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Five things we can expect from the Ford Ranger Raptor

The Ford Ranger Raptor is coming next year but Ford is keeping the lid shut on any details… Here are our five best guesses.

FORD AUSTRALIA LET the cat out of the bag when it confirmed the Ford Ranger would be coming in Raptor guise next year, and has no doubt whet the appetite of punters who may have been on the fence about jumping into the more powerful Volkswagen Amarok V6 or waiting to see what the Mercedes-Benz X-Class brings.

To get a clearer picture on what’s possible we’ve had a look at the teaser images, combed through the Ford F-150 Raptor’s spec list and dissected the spy shots to figure out what we think the upcoming Ford Ranger Raptor might look like and what it will get.

The meanest looking Ranger yet

Ford tells us the exterior of the Ford Ranger Raptor “sports a head-turning exterior look that exudes toughness as well as a level of capability and off-road performance never before seen in the mid-size pickup truck segment”, and so it should take some design cues from the F-Truck version with its large Ford grill, kick plates and Raptor insignia. We’ve designed our idea of what we think the Ranger Raptor will look like.

We also know from the camo-clad teaser images that the test mule sports the same black 17-inch cast aluminum wheels which are fitted to the F-150 Raptor with 315/70 R17 BFGoodrich All-Terrain TA KO2 tyres… Although it’s rumoured that Down Under we will get the same tyre but in thinner 285/70 profile.

Specially tuned suspension

Further tweaks under the skin are likely to include a multi-link coil-sprung rear suspension assembly which may run similar ‘Baja desert’ style Fox Racing Shox to those used in the F-150 Raptor. These will increase travel and make it possible to hit the dunes as hard as Ford does in its teaser video. It is likely the multi-link rear will accommodate rear disc brakes too.

The quickest Ranger yet

Speculation is running wild as to what engine will take centre stage – some say it sounds like a petrol V6 while spy photographers reckon it sounded like a diesel – but it’s more likely we’ll get a hotter tune of the current Ranger’s popular 147kW/470Nm 3.2-litre five-cylinder turbo-diesel rather than the US sourced 336kW/690Nm 3.5-litre twin-turbo V6 which powers the F-150 Raptor. Helping it achieve a throatier soundtrack will be a sports exhaust and it is likely the 10-speed automatic transmission currently found in the US version will be fitted.

Performance off-road focus

Cementing its credibility as a true off-road sports 4×4 it’s likely the Ranger Raptor will feature the same Terrain Management System as the F-150 Raptor, where some tweaks and additional settings take advantage of its extra power and improved handling. Further to the usual drive modes found in the Ford Everest, such as mud, sand and rock, are sport and Baja mode – the later tuned specifically for high-speed desert driving… just as the first teaser video hints at. If you need confirmation of that,“Ford Ranger Raptor will offer Ranger fans a fantastic opportunity to own an authentic off-road performance version of their favorite truck for the first time,” said Trevor Worthington, vice president of product development for Ford Asia Pacific.

Raptor inside and out

Ford has hinted we should expect some changes inside the cabin that will likely go beyond the obligatory coloured stitching and badges many sports models get. The Ranger Raptor might enhance the usual cabin feel with niceties such as 8- or 10-way electric bucket seats with bespoke leather and cloth trim options, heated and ventilated seat options, and a carbon-fibre trim option.

So, what do you think the Ford Ranger Raptor should be? Let us know in the comments section below.

Alex Rae

Alex Rae