Ford Ranger “Raptor” Spied Again Hiding Special Chassis Bits

2019 Ford Ranger

Ford might rule the full-size truck world in the United States, but it has a gap the size of a small pickup in its lineup. That’s about to change, as Ford announced that it is finally bringing back the Ranger, along with the super-hyped Bronco SUV, to the land of 50 states. Dearborn’s former sales monster will return to a revitalized segment to compete against new players like the Honda Ridgeline and renewed Chevrolet Colorado and GMC Canyon (not to mention an old foe, the Toyota Tacoma).

Ford already is looking one level up to the Colorado ZR2 and the Tacoma TRD Pro, special off-road versions of the aforementioned. Our spy photographers have caught a beefier Ranger test vehicle in action, and its parts paint a picture that looks awfully similar to that of a shrunken F-150 Raptor.

This is not the first time we’ve seen a Ranger prototype with these bits, but this time the photographer got so close that the engineer minding the truck actually threatened to fight him (that’s not the first time a prototype driver has gotten testy, and surely won’t be the last).

2019 Ford Ranger

As in those earlier photos, this Ranger wears thick, knobby 285/70R-17 BF Goodrich All-Terrain TA tires around blacked-out versions of the 17-inch cast aluminum wheels seen on the F-150 Raptor. It also was lifted higher, had wider fenders, sat on bigger shocks, and showed a resculpted nose. Interestingly, the underbody was covered to hide whatever Ford’s cooking up—skidplates for off-road protection? Long-travel suspension like that on the Raptor?

Although we’re expecting the Ranger to debut with an EcoBoost four-cylinder and possibly a naturally aspirated V-6, there’s also a chance the Ranger would bring a diesel into the mix. According to our photographer, this prototype had the grumble of a diesel, which would help align it with the diesel-powered Colorado. Or it could simply be an engine from and for other markets around the world.

Though we called this the Ranger “Raptor” in our headline, that name is more a placeholder until we get details about the real name; Ford could use the FX4 tag we’ve seen on some of Ford’s less-extreme off-road packages. Either way, we’re excited. This off-road Ranger will likely arrive shortly after the base car does in 2019 for the 2020 model year.

2019-Ford-Ranger-REEL

from remotecar http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/caranddriver/blog/~3/oC_YpF6N6o4/

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Ford Ranger “Raptor” Spied Again Hiding Special Chassis Bits

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