We already know the Ford Ranger will return to the U.S., but new spy shots could indicate the eventual arrival of an off-road oriented Ranger Raptor model as well.
The photos show a right-hand drive Ranger mule, evidence the vehicle was originally intended for a market such as Australia or Thailand before Ford brought it stateside for testing purposes. It appears the truck has been adorned with numerous off-road components including knobby tires, beefed up control arms and a heightened front bumper – parts similar to those that make the F-150 Raptor so well-loved by truck enthusiasts.
Ford would be smart to roll out an off-road version of the Ranger when the pickup arrives in 2019. The Chevrolet Colorado and Toyota Tacoma are both offered in off-road focused format and with Jeep preparing a mid-size pickup offering, it seems just about every mid-size truck on sale will place some emphasis on off-road capability.
What will power Ford’s beefed-up Ranger is anybody’s guess. Its 245 horsepower 2.0-liter would be plenty powerful in the standard version of the pickup, but for this potential Ranger variant, we could see something a bit more muscular being used. Its 2.3-liter four-cylinder may be a good fit, which makes up to 350 horsepower in cars like the Focus RS, though its 350 horsepower 2.7-liter V6 would also be appropriate.
We’ll have more details on Ford’s upcoming off-road focused Raptor as its 2019 launch date nears.
Discuss this story on our Ranger forum