In Thailand, that is.
We've caught it being tested in a Detroit area parking lot. We know Ford is likely planning to reveal it this January at Detroit, though the automaker refuses to confirm anything. We're talking about the Ford Ranger Raptor, of course, one of the most hotly anticipated vehicles that will supposedly debut in 2019. But if you haven't been locked away somewhere for the past several months, you'll know the Ranger Raptor is already about to go on sale in the Asia Pacific region, which includes Australia and Thailand.
In fact, test drives are already underway for that market's Ranger Raptor, which will differ from the US version in one major way (or will it?): the engine. The overseas Ranger Raptor is powered by a twin-turbo 2.0-liter diesel four-cylinder with 210 hp and 369 lb-ft of torque and paired to a 10-speed automatic transmission. One Ford engineer claimed is the ideal and best overall engine for this truck.
Not even a gasoline EcoBoost is better, supposedly. Does that mean North America's Ranger Raptor will be a diesel? Our answer should arrive fairly soon and, for the record, our money is still on a gasoline engine for America. But in any case, Ford is clearly anxious to show off the hardcore off-road truck's capabilities to local audiences where it's about to go on sale, so it arranged a little competition of sorts. Taking place in Thailand, this diesel-powered Ranger Raptor goes up against a Ranger Wildtrak. What is the Wildtrak spec?
According to Ford's UK website, the Ranger Wildtrak is also powered by a choice of Duratec diesels, a 2.2-liter four-cylinder with up to 158 hp and 284 lb-ft, or a 3.2-liter five-cylinder with 197 hp and 346 lb-ft. Both engines are paired to a six-speed automatic. Compare the power figures between the top-spec Wildtrak and the Raptor and, well, it's pretty clear who will win an off-road contest. However, the Wildtrak does a pretty good job of ripping into the dirt as well.