A high-ranking Ford executive believes there’s “pent-up demand” from buyers who yearn for a “built for purpose” bakkie such as the new Ranger Raptor.

Speaking to GoAuto.com, Trevor Worthington, Ford’s vice president of product development for the Asia Pacific region, said that the market was crying out for a product such as the new Raptor-badged Ranger, hinting that he expected demand to be high.

“I think there’s a pent-up demand for people who are looking for genuine, expressive versions of double-cab ,” he told the Australian publication.

“Not just ones that have got a bit of cladding on the side and a sticker, but ones that are really built for purpose, and is built for a purpose.

“Whether it’s the traditional ‘winning the argument at the pub’, feeling really good about driving a vehicle that’s got credibility, that’s got real integrity about it, I think it’s really going to appeal to a lot of customers in that sense.

Still, Worthington was cagey when GoAuto.com asked about sales targets.

“We don’t talk about how many we think we’ll sell, because it doesn’t matter what number I say, it’ll be wrong.

“Historically, we’ve under-called the utility of vehicles like this in our sales. When we did Wildtrak, we had a thought about what we’re going to sell, and we ended up selling three or four times as many as we thought.

“I have a feeling will be a bit of a sleeper as well. Especially when people see the overall balance of its capability; it’s not just going to appeal to the extreme people that are looking for this kind of utility.

“You drive this vehicle down the road, it points and steers really well. It’s a really comfortable vehicle to drive on long trips. It tows 2 500 kg, can carry a good load in the back. It can comfortably carry a family of five,” he said.