We’ve been spotting the Raptor stateside more often lately.
We have another set of photos showing the new Ford Ranger Raptor testing in the U.S. Branden Buxman, who owns an AEV-converted Ram 2500 Prospector which he shared on Instagram (@borntoseekadevnture), spotted this particular Ranger Raptor on I-94 just east of Romulus, Michigan. This one is wearing no camouflage, which is a bit unusual, but the best part comes when he made it around to the front.
When the Ford Ranger Raptor was first revealed, we were led to believe it would not be coming to the U.S. Then a Road & Track report suggested the U.S. would get the next-generation Ranger Raptor in 2022. However, here we are in 2019. This is a Ford Ranger Raptor — there’s no doubting it, with the decals, massive fender flares, and chunky off-road tires. The steering wheel is on the left-hand side, and it’s on manufacturer plates.
Seeing it in Michigan suggests we may end up getting the Ford Ranger Raptor sooner than we originally thought. We always thought it was strange that Ford said it wouldn’t come to the U.S., although Ford still has not confirmed it will just yet. It could just be a coincidence, as manufacturers are known to test European and Asian-spec vehicles here in America.
Right now, our best option for a dirt-worthy Ford Ranger is the FX4 off-road package, and to beef them up with the available range of aftermarket parts. It makes total sense for Ford to bring this truck to our market, which would explain this example just running about in suburban Detroit. Ford does not comment on future products, however, so we will have to wait and see whether they actually confirm it.
One thing I can say with relative certainly is that we won’t get the Ranger Raptor’s 2.0-liter turbodiesel engine if the truck does come to the U.S. It’s in no other Ford model here, and I doubt Ford would go through the trouble of certifying its emissions on a lower-volume truck. Instead, it’s more likely we’ll see a gasoline powertrain instead.
Rather than the 2.3-liter EcoBoost that comes in the standard Ranger, Ford may slot its beefier 2.7-liter EcoBoost V6 into a Ranger Raptor. That engine currently makes its appearance in the Ford F-150, where it produces 325 horsepower and 400 lb-ft of torque. Even if Ford decides to detune the engine, it would be a huge step up from the 270 horsepower we get in four-banger.
Pulling a 180?
Again, this may just be a test truck for another market, and we may not see a Ford Ranger Raptor until the next-generation truck emerges. However, Ford could be eyeing the Jeep Gladiator, Chevrolet Colorado ZR2 Bison and Toyota Tacoma TRD Pro. If they want to get in on that action, a Ford Ranger Raptor would give them a run for their money.
What do you think? Let us know in the comments below! Stay tuned to TFLtruck.com for more news, views and real-world reviews.