The resurrected Ford Ranger hasn’t yet sold a single unit in the United States, but for one class of truck customer, what we saw unveiled in Detroit in January lacked the necessary cohones. As such, they’re holding out for word on a midsize pickup with the brawn and, um, width of the F-150 Raptor.
It must make these customers boil with frustration to see the likes of Australia and Southeast Asia getting all the Ford Ranger Raptor action, with nary a word spoken from the Blue Oval about the variant’s future, or lack thereof, in the United States. Maybe these photos, taken in a Michigan where winter won’t let up, will stoke those fires of hope.
Don’t let the right-hand drive throw you. There’s two reasons why this appearance is worthy of excitement.
For one, the Raptor seen plying the streets of the Mitten sported a graphics package not seen elsewhere. Another ray of hope comes from the fact this Raptor didn’t emit the tell-tale clatter of a diesel engine.
Overseas, the Ranger Raptor comes with a standard 2.0-liter turbodiesel. The U.S.-market Ranger uses a 2.3-liter EcoBoost four-cylinder for motivation, but most feel a larger EcoBoost gas motor, the 2.7-liter especially, would offer suitable performance for traversing arid landscapes at blistering speed. The overseas model tames the oil-burner’s 369 lb-ft of torque with a 10-speed automatic.
Should the model find its way to these shores, expect the same widened track, upgraded suspension, and terrain management system as its overseas sibling.
It’s simply unthinkable that Ford wouldn’t offer the Ranger Raptor in the U.S., given the company’s desire to dominate the domestic truck market. We choose to believe Ford’s keeping its powder dry until the next auto show circuit.
[Images: Brian Williams/SpiedBilde]