Just months after the new Ford Ranger arrived on dealer lots, Ford Motor Co. is already testing a high-performance version of the future truck that will replace it.
Photographers found the Ranger Raptor, expected to arrive as a 2022 model on the next-generation Ranger platform, testing on public roads in Detroit this week.
Though it wears bodywork similar to the current truck’s, the vehicle appears to be a future model based on the camouflaged interior and rear suspension. It also gave off exhaust noise from a gasoline-powered V6, not the turbodiesel powertrain used by current Ranger Raptors available in global markets.
Ford fans have sought a Raptor version of the Ranger since the midsize pickup debuted at the Detroit auto show in 2018. They envision a rugged and powerful truck in the vein of the full-size F-150 Raptor.
The prototype’s dual exhausts peg it as a Raptor version. (Photo: Brian Williams/Trucks.com)
The Ranger Raptor spotted in Detroit seems to fit the mold. It features dual exhaust, oversized fenders and meaty BF Goodrich all-terrain tires for chewing up sand, mud and dirt.
Those changes would take the Ranger Raptor a step above the Ranger FX4, currently the most off-road- capable Ranger available. The Ranger FX4 has single exhaust, smaller fenders and Hankook Dynapro all-terrain tires.
The Ranger Raptor could also get important upgrades under the hood. All current Rangers come with a 2.3-liter EcoBoost four-cylinder engine making 270 horsepower and 310 pound-feet of torque.
One possible engine for the Raptor Raptor could be a version of Ford’s 2.7-liter EcoBoost V6. Currently available in the larger F-150, the V6 makes 325 horsepower and 375 pound-feet of torque.
The prototype also has similar front styling to the upcoming Bronco SUV that is in testing as well. The two vehicles could share similar underpinnings.
The prototype 2022 Ford Ranger Raptor was spied on the streets of Detroit. (All photos: Brian Williams/Trucks.com)
The return of the Ford Ranger coincides with rapid growth in the midsize truck market. Through the first three months of 2019 sales in the segment reached 135,338 units, a 13.1-percent increase compared with the 119,681 sold during the same period last year.
At the top of the spectrum, automakers are increasingly rolling out new off-road versions of their trucks. Toyota has the Tacoma TRD Pro, Chevrolet has the ZR2 Bison and Jeep has the Gladiator Rubicon. The Ranger Raptor will have to contend with all three for enthusiast sales.