Is the Ford SVT Raptor Dead? No 2015 Details Announced

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One of the big items from the 2014 NAIAS auto show is the complete lack of information about the future of the Ford Raptor. Will the off-road beast survive the changes Ford is making to its trucks? That remains to be seen, here is what we currently know.

Is the Ford Raptor Dead? No 2015 Details Announced

The Ford SVT Raptor has certainly made its mark on the truck world. Has its time come?

When the dust settled after the big Ford F-150 reveal, one important truck was missing – the SVT Raptor. Could Ford have really decided to kill one of its customer’s favorite trucks? Maybe so. The writing it seems is one the wall with the ending of the 6.2L engine and the many changes the aluminum-based F-150 is making. As we speculated last July, the future of the Ford Raptor is certainly cloudy.

The current rumor mill is saying that the Ford SVT Raptor isn’t currently in Ford’s 2015 production schedule. Ford truck marketing manager Doug Scott has so far declined to confirm the model was being axed but said the company didn’t have anything to say about the truck right now. Those signs seem to point to the Ford killing the Raptor. Also, remember that Ford has always said the Raptor was meant to be a limited-run vehicle.

News of the death of the Raptor is pretty crazy when you consider that on September 12, 2013, Ford said they were ramping up production to meet demand. The average time on lot for a Raptor had shrunk to just 15 days (the average is 60 days) and it had record sales in 8 of the last 10 months. For 2013, the Raptor was up 13 percent over the previous year. With such strong sales, it seems odd that the Raptor could go away.

If the Raptor really does go away, it would join Toyota’s Rock Warrior and the FJ Cruiser as off-road vehicles that didn’t make the cut. While there are many reasons for their demise, fuel economy standards are a big part of it.

The Raptor isn’t exactly fuel friendly – a standard 2014 EcoBoost F150 gets 15/21, while a 2014 Raptor gets 11/16. While part of this lack of efficiency can be explained by the 6.2L, it’s more than that. The Raptor has bigger tires that hurt fuel economy, is less aerodynamic (both in terms of drag coefficient and frontal area), and is geared a bit differently too. Even with the EcoBoost in place of the 6.2L, the Raptor wouldn’t get “good” mileage

For Ford, the reality is probably more that they want/NEED to sell more fuel efficient vehicles. A good place to start is to get customer’s to buy more fuel efficient models of its top selling model – the F-150. Need proof? Look no further than the small 2.7L Ecoboost.

What is the future of the Raptor?

Now that we know Ford isn’t exactly denying the death of the Raptor, what will happen to it? It will most likely re-emerge in a few more years as either a stand alone offering or a trim level upgrade.

The first thought is important and probably the most expensive. The truth is that the Raptor is a significant and substantial modification over the stock F-150. This means the truck will have to undergo extensive new design and engineering work to upgrade it. This is the most expensive and probably most likely option. It also means it will be quite a while until we hear anything.

Another thought would be for Ford to simply offer a Raptor styling and performance package upgrade. This trim level offering would be significantly cheaper than doing a complete do over of the engineering and would still keep the Raptor in its marketing. An offering like this would be more akin to the old Toyota Rock Warrior. While, it may not be the most sexy option, it would save a ton of money and bring a product out in the short term. The truth is that Ford’s “sales crown” is in being seriously contested and you have to wonder how long they would be willing to spend on redoing the Raptor.

In the near term, Ford will probably keep producing the Raptor for another year with their current supply. Then it may be adios unless Ford can build a dedicated off-road truck with much better fuel economy. That would be quite the engineering feat.

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  1. tonyspin says:

    Maybe they are still working on a Raptor that doesn’t bend.

    • mendonsy says:

      Maybe they are still working on a “fully boxed frame” that actually works.

    • RC says:

      The frames only bent when people took the speed governor off, modified the suspension with different springs, and hit “bumps” off road at over 100 mph (what the truck was speed limited at.) Stock trucks with no modification were never damaged in this way. Ford’s response of beefing up the frames was fixing a weakness that only people who drove the truck like a $500,000 trophy truck needed. If anything it’s the drivers fault, you can bend the tubular chassis on a trophy truck if you hit bumps the wrong way at 100+ mph speeds, so you can do the same with a $45,000 pickup truck too.

      At least Ford doesn’t have to recall their trucks for rusty frames snapping, unlike a certain other “truck” manufacturer.

      • mendonsy says:

        “At least Ford doesn’t have to recall their trucks for rusty frames snapping, unlike a certain other “truck” manufacturer.”

        Toyota didn’t “have to” but the did. Ford on the other hand should have but they did not!

  2. Randy says:

    Remember the Raptor has serious frame problems (bending) with the first 18-24 months of production. The low quality frame would easily bend if you hit a bump. It was the same frame on all the F150’s. Later Ford realized they had to beef it up a good bit for the Raptor.

    With the new thinner steel for the 2015 frame, it is unlikely it will be able to take bumps either. If Ford decides to bring the Raptor out later, will they follow their traditional method of QA and let the customer do the testing for them, thus leaving a lot of owners with bent frames with no solution from Ford.

