Ford F-150 SVT Raptor Future Clouded – Discontinued?
Tim Esterdahl | Jul 10, 2013 | Comments 14
The rapid changing nature of the full-size truck segment, pending CAFE requirements and new production materials are making the Ford Raptor’s future clouded. Could the ultra-popular product be discontinued or fundamentally changed?
If you believe the forums and off-the-cuff statements from dealership employees, you might be tempted to think that the Raptor could be discontinued. It isn’t likely is it?
The Case for the End of the Raptor
There is also a lot of rumblings from Ford that it is switching to more aluminum throughout its F-series platforms. Aluminum and off-road capability don’t really go hand in hand. Plus, the truck hurts Ford’s ability to meet CAFE requirements.
A poster on RaptorForumz.com posted this comment that laid the argument out:
You asked the question and there are all sorts of opinions on the matter so I base my opinion on the fact that the 2014 F150 will be completely different that the current model which means the SVT guys will have to start all over with the R&D. Also, with the Feds pushing for ridiculous gas mileage the days of the 6.2 are clearly numbered. Performance levels, compared to the current Raptor, will certainly have to undergo extensive testing as performed on the current Raptor. I just don’t see the SVT Raptor in 2014 or for at least a couple years after than if at all. If there is a return of the Raptor it will be NOTHING like the current model. Just my humble opinion.
A pretty interesting statement that is based on some good insights. The piece that adds some fuel to this argument is the “One Ford” philosophy that Ford has adopted over the last few years. The philosophy is that there should be fewer “unique” parts for different models. By globalizing their platforms and using similar parts throughout the product line, manufactures like Ford can dramatically reduce costs. The Ford Raptor is an example of one of these products that has a limited run with unique parts.
There is also some speculation that Ford doesn’t make a lot of profit when it comes to selling the Raptor. This has some merit too when you take into account the extra production, research and special marketing costs. The truth is that since it is a special edition, Ford needs to sell nearly 10k to make a true profit. Estimates we have seen put it at around 5k. With the new frame with potentially less off-road capability, it isn’t likely Ford will reach the 10k mark and in fact, sales could go south.
The Case for the Raptor’s Future
Tundraheadquarters.com editor and automotive industry expert, Jason Lancaster weighs in.
The investment in the Raptor’s frame is already complete…all we’re talking about is the cost of building a limited number of components for the Raptor on an ongoing basis.
In years past, Ford (and other manufacturers) have continued to build variants on older platforms. Toyota is doing this with the 2014 Sequoia (which doesn’t have any of the new parts from the 2014 Tundra), Ford did this with the Explorer Sport Trac in 2001+ (it used the old Explorer/Ranger frame while the new Explorer was completely different), etc. There are dozens of examples of this…these are the two I can think of right now.
Basically, the math for building on an old variate looks like this:
Option 1: Stop building the Raptor. Ford has no chance to recover their costs under this option, not to mention they lose a key vehicle. This is the 2nd most expensive option on the board.
Option 2: Keep building the Raptor on the old F150 frame (which is already designed and therefore has no development costs). The downside is that parts costs are going to increase (fewer parts mean economies of scale diminish), but you can always pass that cost increase onto the consumer.
Option 3: Re-invent the Raptor so that you can keep building it on the newest F150 frame. This is certainly possible, as there’s reason to believe the Raptor could live forever (consumers love the truck). The downside is that you’ve got to lay a bunch of cash out.
Option 4: Do #2 for a few years, then do #3.
My guess is that they go with #4. It’s the easiest way to keep on earning a profit (I doubt they lose money on the Raptor), and it gives them something to talk about mid-cycle. The new F150 can hit the ground next year, then in 2018 or 2019, the new Raptor can hit the ground. Keeps Ford at the top of consumer’s minds and lets them squeeze every dollar out of the current Raptor before they redesign.
It also gives them a couple extra years to figure out how to improve the F150 frame and/or build it more cheaply.
What do you think? Is the Raptor going to be mothballed or fundamentally different in future years?
Filed Under: Auto News
I think people tend to buy more “fashionable” cars.. luxury, elegance, class..
I still love these off-road monsters 🙂
If aluminum can’t hold up to off road abuse, who’s to say it will hold up to towing 10K lbs?
Great point! I hadn’t even thought about the towing stress on an aluminum frame. It’ll be interesting to see how this plays out for sure.
Wow! Not be the same Raptor. I don’t see the buyers on that. You also have to consider the price of those trucks.
Thanks for the comments and thanks for the share on Tundratalk! I try not to share our stories too much (don’t want to come off as a spam guy or something) and I really, really appreciate when you. 🙂
I have a friend who just ordered a Raptor, I look forward to seeing what it’s all about.
By the way, it’s not a Raptor issue but Ram has just announced a 6.4L Hemi option for 2014. I understand the Raptor has the 6.2 like the F250/F350.
So I guess Ford will move up to 6.6 and GM will then build a 6.8. In a few years we will have 10L gas motors which get 5 MPG.
LOL! A 10L gas motor. 🙂
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It’s still a full-boxed steel frame, it’s just an aluminum body. Good point though about how the Raptor can hold up to regulations.
I don’t know if it will be a full steel frame or not. It could be, it may not be. The new metals they are using are replacing steel doors and possibly frame members. Here is an article Jason wrote: https://www.tundraheadquarters.com/blog/2013/02/15/truck-weight-saving-technologies/
At any rate, I do think it will be a different Raptor with some questions on off-road durability.
they’ll just put the new ecoboost twin turbo V6 in their and call it a raptor with special badging is all. WE all know how well the ecoboost is now don’t we?
The ecoboost engine which had problems was the 1.6L. the 3.5L Ecoboost is just fine.
That post on the “Z” is from last year and is outdated.
The 2014 Raptor has already been confirmed by Ford months ago with the special edition.
2015 is the new F-150, not 2014.
Raptors are selling over 1000 a month. Last I heard it was over 1,400 per month.
There was a report from a few days ago that the Raptor will be gone for the 2015 MY only and return for the 2016.
Good points! Note, we aren’t saying it will be discontinued any time soon. I am merely pointing out that there is some uncertainty about its future and what future editions will be like.