Can’t wait to get behind the wheel of the new Ranger Raptor.
With a new twin turbo diesel, 10-speed transmission and loads of machismo, if it drives half as good as it looks it’s sure to be another winner for Ford — and yet another way of capitalising on the Ranger’s phenomenal appeal.
But when prey tell did the Ranger morph from a ute, in this case a dual cab ute or utility as they are properly known, into a ‘truck’ or ‘pickup’ as the Americans are apt to call them?
Not once in the 2600 word media that heralded the release of the car released on Wednesday, does Ford refer to the Raptor as a ute — has it gone west with the homegrown Falcon, Territory and Falcon utility?
Rather Ford refers to it “an Off-Road Pickup Loaded with Ford Performance DNA”.
“Setting a new benchmark in off-road pickup capability” and “Ford’s latest off-road, performance pick-up truck”.
“At the front, a stunning new grille takes styling cues from the world’s first factory-built high performance off road truck, the F-150 Raptor.”
And so on, and so on — rah, rah, rah . . .
Given that most of the development and testing of the new Raptor was carried out right here in Australia by Ford’s local engineering contingent, and the fact the car will be sold here, perhaps it might have been more politic to introduce the bloody thing as a ute not a pickup.
In South Africa where it will also be marked the car is referred to as a “bakkie” — the local version of ute.
Ironically, it has not been confirmed the US market yet.
Winding back the clock to last year, the last media release that referred to the Ranger also describes it as a pickup.
This from the company that is credited with inventing the utility back in 1934 after a letter from the wife of a farmer in Victoria to Ford asking for “a vehicle to go to church in on a Sunday and which can carry our pigs to market on Mondays”.
Maybe it’s part of Ford’s marketing strategy for the utility which has seen it embraced by many young, adventure seeking families for its tow capacity and go anywhere versatility.
The Ford Ranger continues to put pressure on Toyota’s best-selling Hilux which has been Australia best-selling car on more than one occasion.
Ranger was the best-selling vehicle in Australia in September 2017.