So much for the Chevy Colorado ZR2 and Toyota Tacoma TRD Pro. It was nice knowing you two.
How is Ford supposed to make its pickup truck story get any better than it already is? That’s a tough one. It already leads the truck segment with the best selling vehicle in the US and then it decided to put a chokehold on the rampant aftermarket truck tuning business with the almighty Raptor. The only glimmer of hope that its closest competitor had was the Chevy Colorado and its ZR2 package that turns it into a miniature Raptor competitor. Back to the question though. How does Ford improve the situation of its truck department?
By putting the hurt on Chevrolet of course. Car and Driver, back from a smash and grab spy shot mission, has found evidence that that’s exactly what is about to happen. There's already a new Ranger in the pipeline that’s crushing hopes and dreams over at GM, which saw a glimmer of light when the mid-size pickup truck segment rose from the grave while Ford and FCA were nowhere to be found. What GM didn't anticipate is Ford building a Raptorized version of the Ranger. A truck like that would stamp the slightly underpowered Chevy Colorado ZR2 or Toyota Tacoma TRD Pro into submission. No one else saw it coming for that matter, but spy shots don’t lie. The story they tell is full of parallels to the F-150 Raptor.
Optimizing the Ranger for more excitement are wider fenders, and large off-road tires, all hidden by enough camouflage to confirm that something special is going on underneath. It looks familiar to the F-150 Raptor with the help of a front bumper that’s been shaved away to clear obstacles. It’s hard to say if Ford will risk cannibalizing F-150 Raptor sales with a cheaper Ranger Raptor, but if the Raptor name is used on the mid-size truck, the prestige its bigger brother earned will undoubtedly help it soak up sales in that niche. C&D claims that a Ranger Raptor will either be a slower rock-crawling machine or a dune-chasing monster like its bigger brother.
We prefer if Ford took the latter option, but it will need to fit a more powerful engine under the hood to make that happen. Not like it'll have trouble finding it. A 2.7-liter twin-turbo EcoBoost V6 that makes 325 horsepower and 375 lb-ft of torque can already be found in the F-150 and seems like a perfect candidate for a transplant. Please do it Ford.