Renowned Ford Australia tuning firm, Tickford, has indicated that it could introduce a supercharged version of the Ranger Raptor V8 if the mystery shrouded pick-up gets approval.
Despite ruling out any involvement with the project or having been in contact with the Blue Oval when questioned last month, Detroit’s long-time V8 Supercar championship affiliate has indicated that if the project were to receive the green light, the inclusion of a Roush supplied 2.65-litre VTS blower could see power from the 5.0-litre Coyote V8 mulled for the Raptor rise from 339kW/556Nm to a massive 529kW/828Nm.
“Let’s say a V8 Ranger authorised by Ford themselves through dealers does come out, we will no doubt have people coming to us saying ‘supercharge it’,” Tickford Commercial Director, Andrew Philpott, told carsguide.com.au.
“We’ve supercharged Mustangs of course, and we supercharged F-150s, so we’ve had people buy V8s purely with the intent of coming here, us putting a Roush supercharger on it. There will be people who say ‘absolutely, I want the best Ranger I can get, and if I can make it more power, why not?’”.
In a rebuttal however, Tickford Research and Development Manager, Ash Campbell, told the online publication that demand would have to be strong in order for the company to justify investing in a supercharged Raptor V8 that has so far attracted no comments from Dearborn has happening or indeed not happening at all.
“It comes down to a couple of things that you really need to be on your game with, and that is how many units they actually produce and sell, and then what the viability is for us as a business to actually go out and spend to time actually developing that tune,” Campbell said.
In an interview earlier this month with carsguide, Campbell stated that the Raptor V8, in order to be competitive, would have to be priced “under $120 000” (R1 200 068) or $100 000 (R1 000 057) to be viable”, thus resulting in it becoming a rival to the right-hand-drive converted Ram 1500 and Chevrolet Silverado.
“That car, in that particular combination, is going to be aimed at the sort of person that wants to still be able to take the family and justify having it, but at the same time have the benefit of the performance,” he said.
In spite of Tickford’s claims that no talks with Ford had taken place, Campbell, in a subsequent later report by the publication, stated that it has been in talks about rolling out more powerful models of not just the Mustang and F-150.
“We’d love to be doing [more models], we’re constantly looking at it, we’re constantly talking about it as a business, whether we actually come out and do that – or when we come out and do that – I can’t say,” he said.