The chief engineer at Ford Performance says there is “no reason” the Blue Oval brand can’t build an Everest Raptor, but admits that it would be “little more difficult” to create than the Ranger Raptor.
At the global reveal of the new performance double-cab bakkie in Thailand, CARmag.co.za asked Jamal Hameedi whether a Raptor version of the body-on-frame SUV was on the cards.
“Well, this is our second Raptor. The F-150 Raptor has been a huge, huge success – way bigger than anyone ever dreamed it would be. And it’s now our best-selling vehicle globally within the Ford Performance line-up,” Hameedi told us.
“So this one, I personally think will be as successful if not even more successful than the F-150. So, you know, there’s a lot of momentum with the Raptor brand and it’s very good business for us, so I’d say let’s keep going,” he added, refusing to rule out applying the Raptor formula to the Everest.
Hameedi later told GoAuto that giving the Everest the performance and off-road ability of the new Ranger Raptor certainly was possible.
“To do an SUV is a little more difficult because you have to figure out how to deal with the rear suspension in the form of a body-side outer. It’s not just a box outer. So that poses a unique challenge in packaging that,” he said, according to the Australian publication.
“Doing it in the form of an SUV on the front is easy. Because you have the wide track, you have to have the long travel suspension, on the back it’s a little more challenging,” Hameedi explained.
“It would be a lot of money and a lot of development. Not impossible, though,” he added.
Meanwhile, Damion Smy, Ford Australia’s product communications manager, told Drive that creating an Everest Raptor “would make sense”.
"Long term, it would make sense if you look at the fact that passenger vehicles were overtaken by SUVs . There’s definitely a case for more performance-oriented or at least more sports-styled SUVs in the future. I don’t think that's a crazy question, I think it makes sense," Smy said.