Spied: 2019 Ford Ranger FX4 in Production Clothes

Steph Willems
by Steph Willems
spied 2019 ford ranger fx4 in production clothes

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.

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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  • J D J D on Dec 12, 2017

    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.

  • SD 328I SD 328I on Dec 12, 2017

    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.

  • Wjtinfwb Over the years I've owned 3, one LH (a Concorde) a Gen 1 300 and a Gen 2 300C "John Varvatos". The Concorde was a very nice car for the time with immense room inside and decent power from the DOHC 3.5L. But quality was awful, it spent more time in the shop than the driveway. It gave way to a Gen 1 300, OK but the V6 was underwhelming in this car compared to the Concorde but did it's job. The Gen 1's letdown was the awful interior with acres of plastic, leather that did it's best imitation of vinyl and a featureless dashboard that looked lifted from a cheaper car. My last one was a '14 300C John Varvatos with the Pentastar. Great car, sufficient power and exceptional highway mileage. The interior was much better than the original as well. It was felled by a defective instrument cluster that took over 90 days to fix and was ultimately lemon law' d back to FCA. I'd love one of the 392 powered final edition 300s but understand they're already sold out and if I had an extra 60k available, would likely choose a CPO BMW 540i for comparable money.
  • Dukeisduke Thanks Cary. Folks need to make sure they buy the correct antifreeze, since there are some many OEM-specific ones out there (Dex-Cool, Ford gold, Toyota red and pink, etc.).And sorry to hear about your family situation - my wife and I have been dealing with her 88-yo mom, moving her into independent senior living, selling her house, etc. It's a lot to deal with.
  • FreedMike Always lusted after that first-gen 300 - particularly the "Heritage Edition," which had special 300 badging and a translucent plastic steering wheel (ala the '50s and '60s "letter cars").
  • Dave M. Although the effective takeover by Daimler is pooped upon, this is one they got right. I wasn't a fan of the LHs, mostly due to reported mechanical, NVH and build quality issues, but I though Chrysler hit it out of the park with the LXs. The other hyped release that year was the Ford Five Hundred, which, while a well-built car with superior interior space, couldn't hold a candle to the 300.
  • Art Vandelay I always liked those last FWD 300's. Been ages since I've seen one on the road though. Lots of time in the RWD ones as rentals. No complaints whatsoever.