Aussie Ford Ranger Raptor with a High-Output Diesel Engine to Debut in 2018
Reportedly will be unveiled in Thailand on February 7
This past summer, Ford confirmed the existence of a hardcore Ranger Raptor off-road truck for Australia. Now, the automaker has reportedly announced the variant will debut in Bangkok, Thailand, on February 7, 2018.
The news comes from Australia's Motoring, which also says the truck will be powered by a new 2.0-liter turbodiesel four-cylinder—not the 2.7-liter EcoBoost V-6 many had previously speculated. Still, the new powerplant is expected to deliver better performance than the 3.2-liter turbodiesel I-5 in the standard Australian-market Ranger.
That unit produces 197 hp and 347 lb-ft of torque. Motoring also suggests the Ranger Raptor will get the 10-speed automatic transmission co-developed by Ford and GM as standard, just like the F-150 Raptor we get here. A low-range transfer case is also expected.
Normally, we'd be extremely jealous that a piece of forbidden fruit is about to debut for a market other than our own. But the Ford Ranger is returning to the U.S. in 2019, which gives us hope that we'll get something like the Ranger Raptor eventually.
A 2019 launch means we should see the U.S.-spec Ranger, which will continue to ride on Ford's body-on-frame T6 global pickup truck platform, very soon. A year after the Ranger's reintroduction, we'll get a Ford Bronco SUV based on the same underpinnings. The global Ranger is currently produced in Thailand, South Africa, Argentina, and Nigeria, but the truck will also be built at the Michigan Assembly Plant in Wayne, Michigan, alongside the Bronco.
Motoring reports the Ranger Raptor will receive a version of the Ford Everest SUV's multi-link rear suspension with coil springs, in addition to a much wider track and higher ground clearance. The truck will also get 17-inch alloy wheels wrapped in 285/70R17 BFGoodrich A/T tires.
We've reached out to Ford to confirm the Ranger Raptor's debut date, but have yet to hear back.
Ford Ranger Wildtrak pictured below.