Ford Sees Room for Compact Pickup; 2014 Ford F-150 SVT Raptor Special Edition Debuts

By Jacob Brown | April 09, 2013
Ford made two announcements about its trucks today: There's a new special edition of the SVT Raptor pickup truck, and the company says there's room in its lineup for a smaller pickup truck to slot below the F-150. Over the past few years, you've heard a number of reasons why there's no Ford Ranger in the U.S.: It's grown to be too big, too expensive, it wasn't engineered with the U.S. in mind, etc. Today, at a meeting with industry analysts and a handful of journalists, Ford's truck program marketing manager Doug Scott finally said what we've known all along: There is room for a new small truck to replace the Ranger. The thing is, it might not be the Ranger. "It'd have to be a true compact truck," says Scott. "It has to be clearly differentiated from the F-150 in price, size, and fuel economy." Scott says today's not-so-compact pickup trucks just don't do that. Going into further detail, Scott said a truck that's cheap and frugal along the lines of the first Ford Ranger and Nissan "Hardbody" Truck of the 1980s is where the segment needs to head. The current overseas Ford Ranger is a wholly new vehicle from the one that was last sold in the U.S. in 2011. Ford received two federal exemptions to sell the U.S. Ranger in the States, but with new crash regulations, "We would have needed to engineer a whole new vehicle," says Scott. Overseas, the Ranger is about 7/8 the size of the Ford F-150, and its volume engines are compact diesels. In addition, a longstanding tax known as the "chicken tax" would have impinged on its profitability had Ford tried to import it here. Scott posited, "Can you build a business case for [a compact truck] and make it work?" He said he could, and Ford's global engineering sharing program known as "One Ford" would perhaps amortize the expenses to make it have a chance. But Scott said anything like it would still be quite a few years off, as Ford is already pushed to find enough engineering talent for its current products. "We're hiring 1,200 engineers this year because we simply don't have enough people," he said. Scott said he's not sure that the 2015 Chevrolet Colorado and GMC Canyon replacements will sell all that well because "they look to be a lot like the old ones." The models were designed with Isuzu-sourced engineering and the engines that weren't shared in any other vehicles--outside of a few SUVs--didn't do too well. Ultimately, Scott thinks that if a small truck is to succeed in the U.S., it has to go back to the compact pickup truck's roots: small, cheap, fun, frugal, and utilitarian. Whether Ford will be the first to jump back on that bandwagon is yet to be seen. Paragraphimage 2014 Ford F-150 SVT Raptor Special Edition Makes Exclusive Truck More Exclusive Because the world needed another special edition of a special edition high-performance pickup truck, there's now the 2014 Ford F-150 SVT Raptor Special Edition, which amounts to a more exclusive look, inside and out, for Ford's $50,000-plus specialty off-roader. New for the truck is a Ruby Red Metallic paint, which is available on many other Ford vehicles. But, we do have to say it looks especially snazzy on the Raptor. Complementing it are brick red interior accents to contrast with black and aluminum finish on top of the Raptor's Luxury package, and new, boxier vinyl graphics run alongside the bed. We're not going to say it looks elegant, or classy for that matter, but it certainly does highlight the SVT Raptor's upscale appeal. Much as is the case on any other Raptor, the 2014 Ford F-150 SVT Raptor Special Edition comes with a 6.2-liter V-8 engine that gargles gas, spits it out, and still manages to give the driver and his or her passengers 411 horsepower and 434 pound-feet of torque. New for 2013--and what will be standard on the 2014 Special Edition--is hill descent control, and gunmetal-colored beadlock wheels come standard on the Special Edition. In addition, the SVT Raptor is unique from the rest of the F-150 lineup in that it has a Torsen limited-slip differential for better traction to from side to side for the rear wheels. It also has Fox Racing shocks for dune jumping, and Sync, MyFord Touch, and HID headlights will be part of the package. The 2014 Ford F-150 SVT Raptor Special Edition will be on sale this fall, helping propel the especially special edition truck beyond its previous year's sales numbers of around 13,000 units, or at least that's what Ford is hoping. Source: Ford
  • 2013 Ford Ranger European Model Front Quarter
  • 2014 Ford F 150 Svt Raptor Front Quarter
  • 2014 Ford F 150 Svt Raptor Off Road
 
14 comments
navydavy
navydavy

This is a true representation of Ranger owners looking for leadership.

ghusmc50
ghusmc50

Ford should sell the Ranger and Ute from Australia here in the U.S.  They'd make a killing with either one of those vehicles.  Ute is an awesome compact truck on steriods.

eideard
eideard

I'd buy a compact pickup from Ford, tomorrow.  Give me the B or C platform and preferably a small turbo-diesel [I live at 6500' altitude].

