A Ford executive in Australia has defended the brand’s decision to offer the Ranger Raptor's new 2,0-litre turbodiesel unit in mainstream versions of the updated Ranger and Everest, insisting the move will not dilute the appeal of the high-performance flagship model.

Speaking to GoAuto, Graeme Whickman, who holds the position of president and CEO of Ford Australia, echoed an earlier stance from the chief engineer at Ford Performance that the Ranger Raptor is about more than simply its engine.

“The Raptor is more than just its powertrain … and if you drive a Raptor, you’ll know what I mean, because it’s hard for me to try to convince you of this, but the package of the vehicle, the ability to drive the way it does – it’s obviously got a powertrain that is very interesting as well – but everything about it just fits nicely,” Whickman told the Australian publication.

“It’s built to fit together in a way where you get a very specific driving experience. You’re not going to take a Wildtrak into a sand-dune environment, that’s not what it’s built for, so its specialness is part of the completeness of it.

“What I actually predict is that you’ll see more Raptors than many people expect, driven around in city environments because the vehicle, when you drive it, the driveability is amazing, its ability on the road, it’s amazing, and then you take it into a sand-dune environment and it’s like ‘oh my god’,” he added.

The Ranger Raptor, which will be built in Silverton in South Africa (and its engine in Struandale, Port Elizabeth), employs a 2,0-litre four-cylinder twin-turbo diesel unit worth 157 kW and 500 N.m, mated to a 10-speed automatic transmission. Its coilover rear suspension uses a Watt’s link setup with solid rear axle, while uprated brakes are also included in the package. The dampers come courtesy of Fox Racing, while the all-terrain 285/70 R17 rubber is provided by BF Goodrich. As many as six driving modes come standard.