Ford Performance boss hints at gas-powered Ranger Raptor for US

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When Ford on Wednesday took the covers off its new Ranger Raptor, the question on everyone's lips was whether we'll see it in the United States.

That's still to be determined but the head engineer at Ford Performance has hinted strongly at the Ranger Raptor making its way to the states, and with a gasoline engine instead of the 210-horsepower diesel 4-banger it was revealed with.

Speaking with Drive, Jamal Hameedi, Ford Performance chief vehicle engineer, said the Ranger Raptor would be a hit in the U.S. but would require a gasoline engine, even though he thinks the diesel is the right choice for the rest of the world.

“Raptors are a slam dunk for the U.S.; I think [the Ranger Raptor] would do really well in the states, Hameedi said in an interview published Friday. “I think most American off-roaders would actually prefer a petrol gas engine, but a diesel is the absolute way to go for the rest of the world.”

2019 Ford Ranger Raptor

2019 Ford Ranger Raptor

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Interestingly, Hameedi described the handling of the Ranger Raptor as being better than on any other pickup he's driven, including the F-150 Raptor. He praised the smaller truck's new Watts Link rear suspension, which again he said would make the Ranger Raptor well-suited to the U.S.

“[The Ranger Raptor] really is the best handling pickup truck I’ve driven and not by an insignificant margin,” Hameedi said. “The watt’s link and everything, I think it would go pretty well in America.”

When asked by Drive why Ford hasn't announced the Ranger Raptor for the U.S., Hameedi's response was that Ford's priority right now is ensuring the rest of the world finally has access to a Raptor of some sort.

Should it come here, Ford has two worthy gas engines that would ensure the Ranger Raptor has enough oomph without stepping on the toes of its big brother. One is the 2.3-liter turbocharged inline-4 of the Mustang EcoBoost, which produces 310 horsepower and 320 pound-feet of torque (or as much as 350 hp and 350 lb-ft in the Focus RS); the other is the 2.7-liter twin-turbocharged V-6 of the Fusion Sport, which produces 325 hp and 350 lb-ft. As a reminder, the F-150 Raptor comes with a 3.5-liter twin-turbocharged V-6 with 450 hp and 510 lb-ft.

 
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