Ford Raptor Pickup Sells Like Hot Cakes in China
|   Saturday, November 17, 2012
The Ford F-150 was among the best SUVs that have ever been built. The F-150 SVT Raptor is the successor to the good old F-150 model. As a measure of its success, this model became the best-selling brand in the US, for pickups of course, in terms of price and quality. Due to that, the car gained more and more followers both in its home country and outside the United States, including the Chinese market. It should be noted that pickup models are not that fashionable in that part of the world.


Ford's R & D department has spent a lot of money and time in order to turn the old F-150 into the Raptor. The truck is seriously reengineered., and here we look at the suspension system which features 13.4 inches of usable wheel travel in the rear and 11.2 inches in the front besides the exclusive internal bypass shocks. The standard Raptor arrives in the SuperCab form, featuring 2 standard front doors and 2 rear-hinged doors. Once opened, they reveal a relatively small rear passenger space with 3 seats. The SuperCrew model uses 2 normal-sized rear doors thus a larger rear passenger area is ensured.

Power comes from a 6.2 liter SOHC V8 that delivers some 411 horsepower and 434 lb-ft of torque. A 6 speed automatic box sends that power to all 4 wheels (AWD is standard, in case you were wondering). It also features a full manual mode giving the driver complete control over gear selection; that means that upshifts are not prompted when the redline kicks in, while downshifts can be performed at the lowest gear possible according to engine speed.

EPA has spoken and fuel economy is close to what would be expected of a large pickup equipped with a big V8: 11 mpg in the city and 16 mpg on the highway.
The combination of aggressive styling and that utility on almost any kind surface is making the Raptor brand one of the most popular models on the Chinese market.

Since the vehicle was officially banned from being sold in China, the gray market is the only way to get a hold of a Ford F-150 Raptor SUV. For this reason, Chinese buyers have to pay over 3 times the price payed by US buyers. This is how the price of a Raptor SuperCrew in China can go about 145,000 dollars, while on the other side of the Pacific the price is about 45,000 dollars. Some sources say that a 2010 Raptor changed owned for about 109,000 dollars.

Taxes are partly responsible for the huge prices, since American vehicles with large engines " benefit" from with tariffs exceeding 50 percent by the Chinese government. In spite of that, those with the ability to pay up for a Raptor seem quite willing to do so, regardless of the cost.

Why are SUVs and pickups popular in China? The Hummer brand is the answer. It also enjoyed a great success in China's gray market a decade ago, and than was when the trend towards SUVs and pickups as desirable vehicles began. On a side note, Chinese industrial equipment manufacturer Sichuan Tengzhong Heavy Industrial Machinery Corporation tried to buy the brand, but the transaction was not approved by the Chinese government.
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