With the recent debut of the Ford Ranger Raptor, it seems like the Blue Oval could be working on a hardcore version of the Everest SUV. Apparently, Ford Performance head engineer Jamal Hameedi told Australian publication Drive that “there’s no reason [we wouldn’t do an Everest Raptor],” though it does pose some challenges.

The idea of an Everest Raptor is pretty likely, given that the SUV shares the same ladder frame architecture as the Ranger T6, albeit shorter in wheelbase. In fact, the Everest already features a Watt’s link for the rear suspension.

“The first F-150 Raptor was way beyond our wildest dreams in terms of success, and that success spawned a Ranger Raptor. So to do an SUV is a little more difficult because you have to figure out how to deal with the rear suspension. In the form of a bodyside outer it’s not just a box outer [and that] poses a unique challenge in how you package that,” said Hameedi.

Ford Australia also told the publication that it thinks performance SUVs are the future, as exemplified by the recent introduction of the Edge ST. “[In the] long term it would make sense if you look at the fact that passenger vehicles were overtaken by SUVs in 2017. There’s definitely a case for more performance oriented or at least more sports styled SUVs in the future,” said Ford Australia product communications manager Damion Smy.

So far, Ford hasn’t given a concrete answer as to whether it will make the Everest Raptor, but Hameedi doesn’t rule out the idea. “Because you have to have a wide track and long travel suspension doing it [a Raptor] in the form of an SUV… is a little more challenging. It would be a lot of money and a lot of development. Not impossible though,” he added.

Hameedi’s comments also suggests that the highly modified setup of the Ranger Raptor might not be carried over to the Everest Raptor. For now, Ford’s most pressing task is to introduce the Ranger Raptor to the US, possibly fitting it with the 2.7 litre EcoBoost V6 instead of the 2.0 litre bi-turbo EcoBlue diesel.

To recap, the Ford Ranger Raptor packs 213 PS and 500 Nm of torque from a 2.0 litre bi-turbo diesel, and it’s paired with the Getrag 10R80 10-speed automatic derived from the F-150. A four-wheel drive system with Terrain Management System is standard, as are upgraded brakes, a strengthened chassis and beefed-up suspension with Fox Racing Shox dampers.

What do you think of this, guys? Do you like the idea of a hardcore Everest? Sound off in the comments section below.

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