"The response to our announcement that Ford will be introducing a Ranger Raptor has been absolutely phenomenal, and we're exceptionally proud to now confirm that this highly anticipated performance model will be assembled in South Africa. This is yet another fantastic achievement for our local team, and signals our ability to produce world-class products of the highest calibre," FMCSA Managing Director Casper Kruger said in a statement.
In addition to the Raptor that will become available in 2019 and not next year as originally reported, the Dearborn based automaker will also be looking at expanding capacity in the face of increasing demand for the Ranger both locally and for exports countries. The plant currently builds both the Ranger and Everest for the domestic and international market.
"This significant investment reaffirms Ford's ongoing commitment to South Africa as a local manufacturer, exporter and key employer in the automotive sector, supporting a large number of direct jobs as well as indirect employment through our extensive supplier base," Ford Vice-President for Middle East and Africa Operations, Ockert Berry, said.
While technical details of the Raptor have so been kept under wraps, speculation is that it will possibly come powered by a brand-new 2.0-litre twin-turbocharged diesel engine and not a detuned version of the F150 Raptor's 3.5-litre EcoBoost V6, mated to a 10-speed automatic gearbox co-developed with General Motors.