Raptor all the things!
There’s a curious cult that’s emerged in off-road automotive fandom ever since Ford debuted its high-speed F-150 SVT Raptor. Call it the Raptor effect, but ever since this factory-built off-roader with cushy long-travel suspension and macho looks hit the streets (and trails), there’s been a fairly consistent series of what-if Raptors applied to a range of Blue Oval products.
As such, it’s hard to believe that, after 10 years, there’s still just one official Raptor offered in the States. The team at Ford Authority reckons there’s room for another one, which is why they commissioned a cool series of renderings depicting the Explorer as a Raptor protégé. After all, catching air on forest trails is fun with a couple of passengers, but it’s even better with kids screaming in delight (or possibly terror) from the third row.
In this instance, we suspect an Explorer Raptor would fill more of an aesthetic role. The rendering follows all the necessary guidelines for creating a Raptor – black grille with FORD lettering embossed larger than life, black bumpers front and rear, black trim for the fenders and rocker panels, and of course, big off-road tires. The design adds a skid plate up front, and there’s a slight suspension lift as well. That’s actually where we see this as primarily an aesthetic upfit, because a seven-seat SUV tends to get a bit top-heavy when you add height.
This latest fictional Raptor creation leaves us with two questions. Would Ford ever consider building it, and would buyers step up to get one? We’d bet a gazillion dollars that Ford already has significant resources devoted to answering that second question, but our gut reaction says there would at least be some folks interested in a tougher-looking Explorer. The fact that Ford hasn’t offered it yet, however, tells us it probably won’t happen. That holds especially true with the new Bronco less than a month away, which will most decidedly be an SUV devoted to off-roading.
Still, it’s a neat idea, and Ford Authority has a set of Renderings available at the source link below showing how an Explorer Raptor might look from different angles, and in various colors.