Ford Ranger Makes a Splash in U.S., Comes Out As Gay In Europe


Ford has decided to revive the Ranger Splash appearance package that was a common sight in the 1990s. However, the current version has just about as much to do with the original graphics as the trucks do with each other. Rather than adding a splash of color along the side of the pickup (like on the original) Ford has elected to go with black vinyl and a little bit of orange. Though it does help the truck stand out a bit more, especially when combined with the remaining accouterments, it’s not all that reminiscent of the original look.

Meanwhile, an ocean away, Europeans are getting the “Very Gay Raptor Ranger” in the most pathetic example of corporate pandering in recent memory. But let’s start with the Splash. 

The 2022 Ford Ranger Splash comes in one of two flavors. The basic “Splash Package” comes with orange and black graphics along the pickup’s haunches and unique 18-inch 12-spoke wheels finished in matte black. Ford will also install orange grille nostrils with black accenting on the grille with similar treatment being given to the side mirrors, bumpers, fender vents, and wheel lip moldings. The rest is a buffet of orange stitching, which can be found on everything from the leather-trimmed seats to the gear selector.

But the manufacturer likewise wants to drive sales via manufactured scarcity, so it plans on introducing Limited Edition versions of the Splash every few months. According to Ford, the differences between them will be related primarily to the color options and the limited availability with production capping at a few hundred vehicles for each run. Details are scant here but the rotating hues will apply to both the interior and exterior and come with the same 18-inch wheels as the standard package. The first one will be called the Snow Edition and presumably will feature a white theme.

Ranger Splash Packages will be available for SuperCrew models optioned in XLT and Lariat trims. Pricing will be $1,495 with deliveries starting at the end of the year.

But what if Splash isn’t doing it for you and you want a truck that looks like it was owned by the Care Bears? Ford seemingly has you covered with the Very Gay Raptor Ranger. Unfortunately, the vehicle was designed as a way to feign commitment to the LGBTQ+ community and draw as much attention to itself as humanly possible in the process. Ford has been proudly displaying the vehicle on social media this week. But nobody can buy it and the entire pickup is allegedly based around the premise that Ford took some social media commenter to school after they said Performance Blue was a “very gay” color. In response, Ford Europe came up with a rainbow wrap to place atop a sparkly, gold-flake Raptor so it can dunk on an irrelevant comment made over the internet.

Showcasing the Very Gay Raptor would definitely hold more meaning if multinational companies didn’t spend the last two years doing this exact thing in Western markets while downplaying LGBT campaigns in regions where homosexuality has been criminalized or deemed broadly unpopular. But that never happens because it would hurt sales, making the pickup little more than a meaningless marketing tool for people who cannot see beyond the colorful paint job.

[Images: Ford Motor Co.]

Become a TTAC insider. Get the latest news, features, TTAC takes, and everything else that gets to the truth about cars first by subscribing to our newsletter.

Source link