Despite gas prices being at their highest point since July 2008, sales of the Ford F-150 SVT Raptor high-speed desert runner reached record levels in April.
Ford sold 1,183 Raptor pickup trucks last month, according to Ford SVT spokesman Henry Platt. That's 231 more than the 952 Ridgeline midsize pickups that Honda sold in April.
Yes, this is like comparing apples to oranges, but Honda had hopes of selling about 50,000 trucks per year when the Ridgeline came to market in 2005 for the 2006 model year. Both trucks appeal to niche buyers, and they've both raced in the Baja 1000 — the Ridgeline even won its class.
The 6.2-liter V-8 Raptor is EPA-rated at 11/14 mpg city/highway, while the 3.5-liter V-6 Ridgeline is rated at 15/20 mpg. It appears that fun outweighs frugality, at least for the Raptor.
Eighty percent of Raptor sales were the new SuperCrew model, and black was the most popular color, Platt said.
Let's hope this sales news is seen by General Motors, which is still dithering whether to build its own off-road pickup based on its all-new Heavy Duty truck chassis, as previewed in last year's GMC Sierra All Terrain HD concept.
Chrysler has started sales of its bolt-on Mopar Ram Runner off-road suspension kit for the Ram 1500.