I remember when the Ford F-150 SVT Raptor first went on sale in 2010. I thought it was the most ridiculous, absurd, unnecessarily capable, far-too-brawny thing I had ever seen. I also really wanted one.
And apparently I wasn’t alone, because Ford dealers have barely been able to keep them in stock over the last six years. And Ford sensed incredibly high demand early on, shifting production to primarily crew cabs and adding a giant 6.2-liter V8 in order to satisfy buyer demands for more space and more power. Over the past six years, few vehicles have been such a breakaway success in such a niche market. See the 2017 Ford F-150 models for sale near you
If you aren’t convinced of the Raptor’s success by the fact that there are waiting lists for the new model, or by the fact that you see the outgoing version everywhere — the Raptor is routinely the only full-size truck I see on the roads in Philadelphia, Washington, D.C. and New York City — consider a piece I wrote a few months ago about their values: Demand for a new Raptor is so high that it’s pushing up the price of used Raptors to the point where 3- or 4-year-old Raptors cost only a few thousand dollars less than they did when they were new.
And, to me, that begs the question: Why hasn’t anyone else done this?
To be clear, they’ve tried. Chrysler came out with an off-roady version of the RAM 1500 pickup, called the RAM 1500 Rebel — but while the Raptor features completely different styling, with crazy flared fenders, along with a series of serious off-road modifications, the Rebel seems like little more than an adventuresome option package. Chevy and GMC are still sitting this one out. And the closest thing Toyota has come to a Raptor competitor is the Tacoma TRD Pro, which — while very cool — is still a midsize truck, with midsize truck capabilities and midsize truck sizing. To me, the dimensions of a full-size truck are required to properly execute the brawn that would be a Raptor competitor.
So what gives? Are automakers expecting this trend to die down the moment they reach the market? It’s been six years! And I’ve received a few emails from Raptor-owning hopefuls, all of whom have said they’re beyond excited to get the new version soon — once their dealership finally reaches their spot on the waiting list.
I would think that other automakers would especially want to enter this realm because of the potential for huge profits. While most pickup trucks are heavily discounted, the Raptor is sold at or near the MSRP, without incentives — and it doesn’t really take that much effort to widen the fenders, throw some federally-mandated marker lights on the top, create an off-roady wheel, and throw on a go-anywhere suspension.
And so, Chrysler, and Toyota, and Nissan, and General Motors: In this world of highly competitive compact crossovers, and midsize sedans, and family SUVs, I seriously think you should take a break from those things for a minute … and create your own Raptors. Find a 2017 Ford F-150 for sale