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GM plays it cool, says it has no plans for a Ford Raptor rival

The outgoing Ford F-150 SVT Raptor went through its entire production cycle without an official rival from General Motors, and it doesn’t look like that will change as Ford prepares to launch the new 2017 Raptor.

Neither Chevrolet nor GMC currently has plans to field a Raptor rival, GM product chief said in a recent interview with Edmunds.

Given that the age-old Ford vs Chevy rivalry is particularly intense when it comes to trucks, it’s always been strange to watch GM sit by and let Ford have all of the bragging rights on this one.

Chatter about a GM response to the Raptor increased recently when the carmaker moved to trademark the name “Badlands,” which to many seemed like the perfect name for an off-road performance truck.

Trying to divine a company’s plan from its trademark filings is always tricky, though. Companies often reserve names well before making any other plans for a vehicle, just to keep the nomenclature form being snapped up by someone else.

There have also been hints that GM will turn the 2015 Chevy Colorado midsize pickup into a dune-busting alternative to the full-size Raptor.

Reuss said that something along the lines of the Colorado ZR2 concept unveiled at the 2014 Los Angeles Auto Show last fall is still possible, but wouldn’t confirm that it has the green light.

The ZR2 was basically a stock Colorado kitted out for off-roading, with new front and rear bumpers, gnarlier tires, upgraded suspension, and a winch.

Power came courtesy of the 2.8-liter Duramax turbodiesel four-cylinder engine that will be available in the Colorado and its GMC Canyon sibling later this year.

While it should provide plenty of grunt for hill climbing, the stock Duramax’s 181 horsepower isn’t exactly a match for the Raptor’s turbocharged 3.5-liter V6, which is rumored to produce 450 hp.

It’s still awhile before the 2017 Raptor goes on sale, so maybe GM will change its mind once executives see the initial Ford sales numbers.