We’re now drawing rather close to the unveil of the new high-performance Ford Ranger Raptor. With the sheets due to be pulled in 2018, which could mean as early as January, there’s understandably a lot of anticipation surrounding the hardcore ute - not least because its largely an Aussie-developed, Aussie-tested product.
However, despite being exposed to some choice photographs and video footage of the prototype undergoing some off-road trials, the world remains largely in the dark about it. A lot of us are hoping for it to be - in specification and spirit - the smaller sibling to the F-150 Raptor.
With that in mind, these renderings from the Ranger5G forums look right on the money, displaying both the mechanical and cosmetic upgrades over the Ranger XLT and/or Wildtrack to emulate the F-150 Raptor while still bearing a strong resemblance to the truck’s Ranger genealogy.
Some key differences observable here, and corroborated by facts (the few we have) released by Ford, are the raised suspension, more aggressive body treatment, off-road tyres, and blacked-out 12-spoke wheels. These are paired with the more established ‘Raptor’ cues such as the dark grille, pronounced front skid plate, and air intakes integrated with the bonnet.
While the oily bits of the Ranger Raptor remain a mystery, it’s been suggested that it will be powered not by an EcoBoost petrol like the OG Raptor, but rather a twin-turbo 2.0-litre diesel from Ford’s new EcoBlue range and paired to a 10-speed automatic transmission - the same unit co-developed with General Motors and to also be used in the 2018 Mustang.
Power and torque figures are even murkier at this point, but seeing as how the current Ranger Wildtrak produces 147kW and 470Nm, we expect the Ranger Raptor to volley around 180- to 220kW while peak torque hovering around 500Nm. As such, the flagship ute is also expected to be a nice little demonstration of the flexibility and power potential in Ford’s new Euro6-compliant diesel engine range, especially given its relatively low displacement.