Rumors have circulated for some time regarding a possible high-performance “Raptor” variant of the next-generation Ford Ranger, and a recent batch of spy photos acquired by Australian website CarAdvice gives us our clearest idea yet of what such a truck could look like.
CarAdvice notes that the spied prototype seems to be sporting a Watt’s linkage rear suspension setup, broad fender flares, raised ride height, and a shallow front overhang for an improved approach angle. The truck is also wearing disc brakes at all four corners – something that not even the current Ford Ranger Wildtrak benefits from – and what appear to be off-road-centric tires.
According to the photographer who snapped the pics, this possible Ford Ranger Raptor test mule sounded an awful lot like an F-150 EcoBoost. The F-150 Raptor, of course, uses Ford’s second-generation 3.5L EcoBoost V6, but we’d expect a Ranger Raptor to utilize the smaller 2.7L V6, lest Ford risk cannibalizing its own sales.
The Ford Ranger, which went away from the US and Canada after 2012, will be reintroduced in North America for 2019, riding on an updated version of the Asia-Pacific-developed T6 platform that underpins the current-generation truck. The anticipated Ranger Raptor is likely to launch the same year, ahead of an all-new Ford Bronco SUV for 2020.
Visit CarAdvice.com.au for the latest Ford Ranger Raptor spy shots.