As if we didn’t already have ample reason to be excited by the arrival of a brand-new Ford Ranger pickup truck on American shores, we now have evidence that the Dearborn-based automaker has a jacked-up off-road variant in the works. Will it be called the Ranger Raptor? We don’t know, and honestly, we don’t really care … just so long as it’s real.
There appears to be an aggressive grille hiding behind the camouflage, probably similar to the one seen on the larger F-150 Raptor. But we’re more intrigued by the wide fender flares and the higher ground clearance than regular-grade Rangers. It’s impossible to tell what kind of shocks this Ranger prototype is wearing – note the odd fringe hiding under the rear axle – but we’d hope it’s something similar to the Fox shocks used for the larger Raptor. We’re pretty sure we see a skid plate, too.
This particular truck appears to be right-hand drive, but that doesn’t mean it’s not testing bits and baubles for a future US-spec product. If we had to wager a guess, the smart money is on a 2.7-liter EcoBoost V6 engine. If so, expect something north of the 325 horsepower and 375 pound-feet of torque the turbocharged mill makes in regular F-150 guise. We’d also love to see Ford’s Ranger Raptor get the new diesel Power Stroke V6 that’ll debut soon in the F-150, but we’ll just have to wait and see. And we’ll probably be waiting several years, considering the regular Ranger isn’t slated for US consumption until 2019.