By on April 10, 2018

Image: Brian Williams/SpiedBilde

The resurrected Ford Ranger hasn’t yet sold a single unit in the United States, but for one class of truck customer, what we saw unveiled in Detroit in January lacked the necessary cohones. As such, they’re holding out for word on a midsize pickup with the brawn and, um, width of the F-150 Raptor.

It must make these customers boil with frustration to see the likes of Australia and Southeast Asia getting all the Ford Ranger Raptor action, with nary a word spoken from the Blue Oval about the variant’s future, or lack thereof, in the United States. Maybe these photos, taken in a Michigan where winter won’t let up, will stoke those fires of hope.

Don’t let the right-hand drive throw you. There’s two reasons why this appearance is worthy of excitement.

For one, the Raptor seen plying the streets of the Mitten sported a graphics package not seen elsewhere. Another ray of hope comes from the fact this Raptor didn’t emit the tell-tale clatter of a diesel engine.

Overseas, the Ranger Raptor comes with a standard 2.0-liter turbodiesel. The U.S.-market Ranger uses a 2.3-liter EcoBoost four-cylinder for motivation, but most feel a larger EcoBoost gas motor, the 2.7-liter especially, would offer suitable performance for traversing arid landscapes at blistering speed. The overseas model tames the oil-burner’s 369 lb-ft of torque with a 10-speed automatic.

Image: Brian Williams/SpiedBilde

Should the model find its way to these shores, expect the same widened track, upgraded suspension, and terrain management system as its overseas sibling.

It’s simply unthinkable that Ford wouldn’t offer the Ranger Raptor in the U.S., given the company’s desire to dominate the domestic truck market. We choose to believe Ford’s keeping its powder dry until the next auto show circuit.

Image: Brian Williams/SpiedBilde

Image: Brian Williams/SpiedBilde

[Images: Brian Williams/SpiedBilde]

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45 Comments on “Spied: Ford Ranger Raptor Appears in Snowy Michigan, Thaws Frozen Hopes...”


  • avatar
    Oberkanone

    As unthinkable as not offering the Ranger? Ford demonstrated it’s willingness to abandon the midsize segment from 2012 to 2018.

    • 0 avatar
      Lou_BC

      Ford killed the Ranger when all of the trends indicated a dying small truck market. I believe the reason that market was dying was due to a lack of new offerings. The Colorado/Canyon twins and Tacoma have done well.

    • 0 avatar
      JohnTaurus

      Ford never had a midsize truck in the U.S. until the new Ranger. The old Ranger was a compact, a segment in steep decline at the time with the old Ranger as the only holdout at the time.

      • 0 avatar
        Lou_BC

        @JohnTaurus – IIRC,advertising from the early 80’s, the Ranger was advertised as mid-sized. I owned a new ’84.

        • 0 avatar
          DenverMike

          @Vulpine – S10s and Rangers weren’t really much bigger than their “import” competition. They had the wider/thicker doors, which meant slightly wider bodies. That gave buyers a feeling of quality and safety, vs the chintzy feel you got from the paper-thin doors of import brands.

          Although the S10, Ranger and also the Dakota, didn’t use huge fender-extenders for their 4X4s. Their wider bodies compensated for that.

          Old vs. new, you’re comparing apples to oranges. Check the actually size/girth/track of extended cab 4X4 “compact” pickups vs new.

          • 0 avatar
            Scoutdude

            The Ranger and S-10 were both marketed as “mid-size” trucks when they were introduced. No they weren’t much bigger than what the Japanese trucks on sale at the same time, but that doesn’t mean much to the marketing dept. Compared to the early Datsun, the first less than full size truck to gain a foothold they were significantly larger.

          • 0 avatar
            Vulpine

            “Compared to the early Datsun, the first less than full size truck to gain a foothold they were significantly larger.”

            — Truth.

      • 0 avatar
        Vulpine

        What you are calling compact, John, has always been called mid-sized UNTIL the new, larger, models came along. The new so-called mid-sizers are actually 9/10 of full sized and on average stand as tall and within one hand width or so of full sized on width and length when comparing body styles (regular, extended, crew, long- and short beds.)

        Those older Rangers, S-10, Dakotas were called mid-sized because they were notably larger than the imported compacts yet still notably smaller than full sized; the difference in size was more like 25%, not 10%. And even then, they’d grown too large for some users who actually preferred the so-called mini trucks (and still do.) Oh, yes, the Courier and LUV were quite small, even compared to the 1997 Ranger I’m driving. Those truly compact trucks were driven out of the American market, replaced by the Ranger, S-10 and Dakota. Even the Toyota and Nissan offerings were up-scaled with brand-new models, making them the sole ‘survivors’ of those early days. Whether you agree or not, the ’80s through ’00s trucks were truly mid-sized. They’re just compact compared to today’s Road Whales™.

