Ford announced that a full size truck will officially be sent to China within the next couple years. The only way to get one as of now would be to get it through unofficial channels, not quite the black market but lets call it “grey-ish.” And if you were lucky enough to actually get your hands on one, you better be willing to pay up for it, apparently as high as 4-5x the sticker price. So imagine how excited the Chinese must be as they read the press release from Ford stating that F-150 will soon be available, possibly as soon as the 2017 model year.
But interestingly, Ford is not sending the regular F-150 that’s been its bread and butter for the past decade. Nope! They are sending the beloved RAPTOR! That’s right, the brand new 2017 Raptor is going to be shipped to China, although in limited numbers, as a test to determine if Ford will indeed send its standard F-150 over by the masses one day as well. The Chinese have acquired the taste for premium American brands and have no problem forking over the extra cash to get it. Although Ford may not be a premium brand, there is absolutely no question as to whether the Raptor is a premium product. If you have a high-performance truck available on the market can do things that no other vehicle on the market can do and literally have ZERO competition, that meets the definition of a “premium product”?
The only thing that is said to different about the Chinese version of the Raptor than the one that will stay here in America is some small lights installed in the roof that are required by Chinese law. Otherwise it will be the same 3.5L Ecoboost engine that is supposed to be more powerful and fuel efficient than the outgoing model’s 6.2L V8. We are still crossing our fingers that Ford will give us the option of a V8 in the new Raptor but according to a Ford Raptor rep at this year’s Mint 400, that will not be the case. They actually had an example there and that V6 sounds great, if it was in a car, but not a full size bad ass off road masterpiece like the Raptor. But we won’t get started on that again.