Now that Ford has revealed its fettled Ranger Raptor, the question was put to Ford Performance chief engineer Jamal Hameedi if the same enhancements could make their way to the mechanically related Everest SUV.
Mr Hameedi revealed that the Everest differs from the Australian-developed T6 Ranger in a number of ways that may make it difficult to transplant the Raptor’s bespoke rear suspension, new 157kW/500Nm 2.0-litre twin-turbo diesel and 10-speed automatic transmission.
“There’s no reason (we can’t do it)”, he said. “To do an SUV is a little more difficult because you have to figure out how to deal with the rear suspension in the form of a bodyside outer. It’s not just a box outer. So that poses a unique challenge in packaging that.”
Mr Hameedi explained that in pick-up form, the Ranger’s tray – or box – is not part of bodyside construction, as opposed to the Raptor’s that is welded together to form a large single piece then grafted to the rails on the chassis.
Another key stumbling block identified by Mr Hameedi was the Raptor’s width, which measures 330mm wider than a standard Ranger and accommodates a 150mm wider front and rear track.
The additional width in the rear would require significant reworking of the body panels in SUV form, said Mr Hameedi.
“Doing it in the form of an SUV on the front is easy,” he said. “Because you have the wide track, you have to have the long travel suspension, on the back it’s a little more challenging.”
The Raptor also gains additional strengthening around the rear shock mounting points, as well as a Watt’s linkage bracket, while the front shock towers and chassis rails have been reinforced.
Despite the hurdles however, Mr Hameedi did not completely rule out the possibility of an Everest Raptor.
“Well, it would be a lot of money and a lot of development,” he said. “Not impossible, though.”
However, Mr Hameedi conceded that the aggressive styling of the Ranger Raptor could spawn cosmetic upgrades for other models, but not everything would translate from the flagship version.
“We have STs and ST-Lines now, which is more the appearance part of an ST,” he said.
“The difference in off-road is that all of the looks are not really aesthetic; they’re all functional. All of that function happens to look beautiful, and that’s the appeal of it.
“So you can’t extract the function from the aesthetic. They go hand-in-hand.”
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