Ford of Europe has just announced that the new Ford Ranger Raptor Wildtrack will be available on the Continent. Ford of Europe is an English-language site but geared towards European English, not the same type we speak. We feel it is important that our readers gain a full understanding of what the name of this truck translates to, what the press release is trying to convey, and how Americans might relate to it. So we gave it a shot.
The word Ranger in America elicits images of Texans on horses with six-shooters rounding up bad guys by any means necessary. Or of a special forces Army soldier. The term Ranger applied to Army folks goes back to pre-independence days in America. Goreham's Rangers fought in the Fench & Indian War. Which was a war fought by English Imperialists against French Imperialists allied with native Americans. Nobody from India was involved, which is weird. Anyway, Ranger is a tough word in a place that knows what tough is.
You'd think that would suffice, however, when one is marketing a truck of any kind, midsized or not, it is necessary to add more tough words. GM likes to add tough letters like ZR2 and Z71. Ford tacks on "Raptor" for a couple of reasons. First of all, sport trucks are marketed to younger buyers. The generation of folks targeted by the Raptor trims remember Jurassic Park being a scary movie. The raptors were the scary part. Hence the name. We are not sure why Ford also tacks on Wildtrack at the end of the name string, but what harm can it do? Maybe the intended mental image is a scary Texan Army dinosaur on a bad road.
The press release by Ford includes the words "bad-ass" in its title. Which is funny, because I have a Toyota Tacoma T-shirt that I took home from a Toyota TRD Pro drive event a few years back. It says the Tacoma is a "bad-ass truck." Bad-ass means tough. Not bad in the sense that it isn't good, in case that isn't apparent.
If there was any doubt that the Ford Ranger Raptor Wildcat is pointed towards a younger crowd, it should be noted that the truck was launched at a video game convention. Here in America, we call that a "con." As in Gaming-con, Comic-Con, or anything that is a convention, but needs to sound younger than "Shriner's Convention."
“Forget everything you think you know about pick-ups,” said Leo Roeks, Ford Performance Director, Europe. “Our new Ranger Raptor is a different breed – a thoroughbred desert racer and extreme lifestyle off-roader that can toil with the best of them in the harshest of working conditions.” This quote is full of things to comment on. First off, how much do European young people really know about performance pickup trucks? Maybe a lot, but not as much as we 'Muricans do. If we were designing logos for America today it would be a pickup, not an eagle, all over the design.
Finally, there is that part about the truck being a desert racer. As an American, I don't have a clue as to the topography or climate of Europe other than it is cold north of the wall and muddy in Kings Landing. So I Googled "Desserts in Europe." I got a bunch of images of pies and cakes, so I corrected my spelling. Then I found out that there is just one desert in Europe. It is called the Desierto de Tabernas and it is in Spain, but not near Majorca or Ibiza, the only two parts of Spain young American's watch videos about. Only one desert? And the truck is a European desert racer? Shouldn't it be called the Ford Ranger Raptor Wildtrack de Tabernas?