Time will tell if it comes to America, but the fact that the Ranger is making a US comeback gives us hope.
After a lengthy teaser campaign, Ford has lifted the wraps off the first ever Ranger Raptor. Billed as a “factory-built performance truck” designed for off-road enthusiasts, the 2019 Ford Ranger Raptor is positioned below the popular F-150 Raptor. Under the hood is a 2.0-liter, twin-turbo four-cylinder diesel engine that sends 210 horsepower and 369 lb-ft of torque to all four wheels through a 10-speed automatic gearbox that’s co-developed by Ford and GM, though no performance figures have been revealed yet.
Compared to the regular 3.2-liter five-cylinder Ranger currently sold in Australia, the new Raptor version develops 14 extra ponies. That may not sound like a significant boost, and well, it isn’t, but don’t forget this is being produced by a diesel engine. “The Ford Performance team is excited to extend the Raptor name from our flagship off-road performance F-150 to Ranger,” said Jamal Hameedi, chief engineer at Ford Performance. “Just like the F-150 Raptor, the Ranger Raptor builds upon the core capability of the range of vehicles it comes from and carries the unmistakable Ford Performance DNA appearance.”
The first ever Ranger Raptor has been developed primarily in Australia with some help from Ford’s U.S. Raptor team. Enhancing its off-roading capabilities is bespoke, long-travel Fox suspension with rear coilovers, extra underbody protection, and 17-inch wheels with beefy 332-mm front and rear brake rotors and BF Goodrich All-Terrain tires. Ground clearance has also been increased to 283 mm, giving the new Ranger Raptor an approach angle of 32.5 degrees, ramp over angle of 24 degrees, and departure angle of 24 degrees. It’s noticeably larger than its standard Ranger siblings, too, measuring 1873 mm tall, 2180 mm wide and 5398 mm long.
it also inherits the F-150 Raptor's Baja Mode, which allows for a more spirited off-road experience by optimizing the throttle response, gear shifting, and boost control. “The standout experience of the Ranger Raptor, hands down, is how far you can push it off-road versus any other available production road vehicle in our markets, and still ride like a millionaire on-road,” said Damien Ross, Chief Program Engineer, Ranger Raptor. As for availability, Ford Performance says that “the Ranger Raptor is set to turn heads throughout Asia Pacific and around the world” which is a rather vague statement to say the least.
That may not be confirmation that the hardcore off-roader is coming to America, but Ford is bringing the mid-size Ranger back to the US market for the 2019 model year so there’s a good chance it will spawn a Raptor version as well, but whether it will be offered in the same diesel-powered guise remains to be seen.