By on December 11, 2017

2019 Ford Ranger FX4

We’ve told you already that Ford isn’t letting off-road-focused variants of the Toyota Tacoma and Chevrolet Colorado have all the fun when the midsized Ranger comes to market next year. The long-awaited pickup, Americanized for its 2019 model-year debut, will arrive with a brawnier FX4 model in tow.

Thanks to these spy shots, we can now take a look at a Ranger FX4 that’s not a test mule. 

Obvious from the outset is the camo-clad Ranger’s increased ride height and longer suspension travel. While most buyers will never find themselves blasting through a dry wash in the desert Southwest, the beefier suspension and model-specific styling cues found on the FX4 will surely appeal to those looking for extra visual aggression in a vehicle they’ll probably only ever crawl slowly over a ditch in.

2019 Ford Ranger FX4

Besides stronger legs, FX4 models stand to gain underbody skid plates, model-specific wheels, and chunkier tires. Bet money on splashy graphics. A grille closeup shows a black eggcrate similar to that of the Explorer.

While powertrain details aren’t yet known, engine possibilities run the gamut of Ford’s larger EcoBoost line, with the 2.7-liter singled out as a distinct top-end offering. The automaker’s 10-speed automatic stands ready to tame high-torque powerplants.

You’ll recall there’s also a Ranger Raptor confirmed for the Asia-Pacific market. We don’t know yet whether the Raptor variant will join the other Rangers in the U.S., but it would be weird for it not to. It’s likely we’ll hear — and see — more at next month’s North American International Auto Show.

Scheduled to go into production at Ford’s retooled Michigan Assembly plant in the latter half of 2018, the Ranger spells the return of a once wildly popular nameplate that never faded away overseas. Ford waited until it became clear the U.S. midsize pickup segment held promise as a revenue-generator before sending the Ranger to the United States, where it will share factory space with the reborn Bronco.

Still, just how much growth is left in the midsize market remains to be seen.

[Images: © 2017 Spiedbilde/The Truth About Cars]

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32 Comments on “Spied: 2019 Ford Ranger FX4 in Production Clothes...”

  • avatar

    I see a lot of Chevy Colorado in the shape of the side windows. Distinctly Ford on the body and front clip. It should sell well.

  • avatar

    It’s just a UK Ranger, I’m not sure why anybody was expecting anything different. Check the door line on the rear door.

  • avatar

    PS. If this is what the Ranger will be, imagine the route they’re taking with the super secret new not new Bronco.

    • 0 avatar
      Adam Tonge

      Just thinking about that makes me dead on the inside.

    • 0 avatar
      Big Al from Oz

      I don’t believe the photo is any thing but a stock standars Ranger that we get. The vehicle sits like any Ranger I’ve seen.

      My BT50 is lifted with an ARB Old Man Emu suspension and it sits higher than this Ranger.

      My pick would be the 3.2 diesel in a 4×4.

  • avatar

    Looks like too many doors.

    • 0 avatar

      @Higheriq – I can’t think of any car maker who builds a regular cab small truck for USA and Canada. There are a few reasons for this. One being CAFE since footprint pushes the truck into a high mpg class and secondly but more importantly; other than bottom dollar fleets and single or elderly cheapskates, almost no one wants one.

      • 0 avatar

        No it has nothing to do with CAFE, stick a long (7′)bed on that regular cab truck and you have the same foot print as a crew cab with a 4.5′ bed.

        It is simply because they don’t sell except to bottom feeders that buy strippo trucks, that don’t do much for profits.

        • 0 avatar

          5′ and 7.5′ beds, but yes. The Colorado, Hilux and other global midsizers make three trucks on the same wheelbase, but here in NA we get only two of those, plus a LWB version.

        • 0 avatar

          @Scoutdude – about 4 years ago I read an article on a pickup site about CAFE footprint rules and how it may impact pickups. If you combine the cost of tighter mpg/emissions requirements with typical low margin regular cab trucks, pickup makers would rather not make the shorter regular cab truck.

    • 0 avatar

      Regular cab Tacomas were too good of a value and so were the rest of the reg-cab midsize pack. Nissan denied us the regular cab Frontier long before there was any talk of CAFE “footprints”. And there never was a reg cab Titan (until recently). Why, if not for lack of profitability on a marginaly profitable truck?

      Go to California (the only place known to sell more Tacomas than F-150s) and you’ll see regular cab midsizers and vintage mini truck reg cabs absolutely everywhere, and in a variety of colors besides Fleet White.

    • 0 avatar
      Big Al from Oz

      Large family cars are what pickups have become and Lou’s CAFE comment.

  • avatar

    I wonder what the Ranger will look like in a crew cab/6ft bed option. To me, the Tacoma is the only midsize truck to get the the crew cab and 6 foot bed ratio correct. The Nissan looks like a hot dog, and the GM twins look like clowns. Somehow Toyota found the right ratio between length and width. All midsize trucks look good with the short bed, but practicality dictates a 6ft minimum for me.

    Bring on the Ranger! I’ll be looking for a new truck in 2020, and am not predisposed to a full-size (nor against a unibody).

  • avatar

    Bleh, very Colorado-like with the super high bedsides and high belt line. Conversely, I think the F150 has the best greenhouse in the business right now.

    • 0 avatar

      gtem, the moment i saw the first picture i was so mad. they seem to be going for Camaro levels of visibility.

      seriously that thing is 2/3’s slab sided nastiness to 1/3 weird round windows.

      I HATE this style of modern midsizer. Give me the “out of date” Frontier in a heartbeat.

  • avatar

    If this offers the 2.7T then its acceleration is going to wreck the Tacoma and GM twins.

  • avatar
    SD 328I

    Consider that F150’s with the 2.7L have recorded 0-60 times as low as 5.7 seconds, which was sportscar territory not that long ago.

    I can only imagine what a smaller lighter Ranger will do with that same motor.

  • avatar

    It looks enormous. Since everything has to be classifiable as a truck nowadays, I’m sure this 7/8ths F150 will find its place.

    • 0 avatar

      agreed! It hardly appears to be “midsize” by any stretch of the imagination.

      • 0 avatar

        If it’s the same dimensions as the outgoing T6 Ranger, it’s very much midsize–larger than the compact Ranger, but smaller than any comparable F-150 in the past 30+ years.

        New midsize trucks appear “enormous” because of their tall hoods and bedsides. But drive them around and they’re still nimbler than full-sizers.

  • avatar

    The round wheel well openings are quite attractive – Ford definitely has the advantage over Chevy here.

  • avatar
    Pete Zaitcev

    If Ford reduced the wheelbase and put a little bit of roof on that bed, I might be interested.

  • avatar

    Still too big. Waiting, I guess, for Hyundai Santa Cruz. Anything else in the offing for a small (compact) pickup?

  • avatar
    J D

    These were traveling through Elkins, WV on 12/08/2017. Two of them. One with a trailer and small payload on trailer.

    Third vehicle following them.

  • avatar
    SD 328I

    Too big for who?

    The only auto segment still moving up is the fullsize truck market, even the mid-size market has been taking a breather like the rest of the auto industry.

    Building a larger mid-sized is probably a better idea than a smaller mid-sized.

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