klunkerboy
klunkerboy

Please SOMEONE offer a true compact pickup, I am just sick and tired of every pickup on the market today being as MASSIVE as my garage. I would LOVE to see something closer to the old Chevy Luv, Ford Courier, or Datsun sized pickups again. Small affordable great mileage and useful. As it is my only real option these days is closer to a Transit Connect size vehicle

seel
seel

The first company that comes out with a truly compact pickup that gets 30mpg with 4x4 sells over 200k vehicles. Have you seen the prices of used Rangers? I could have gotten the last year model $4000 less than they are now going for now, there is a lot of pent up demand for a truly compact pickup.

seel
seel

Jesus why didn't they keep the St. Paul plant open? All they really had to do to the old Ranger is update the damn thing, give it some efficient engines, it was the perfect size. I really don't understand the people at Ford sometimes. I think they put old Lincoln execs in charge of the decision to dump the Ranger. They think there is a market for a compact pickup....WTF really they just discontinued the last one in production.

twintornados
twintornados

Ford CAN make a sub-F150 vehicle with their existing design. make the frame hydroformed to the rear of the cab, open "C" channel to the rear. Use F150 cab with Expedition nose and doors, composite box with lower top rail. Lighter spec suspension, 4000-5000 max tow, drive line is 4 cyl Ecoboost, 3.0L V6, and maybe 5.0L ....F100 to replace the Ranger name and Ranger becomes a new trim level to replace XL. F-Series sales are not cannibalized and in fact are bolstered by new F100 sales adding to total F-series sales. Done!

Steve_1
Steve_1

Take the old Escape cut the cargo area off and put a bed back there....What the problem?

BlackDynamiteOnline
BlackDynamiteOnline

I think there is PLENTY of room to work in compact/midsize pickup trucks, but Ford will have to adjust their business model, and have the F-150 share the truck market.

Ford's problem is they sell the F-150 as a volume vehicle, give it thousands in incentives, and you can buy on for around $21-22k, which is where the Ranger should play.  Ford is built around the F-150 now, and I don't think they'd move it upmarket, and keep it there, to make room for a Ranger.

There is too much money in full-size trucks for Ford to do anything to dilute the profiteering, even if it means they would sell something else.

I guess he means keeping the Ranger under $20k.  How good of a truck are you really gonna get under $20k?  And how much money are you really gonna make on it?

BD

DrLou
DrLou

I've been driving  a 1986 Nissan pickup for 21 of its 27 years on the road. Why keep a vehicle this long you might ask? It's simple, 1)  I don't want or need a midsize or fullsize pickup and 2) no one designed a pickup that provided better mileage than my current truck. The only real compact pickup design improvement that came after 1986 was safety. Although my truck is very practical and gets so-so gas mileage, it's a coffin on wheels. The only safety equipment it has are seat belts and an outdated headrest design. I'm still waiting for a new compact pickup to come out that gets good MPG, has RWD, and performs well in crash tests. It's too bad the Toyota hybrid A-BAT compact pickup and the GMC Denali XT concept didn't make it to market - I really liked those concepts. Maybe the upcoming 2014/2015 Honda Ridgeline will met my needs.

Luis Calderón
Luis Calderón

I hope they do make a compact truck. Quite a bit of customers that visit the Ford dealership I work at ask me where the Rangers are at on our lot, or if we have any available. That's when I tell them that it was discontinued for the U.S market. With this basic information, this may be pretty helpful to share with my co-workers and managers. I hope Ford does bring in a compact truck to the U.S market after all.

klunkerboy
klunkerboy

@ghusmc50  If thats the case I would rather see someone import the HSV Maloo Ute up here ;-)

klunkerboy
klunkerboy

@BlackDynamiteOnline its not the volume, incentives or selling costs of the F150 that I have issues with, it is its shear size, it is MASSIVE, and a massive truck can be a PITA for alot of folks, hard to park, hard to garage, hard to maneuver in a city environment, and still lousy mileage. That's why I still dont understand why someone hasn't reintroduced the true compact pickup, something the size of the old Datsun pickups, remember, when Datsun and Toyota introduced the compact truck, Ford Chevy and GM were all still selling their full size PUs, they got thrashed in sales because there was (and still is) a real market for a small economical utility truck. As it is today no one offers anything smaller than the mid-size Nissan Frontier, which I used to have and got rid of because it was still too big and got lousy milage. I know all about the economics that say they are not going to do anything but I still think its sad we are only offered such a limited range of vehicles.If I want something akin to the compact PU, the only thing comparable I have seen is the Ford Transit Connect, which is more of a utility van and not a PU

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