    Ford already has a proven record – no real testing and QA in the real world.

    • Tim Esterdahl says:

      Randy,

      LOL at Ford’s traditional QA methods.

      -Tim

    • RC says:

      The frames only bent when people took the speed governor off, modified the suspension with different springs, and hit “bumps” off road at over 100 mph (what the truck was speed limited at.) Stock trucks with no modification were never damaged in this way. Ford’s response of beefing up the frames was fixing a weakness that only people who drove the truck like a $500,000 trophy truck needed. If anything it’s the drivers fault, you can bend the tubular chassis on a trophy truck if you hit bumps the wrong way at 100+ mph speeds, so you can do the same with a $45,000 pickup truck too.

      At least Ford doesn’t have to recall their trucks for rusty frames snapping, unlike a certain other “truck” manufacturer.

  3. DJ says:

    I don’t think it’s a viable platform for a production truck in 2014 and beyond, here’s why

    1 – Who has $55,000+ for a half-ton truck in this economy?

    2 – Who wants a half ton that gets 12 mpg with gas well over $3 a gallon?

    3 – Push-rod displacement dinosaur engines and 35 inch tires are the furthest thing from CAFE standards

    • RC says:

      Ford can’t meet demand for the raptor and it nets a good profit margin. Of course it’s a viable platform.

  4. GoBig says:

    I get a chuckle out of most “off road” packages. Most seem to include a skid plate and some fancy stickers.

    The more expensive type will throw in upgraded shocks, tires, and some times a locking differential.

    The Raptor always struck me as a more serious attempt. Of course these type of vehicles are for a fairly limited market. (can you say FJ cruiser?)

    I am interested in what Toyota has up its sleeve after seeing the ad with the Tundra obscured by a dust cloud. Could it be a serious off road platform? I suspect it’s a tundra with a skid plate and some stickers.

    Maybe they will throw in a cool shifter and gas pedal. Those are important elements of off road use. Oh wait…they tried that.

    • Tim Esterdahl says:

      GoBig,

      That gas pedal upgrade is a deal breaker! LOL. I suspect it is just fancy graphics.

      -Tim

  5. RC says:

    Laughable comments about the Frames building. If you put the drivers of the modified (yes, not stock) Raptors into a $500,000 trophy truck, they still wouldn’t understand how to drive off road and they would bend the frames in those too. Understandable that fanboys of a Toyota would want to attack something that’s much better than anything Toyota has to offer. Enjoy your rusty frames guys.

    • KMS says:

      Wow, a Ford fanboy calling the kettle black, LMAO.

      BTW, I have seen a video of a stock raptor bending its frame at less than 100mph. The driver was at fault IMO but your statement is bogus IMO.

      BTW, yes I’m a Tundra owner (3rd one actually) but also have owned and driven the “big three.” GM’s quality is atrocious, Ford is way over priced, and Dodge has become hit or miss.

      With all that said, drive your Ford and be happy with your Ford, just as I will drive my Toyota and I will be happy with my Toyota.

    • Mickey says:

      As mentioned before there RC. Calling the kettle black. Now why do semi’s use C channel frames? We already know how your box frame gives. Now RC who has the better “Resale”? Now who’s laughing all the way to the bank.

      • RC says:

        Resale? You’re kidding right? Have you looked at Raptor pricing? Trucks that cost $45,000 in 2010 are still $35,000 4 years later.

        Have fun with your toy “trucks” http://youtu.be/GJZVUnOduH4?t=1m7s

        • KMS says:

          It has already been shown, ad nauseum, that when it comes to resale Toyota is the better value.

          You can continue to come here and troll like a petulant 12 year old all day long with your nana booboo comments all you wish but your sophomoric comments do not override the truth.

          As far as the Raptor is concerned, it is a decent truck but has its fair share of shortcomings. Every vehicle does. All you have demonstrated here is that some Ford owners are low information consumers who must resort to juvenile antics to “defend” their choice of vehicle.

          Drive your Ford and enjoy it. Just as I have been driving my Toyota’s and enjoying them.

        • Mickey says:

          Just because you saw one for sale for that much doesn’t mean you have the title in resale. Follow those companies who state the Tundra has the best resale for a truck.

  6. Larry says:

    I have a friend who owns a Raptor. He got it last Sept 2013. Last fall I followed it up a rocky trail to a camp site. It’s too wide and too heavy for off road use, Rough, washed out dirt roads or slick rock are one thing but off road that’s still the domain of the jeep size vehicle. The raptor is a truck without a place.

    He claims he really likes it. I will add he is business owner who can afford it ten times over. Not sure how many everyday buyers can afford such a truck. The 6.2 gas motor was already too big. Now they get even bigger. If they use the new engine it will drink even more fuel.

    “hit “bumps” off road at over 100 mph”, who would do such a thing in a stock truck and hope to stay alive. Any truck for that mater.

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