When Ford revealed its performance Ranger Raptor double-cab bakkie, many were underwhelmed by the 157 kW/500 N.m output despite Ford Performance head Jamal Hameedi saying that the Raptor "was not about the engine".

Speaking to the South African media at the launch event, Hameedi said that Ford Performance had no plans to build a more powerful Ranger and that the Raptor would be the definitive flagship model of the range.

“I don’t see how you can put a model above this. I mean, this is like the ultimate. When it comes to a pick-up truck, this is the ultimate,” Hameedi told CARmag.co.za.

Hameedi added that Ranger fans would find the 2,0-litre twin-turbodiesel better to drive than the current 3,2-litre five-cylinder turbodiesel, thanks in part to its 10 kW and 30 N.m advantage. Additionally, he explained that the Ranger Raptor took a page from the Ford GT book with its downsized engine.

“You have a little engine that’s doing the work and it’s a more efficient engine than all of its V8 counterparts … There’s definitely an elegance to that. There’s so much technology available now that you don’t need a lot of displacement,” he said.

Interestingly, the Ranger Raptor sacrifices some payload and towing capacity, not because of the engine but rather due to the suspension setup.

“A Raptor always gives up some payload and towing capabilities for the ability to travel at high speed off-road. And that’s kind of what a Raptor is all about. It’s still an excellent towing vehicle, but we go down in spring rate to give it that high-speed capability and so with that we lose some payload.”