Is this a preview for what will (hopefully) come to America?
Last month Ford Australia confirmed it was hard at work developing a hardcore off-road Ranger Raptor that will debut Down Under in 2018 as an early 2019 model. We also know that in 2019, the US-spec Ranger will debut, so we took notice when Australia's The Motor Report announced this: its Ranger Raptor will be powered by a 2.0-liter twin-turbo four-cylinder diesel. This engine will be an updated version of an existing one and will likely be offered, though with a lower output, in the rest of the Ranger lineup sometime post-2019.
Speaking of output, Ford is keeping quiet on this subject for the time being, but sources are estimating an output of at least 200 hp and 350 lb-ft of torque. As we also reported earlier, there's a very good chance this engine will be paired with Ford's all-new 10-speed automatic transmission, which was jointly developed with GM. What's for sure is that Ford Australia is serious about the Ranger Raptor's off-road capabilities. As evidenced by a previously released video, Ford is literally beating the crap out of advanced prototypes in Australia's cruel and demanding Outback. So, what does this all mean for America? Well, a few things.
One, the eventual US market Ranger Raptor will already have proven itself off-road (see above), and two, Ford could very well continue with a somewhat unconventional powertrain. Then again, the already on sale Chevrolet Colorado ZR2 can be had with a turbocharged inline-four diesel, so there's market precedent and consumer acceptance. In any case, we're excited for what Ford has planned with its US Ranger mid-size pickup truck revival. The Ranger Raptor will be icing on the cake.