The highly anticipated V8 Ranger Raptor has likely hit an insurmountable roadblock, with Ford understood to have put the secret project on an indefinite hold.
Much to the dismay of enthusiasts around the country, it’s not an engineering issue that has prevented the high-performance ute from hitting the market, but instead budget constraints related to a COVID-19 drop in global revenues.
When Wheels first broke the news of the V8 Raptor project in January, the dual-cab halo remained a work-in-progress with the program not yet fully signed-off by Ford officially.
Wheels understands that Ford’s tightening financial restrictions, both locally and overseas, has resulted in that final sign-off now being withheld indefinitely.
There is a slim chance the Mustang-powered dual-cab could be revived if things change for the better in a rapid fashion, however that appears highly unlikely.
Premcar was the company chosen to take care of the V8 Raptor program, thanks in part to its strong links to the Blue Oval, as well as its impressive engineering ability.
Premcar was created following a management buyout of Prodrive Engineering in 2012, and is manned by many of the same people that developed the Miami supercharged V8 that powered the fastest Falcons in existence.
This would have been handy, as the Coyote engine that was slated to be fitted beneath the Ranger’s bonnet is the basis of the feted Miami V8.
It was understood that Ranger Raptors would be delivered to Ford’s facility in Campbellfield – where Herrod Performance built the 500 supercharged Mustang R-Specs – with the 2.0-litre diesel engine removed, to be replaced by the same 5.0-litre petrol V8 that is fitted to Mustang GT models.
With Ford’s final approval of the project now seemingly off the table, there is still a chance the public could be treated to the V8 dual-cab.
Premcar has the ability to build cars at its Epping facility, and is currently doing so with the Navara N-Trek Warrior.
The independent engineering firm also has the capacity to expand the facility to include an addition vehicle line.
Premcar declined to comment when contacted by Wheels.