Ford has notched a whopping 4000 orders for the new $90,000-plus Ranger Raptor before launch, equal to nearly a quarter of all Ranger pre-orders.
Demand is so high that customers who order one today will in all likelihood have to wait approximately nine months to take delivery.
As reported separately, the Blue Oval brand has recorded more than 19,000 orders for its combined next-generation Ranger ute and related Everest SUV range in Australia before they hit showrooms (17,000 Ranger, 2000 Everest).
Although the Ranger Raptor has historically been marketed as a separate model line by Ford Australia, the company doesn’t break out its sales figures, so it’s unclear how the 4000-order bank today compares with past years’ (previous-generation) Raptor sales.
Ford Australia does, however, say it’s very pleased with the order numbers.
The new Raptor is $6100 more expensive than last year’s model at $85,490 before on-roads, or $92,127 drive-away based on a Sydney postcode.
But the new ute, which uses an updated version of the outgoing model’s T6 architecture, has a much more powerful engine under the bonnet.
It ditches the bi-turbo 2.0-litre four-cylinder diesel of the old ute, which will remain in lesser Rangers, for a twin-turbo 3.0-litre petrol V6 producing 292kW of power and 583Nm of torque – up 135kW and 83Nm.
It’s mated with a 10-speed automatic transmission, with a permanent four-wheel drive system featuring locking front and rear differentials and an electronically-controlled on-demand two-speed transfer case.
There’s a variable exhaust, a range of drive modes including a manic Baja off-road mode, retuned suspension with 2.5-inch Fox Live Valve dampers, among other enhancements.
Like the outgoing Raptor, the new ute was engineered and developed in Australia by Ford’s large local team of engineers and designers.
The new Raptor will also be sold in the pickup-crazy US market, unlike the outgoing model.
The upper end of the Australian ute market has grown to include varying degrees of modified utes, from the Toyota HiLux Rogue and Mazda BT-50 Thunder to more overtly off-road-focused models like the Nissan Navara Pro-4X Warrior.
GMSV sold 2118 Chevrolet Silverados in 2021, while Ram Trucks Australia – which also taps Walkinshaw for its local re-engineering – sold 3819 examples of its 1500, up 15.8 per cent on the prior year.
Companies like Volkswagen and Nissan have introduced rivals to the Ranger Raptor, though the new-generation Ford arguably moves the game forward with its twin-turbo petrol V6.
Volkswagen and Walkinshaw are producing 600 Amarok W580Xs, a swansong for the venerable ute that’ll be replaced next year with one based on the new Ford Ranger. That new Volkswagen ute will also spawn a Walkinshaw-fettled version.
Overall, the local tuning operation will have produced 2600 versions of the current Amarok across the W580, W580S and W580X nameplates.
Fellow local operation Premcar has also produced over 1000 examples of its modified Nissan Navara, the Pro-4X Warrior, and is expanding its operation to introduce a more affordable SL Warrior.
Though not quite as extensively modified, the Toyota HiLux Rogue and Rugged X are also configured locally and the company says it can produce 500 examples per month.
Like the aforementioned Amarok and Navara models, these are manufactured overseas but modified locally.
MORE: 2022 Ford Ranger, Raptor and Everest preview: Development drive
MORE: 2022 Ford Ranger Raptor: Everything you need to know
MORE: Ford Ranger Raptor cops 150,000km in six months for testing
MORE: Ford to offer Ranger Raptor with diesel, but not for Australia
MORE: Australian engineers and designers given the reins on Ranger Raptor program
MORE: Everything Ford Ranger