There are four big questions rattling around off-road pickup truck enthusiasts’ brains. Will the recently unveiled Ranger Raptor be sold in the United States? When will it go on sale? What engine will the truck offer in the US? What is it like to drive?
The first question is somewhat easy, and a recent report from Drive Australia confirms our thoughts. Jamal Hameedi, Ford Performance chief engineer, was quoted as saying “Raptors are a slam dunk for the US,” he told Drive. “I think it [the Ranger Raptor] would do really well in the states.” He then continued, “We haven’t said anything about availability in the US.” Specialty off-road trucks could not be more popular in the United States as evidenced by every major manufacturer coming out with their own off-road packages.
The timing of the Ranger Raptor’s arrival on North American shores is simply unknown. Ford is launching the regular Ranger lineup in the United States in early 2019. If a Ranger Raptor was indeed heading to the US – it likely will not get here before 2020.
Will the US-spec offer the 2.0L bi-turbo diesel engine that was just unveiled? The answer to this is a nearly definitive – no. Jamal said “I think most American off-roaders would actually prefer a petrol gas engine, but a diesel is the absolute way to go for the rest of the world.” Will we prefer a gas engine over a diesel? It’s not that clear cut, but the US emissions regulations will likely prevent Ford from certifying a turbo-diesel in the US. It would be much less expensive to offer a small twin-turbo V6 under the hood. Hopefully, the 2.7L EcoBoost V6 fits fine under there.
How does it drive? In a separate Drive report, Jamal commented that Ford spent the research and development dollars on the suspension and shocks development. The engine itself was not the focal point of the truck. Jamal said, “The Raptor is about the suspension, about the chassis and it’s about breaking the bank on the chassis, the suspension and the architecture. Literally, those four shocks costs as much as the whole engine.” The truck must have a smooth ride, but we will have to wait to find out.
Here are all of the specs we know so far about the Ford Ranger Raptor with the bi-turbo diesel engine.