raptor moniker outside the F-150 lineup. According to Australia’s CarAdvice, Ford has trademarked the “Ranger Raptor” name in preparation for its all-out off-roader.
Though Ford has nothing to say about the matter besides pointing back to its recently released 2016 Ford Ranger Wildtrak as the current halo model, the Australians have spotted modified Ranger pickups sporting widened fenders, beefy tires, and stout suspension setups running around the outback. This leads us to believe Ford is actually considering expanding the Raptor nomenclature to the global Ranger.
What’s more, the Ranger may also get its own FX4 package. Trademarked along side the Ranger Raptor is the Ranger FX4. There are two possibilities here: Ford will debut two separate Ranger trucks with different levels of off-road worthiness, or Ford simply trademarked both names as insurance while preparing a single Ranger for production. I’m hoping for the first.
Folks in Australia are serious about their 4WDs and Ford would be wise to offer the up-fitted trucks to such a hungry customer base. Sadly there’s no word on whether Ford would work any horsepower magic on the Ranger’s available powertrains. The truck currently offers three engine options, with the base 2.2-liter turbodiesel available in two output ratings. The most likely candidate for the Raptor and/or FX4 would be the 3.2-liter TDCi turbodiesel. The inline five-cylinder puts out 197 horsepower and 347 pound-feet of torque. Hopefully Ford would see fit to increase the 3.2-liter’s specs to make it more competitive in the dirt.
While this is great speculation for our friends in Australia, U.S. truck buyers are very likely to be left in the cold. Ford says it’s sticking to its two-truck approach with its full sized F-150 and its heavy duty Super Duty F-250, F-350, and F-450. However, you’d be crazy to say Ford isn’t keeping a close eye on the U.S. mid-size truck market these days. GM has had plenty of success with its Colorado and Canyon twins, while Toyota continues to rake in profits with its popular Tacoma.
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Why it matters
Off-road trucks are all the rage these days and Ford has had a monopoly on the market since the F-150 Raptor debuted back in 2009. Expanding the Raptor name and its famous capabilities to other trucks in the global market would be great for business, though its hard not to worry about the Raptor name getting diluted between two truck platforms.
It will certainly be interesting to see how Ford plays its cards on this one. And if the Ranger does get a substantial upgrade with the Raptor or FX4 package upgrade, it will only increase our longing to have the truck stateside.
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