NEW VEHICLE launches can be a bit of fun sometimes, but usually the funniest part is reading the horse-shit dribble out in the press afterwards by people who should know better.
It seems that some sections of the motoring media are more concerned with what the car companies are not going to sell rather than what was just launched.
The recent Ford Ranger Raptor launch was no exception, with headlines such as "Ecoboost considered for Ranger Raptor", "Why no manual for Raptor?" and "Mustang Engine for Raptor" all being bandied about different outlets.
It’s not just limited to the new Raptor, though. If I have to read that Mercedes-Benz is considering an AMG version of the X-Class ute again, after the company has denied it since the car’s inception, even I might start believing it.
I mean, what engineer worth his Stahlwilles wouldn’t smirk if you suggested a V8 engine in their latest truck, even if it was never going to happen? But never say never, stranger things have happened.
The questions over the Raptor’s powerplant are not without value. The underwhelming performance of the new 2.0-litre bi-turbo diesel engine has many pundits questioning what else is on offer from Ford Performance.
Yet throughout the launch the folks with blue ovals on their dust coats emphatically said there was no other engine and transmission ever considered for Raptor, nor is there anything else planned. Maybe the negative review will spark the dust-coat wearers into action with a more potent powertrain.
The probable prospect of the Ranger Raptor going on sale in the USA next year poses the option of a petrol-fuelled engine, and the most likely option there would be the 2.3-litre EcoBoost engine as seen in the Ford Mustang, not the V6 Ecoboost from the F150 Raptor. But Ford, like all the other manufacturers, see no market for petrol-fuelled 4x4 utes in this country.
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