Ford recently announced their plans to compete in the 2025 Dakar Rally with Raptor branded vehicle. It’s the latest expansions of Ford’s racing operations for Ford Performance which also includes NASCAR, Australian Supercars, GT4 and GT3 racing, and drag racing.
All Ford have said is that the upcoming competitor will be a “Raptor-branded race truck.” What does this mean? A unique car built from the ground up with the Raptor branding? It’s not unheard of, Audi do it with the RS Q E-Tron, a car that is nothing like the road going car it takes its name from. If Ford decide on this course of action, it will allow them to build a very radical truck indeed.
We know that the truck is to be built by M-Sport, a long-time Ford partner involved in their World Rally Championship initiatives. Ford have been racing Ranger-branded trucks at the Dakar Rally since 2014 but have never finished on the overall podium. This doesn’t look to change anytime soon either as this year’s Ranger driver, Martin Prokop, is currently running two hours behind the leading Audi and ranked seventh with only two stages left. This initiative might be Ford’s attempt at changing that.
“Racing is part of Ford’s DNA,” Ford CEO, Jim Farley, said. “We earned that by living in the future not the past. We are committed to making the world a better place by producing vehicles with passion and love that people can’t live without.
“We will race to win everywhere: Mustang on the track and Raptor off-road, to mind blowing EV demonstrators, and unforgettable brand experiences for our customers. There could not be a more exciting time in the history of Ford Performance Motorsports than right now.”
Ford are set to be everywhere in racing, even Formula 1 where they will be making engines with Red Bull. It remains to be seen whether Red Bull Powertrains ends up paying off for both Ford and Red Bull. Though Ford are no stranger to F1, having created one of the most successful engines of all time with Cosworth.