Since even before the Ford Ranger mid-size pickup was confirmed for a US return, there have been calls for a hardcore off-roading version à la F-150 Raptor. Ford’s official announcement at the 2017 North American International Auto Show in Detroit that both the Ranger pickup and Bronco SUV would indeed be reincarnated in the North American market only fueled even more anticipation.
And now, new spy photographs purporting to show a future Ford Ranger Raptor have surfaced, marking the third time that we’ve seen a suspected Raptor-ized Ranger testing in public. You can find the images on the Motor Trend website.
What’s perhaps most telling about this prototype is that it’s wearing some obfuscating features underneath the body to mask the suspension setup. One suspected Ford Ranger Raptor mule spotted earlier this year seemed to be rocking a Watt’s linkage out back, but it seems Ford has grown more cautious about hiding such details from prying eyes.
Like prior mules, this truck has wider fender flares than the current Ranger T6, as well as a more aggressive front end. It was seen rolling on 17-inch wheels with BF Goodrich All-Terrain T/A tires. Unlike other mules, this suspected Ford Ranger Raptor reportedly sounded like it was powered by a diesel engine; conversely, a test mule spotted last June sounded like it was packing EcoBoost power, according to the photographer. Thus, we’re no closer to determining what engine a future Ranger Raptor might ship with.
Be sure to stop by MotorTrend.com to see the latest Ford Ranger Raptor spy shots.