Will the USA finally get the Ranger Raptor?
Today, Ford finally unveiled the first official teaser images of the all-new Ranger. It will be fully unveiled later in 2021 and will go on sale in 2022.
Unfortunately, the Ranger in these images is still heavily disguised, but it does seem like it will be styled to be a more rugged version of Ford's new baby pickup truck, the Maverick.
This first official press release is disappointingly low on information. According to Ford, it will be the "toughest, most capable and connected Ranger pickup yet." As proof, Ford provided a video showcasing the new Ranger tackling various off-road situations, including soft sand, mud, rocks, and ice.
Ford also states that the new Ranger will be the ideal pickup partner for both work and play. The video doesn't reveal much, apart from the fact that the Ranger appears to be a good off-roader. The way it clambers up those rocks tells us that it must have some sort of locking rear differential. It also doesn't appear to have any approach, breakover, or departure angle problems.
The video also shows both a SuperCab and a SuperCrew model, so the line-up will be the same as far as body style is concerned.
As for engine options, it's hard to tell. Ford made very sure to dub appealing rock music over the entire video to avoid engine noise. If we had to guess, the current 2.3-liter turbocharged four-pot would be carried over thanks to impressive power and towing abilities. Ford is quite proud of the Ranger's towing capacity and recently unveiled a video of a heavily disguised Ranger towing a trailer between 6,000 to 7,000 lbs.
The big question is whether the USA will finally get access to the Ranger Raptor, otherwise known as the forbidden fruit. Currently, the Raptor is only available with a paltry 2.0-liter twin-turbo diesel engine, and an American audience would not have responded well to it.
We have been behind the wheel of this forbidden fruit, and we can tell you that there's nothing else in the segment like it. The smaller dimensions make it even more fun and agile than the F-150 Raptor.
Earlier this year, we reported that the next-gen Raptor might finally get a twin-turbo 3.0-liter EcoBoost engine mated to a ten-speed automatic transmission. In the Explorer, this engine produces 400 hp and 415 lb-ft of torque. That's probably enough for a six-foot jump.
In our opinion, it has to happen. By not offering the Ranger Raptor in the USA, Ford loses out on a lot of sales. And we expect the introduction of this theoretical Ranger Raptor to follow soon after the launch of the standard car.
There's also another interesting layer to this story. Ford co-developed the new Ranger with Volkswagen. VW will use the new platform for the next-generation Amarok, another pickup that never came stateside. We do know that VW trademarked the Amarok name in the USA, and it makes complete sense for VW to also want a slice of the small pickup truck segment action.
Whichever way you look at it, we can look forward to two brand-new, seemingly epic trucks heading to the USA soon.