The rumors are true: Ford will produce a high-performance Ranger Raptor pickup truck to compete alongside the Chevrolet Colorado ZR2 and Toyota Tacoma TRD Pro.
The catch is that it hasn’t been confirmed for the U.S. market yet.
The automaker confirmed that the Ranger Raptor will be available in overseas markets such as South Africa, Australia and Asia Pacific as early as 2018. Ford also showed off the pickup truck’s abilities in a high-octane video.
The truck will adopt the “Raptor” moniker that has been used by the full-size F-150 Raptor.
“Combining the Raptor’s advanced off-road capabilities with the versatility of the Ranger is a significant accomplishment for Ford’s world-class engineering and design teams,” Jamal Hameedi, global performance vehicle chief engineer at Ford, said in a statement.
Hameedi previously oversaw development of the 2017 F-150 Raptor. Before that, he led the team that created the Ford GT supercar.
The Ranger Raptor will follow in the footsteps of the F-150 Raptor and GT with both eyes locked on performance.
Recent spy shots have shown that Ford is deep into development of the Ranger Raptor. The new truck will feature enlarged fenders, an increased ride height and aggressive BF Goodrich off-road tires.
It is expected to use the same 10-speed transmission in the F-150 Raptor, which could be mated to a variety of engines. Ford could decide to call upon the 2.7-liter EcoBoost V6 engine in the F-150, or a version of the 3.5-liter EcoBoost V6 in the F-150 Raptor.
Ford has also been testing the truck in the U.S. with a diesel engine, possibly the 3.2-liter five-cylinder Puma engine in the Ford Transit van and other global Ranger models.
Previously, the automaker has carefully disguised the underside and suspension of the upcoming truck during testing. But the videos posted to YouTube do not use any camouflage, and confirm the Ranger Raptor will have sporty suspension components similar to those on the F-150 Raptor.
The Ranger Raptor aggressively tackles Australian terrain in the video, which is sure to excite U.S. buyers who are eager to learn whether the truck will reach local dealerships.
Ford will begin production of the Ranger for the U.S. market in late 2018, as a 2019 model. But few other details have been released. That includes whether the Ranger Raptor can be expected to arrive in North America.