    • 0 avatar
      Big Al from Oz

      Oberkanone,
      The reason cited by Ford for dropping the old Ranger and not introducing the new T6 variant was the expensive gamble they made with the aluminium wunder trux, the F Series.

      Ford even stated that Ranger buyers would opt for little Ford cars as an alternative.

      • 0 avatar
        DenverMike

        “The reason cited by Ford…”

        @BAFO – Got links? That “quote” makes no sense (that Ford would state that).

        Except I agree basic compact/midsize pickups have always been an alternative to smaller cars. When they price midsize trucks too high, kill the regular cab or kill the pickups altogether, yeah buyers go for the (default) smaller car instead.

        A good percentage of displaced Ranger buyers bought another Ford instead, guessing 2 or 3 out of 5.

      • 0 avatar
        dukeisduke

        They also sold the Transit Connect as an alternative to the Ranger (for commercial use, anyway).

  • avatar
    Vulpine

    Even if I do buy a new Ford Ranger to replace my older one, it won’t be a Raptor. Overpriced By FAR for what you really get. I’ll probably do quite well with an XLT 4×4.(After I notch a few thousand off the hood.)

    • 0 avatar
      Lou_BC

      @Vulpine – If the Colorado is any indication, the pricing for the performance upgrade isn’t that bad. What jacks the price is bundling the Raptor/ZR2 package only with a high end model. The only reason I would not get a Ranger Raptor or Colorado ZR2 is the decreased payload and very short box. I am definitely looking at a crewcab diesel Colorado as my next truck but I’m leaning towards a Z71 package in deep forest green.

      • 0 avatar
        Vulpine

        For me, NOT diesel, NOT crew cab and NOT top- or even high-end trims. There are certain things I want and need and I’ll go for the lowest trim package that gives me those things. If necessary, I’ll then go to a skin shop to do the rest.

    • 0 avatar
      brn

      Has pricing been released?

    • 0 avatar
      JohnTaurus

      Yes, the price listed is so high. Oh, wait. We don’t know what it is, buy we KNOW its too much for what you get.

      • 0 avatar
        Vulpine

        All I have to do, John, to say their prices are too high, is look at the average price of the Colorado/Canyon and the Toyota Tacoma. For the body style and trim package I want, they’re priced no less than $5K above what I’m willing to pay and closer to $10K. Part of that is due to the way they price in the options packages. For what I’m looking for, I shouldn’t need to pay over $37K; I haven’t paid that much for ANY previous vehicle, even when they were relative luxury models.

    • 0 avatar
      Big Al from Oz

      Vulpine,
      I would not buy a Raptor Ranger as well, not for the price here in Australia. $76k! AUD or over $53k USD! Ford has great hopes in ripping Australia ute people off.

  • avatar
    FreedMike

    Hopes of what…another pickup truck that costs the same as a Corvette?

    Not what I hope for.

  • avatar
    Jeff S

    I could see where a diesel crew cab Colorado would work for you Lou. You have better fuel economy and still have the capacity of a truck with 4 wheel drive. I believe the crew cab Colorado offers 2 bed sizes. The Forest Green looks sharp. I believe Ford will eventually bring a Ranger Raptor to the US and Canada but it will first release the regular Ranger.

  • avatar
    gtem

    Do you think they could make those bedsides any higher?

  • avatar
    brn

    The Raptor Ranger is neat and all, but I’m more interested on the configuration and pricing of a non-Raptor Ranger. Any news there?

  • avatar
    fiasco

    Call me when there’s a brown diesel stick-shift long-bed 4×4 on 16″ steelies.

  • avatar
    JohnTaurus

    Not small enough, not big enough, too slow, too powerful, too expensive, too cheap/unrefined, not basic enough, too basic, not sporty enough, too sporty and its from a domestic automaker.

    Its done for.

  • avatar
    VW4motion

    Should be a great test ZR2 vs, Raptor Ranger.

  • avatar
    CombiCoupe99

    Are they making this without the wimpy baby-bed?

  • avatar
    EBFlex

    Hopefully the frame will be a bit stronger on this version of Fords speed bump slayer.

  • avatar
    Big Al from Oz

    Or …………….. since a huge uproar in Australia over a 2 litre diesel in a performance vehicle might have caused Ford to rethink it’s global offerings.

    Now, a 3.5 EcoThirst in a Ranger would make it faster than a 2 litre diesel.

  • avatar
    dividebytube

    That’s a nice looking (mid-size) truck – like it better than the GMC/Chevy and Toyota offerings. Yeah the bed it too high and it is a little slab-sided, but, with a longer bed, I would rock it.

  • avatar
    MBdabest

    This should be an awesome truck.


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