Ford is late to the party when it comes to its mid-size truck. The Ford Ranger went away in North America in 2012, but will resurface once again in 2019. That gives General Motors a multi-year headstart after reinvigorating the segment with the Chevrolet Colorado and GMC Canyon.
However, Ford doesn’t seem to be messing around. Spy shots show what could very well be a Ranger Raptor testing in Australia. The Ranger has been a smash hit down under, and the North American Ranger is expected to ride on an updated Asia-Pacific T6 platform. Translation: what we see likely reflects what the U.S. will get.
Photographers also say the Ranger was sporting some decent upgrades. There were disc brakes at all four corners—something not present on regular Rangers—and the truck featured a Watt’s linkage rear suspension setup, broad fender flares and a raised ride height. Off-road tires were also pointed out on the prototype.
What’s under the hood? Spy photographers say it sounded decidedly turbocharged, meaning an EcoBoost V6 may be present. We doubt Ford’s 3.5-liter unit would be present, and our sister publication Ford Authority believes a 2.7-liter unit may do the trick.
If and when a Ranger Raptor surfaces, it will have to face the 2017 Chevrolet Colorado ZR2. The Colorado ZR2 has been heralded for its poise and finesse off-road. To be fair, it can’t quite be compared with an F-150 Raptor. However, a Ranger Raptor? That’s a whole different ball game.