The 2019 Ford Ranger barely had a chance to cool its wheels on stage in Detroit before off-roaders started asking about the Raptor version, and Ford Thailand has released a new video showing the truck tearing through the desert.
We already know that this Ranger Raptor will launch in Thailand and be sold around the world, but whether or not that includes the US remains a mystery. If a Ranger Raptor does come to the US, it won’t be exactly like the worldwide version, as the US-market truck doesn’t share any body panels with its overseas brother.
A link at the bottom of the YouTube video leads to the Ford Thailand page and while my grasp of that language is about as tenuous as P-rated tires on the Rubicon, it’s easy to tell the company in that country is talking up the Ranger Raptor in a big way.
Sporting beefy tires, a not-insignificant amount of wheel travel, and what certainly looks like a more muscular body than the standard Ranger just shown in Detroit, this Ranger Raptor looks like just the ticket for the Blue Oval to take on Chevy’s Colorado ZR2.
Multiple references are made to the truck “coming in 2018”, followed by shots of a camo’d pickup tearing its way across the dusty landscape like a scalded cat. A rudimentary plunking of the video’s ad copy into Google Translate suggests the Thai truck was taken to America for testing, so it’s not a stretch to imagine that it’ll be offered stateside eventually.
In the US, the new Ranger uses a 2.3-liter EcoBoost inline-four, the only engine announced for the truck so far. The same engine makes anywhere from 280 horsepower to 310 horsepower in other Ford applications; we expect the Ranger’s unit to fall somewhere in the middle.
For Raptor duty, this author would not be at all surprised if the same engine was deployed but tuned more in line with the Focus RS where it makes a healthy 350 horsepower. This would make the Ranger Raptor an ideal foil for high-speed running, so long as the company can put proper head gaskets on the thing.
Already announced by Ford for the new Ranger is an FX4 trim, packing a status screen which allows drivers to monitor the pitch and roll of their off-road adventures, plus the steering angle of the front wheels. Bash and skid plates will help protect critical components when the trail turns tough.
There likely will be many changes made from this Thai Raptor before it can be certified for sale in the States. However, with these videos and now that we’ve finally been shown a production Ranger here in America, the forecast looks better than ever for U.S. customers to find a Ranger Raptor in Ford showrooms at some point down the road.
A version of this story originally appeared on Off-Road.com.