Global Ford Ranger Gets Unique, Dealer-Equipped Raptor Face Lift
The grass is always greener on the other side.
While U.S. consumers may be lusting over the not-available-in-America Ford Ranger T6, New Zealand customers wish they could get their hands on a Ford F-150 Raptor. One New Zealand dealership got the idea to combine the two and fit the Ranger with accessories and upgrades to make it a bit more Raptor-like. It is an amazing combination, and it makes our desire for the truck grow exponentially.
Team Hutchinson Ford, located in Christchurch, New Zealand, has been dressing up the base XL versions of the Ford Ranger for a few years now. Initially, the idea was hatched to simply fulfill consumer demand for the higher-trim XLT model by dressing up an XL, according to Seth Ovens, Team Hutchinson Ford sales manager.
“What we started doing was dressing up the XL version of the Ranger as we could not supply the XLT, with waiting lists exceeding 2 months not being uncommon,” said Ovens. “The XL came with steel wheels, so the first thing we would do is add either 20- or 22-inch alloys, and with so much choice in tires, we could change the entire look of the ute with an aggressive mud tire or an all-terrain. The sales were instant, and we have never looked back.”
With quick turnaround of the customized XL models, Ovens kept adding new accessories to the trucks. Through a Thailand source, they are able to get a variety of items, like Raptor-styled grilles, wheel arch flares, and light covers. They also have used local suppliers who made custom-made running boards and other accessories like full vinyl wraps.
Ovens says they generally have one or two dressed-up stock units on the lot at a time. This helps customers pick and choose accessories and colors.
Speaking of booming sales, we initially contacted them after finding one of their special edition models online. By time we found it, it had already sold, at a transaction price up $6,500 NZD (or about $4,400 USD) over the base, no less.
The dealership’s current object of our desire is the matte-black “Mad Max” package seen here. With oversized tires, a decent-looking suspension, and high-clearance bodywork, the Mad Max looks like it’d be just at home on the desert a few miles from our Los Angeles office.
While rumors are flying over whether or not the Ford Ranger will make a return to the U.S. market, we hope Ford considers offering a Raptor-like package if it does. This truck would surely challenge the Toyota Tacoma TRD Pro in the “badass” category.
Browse through more examples of the custom truck in the gallery below, and check out Team Hutchinson Ford for more info.