Ford Ranger Raptor Debuts for Europe as North America Waits Patiently

Matt Posky
by Matt Posky

Ford hasn’t confirmed the Raptor Ranger for the United States and it has really started burning everyone’s biscuit. The same is likely true in Canada — except for Quebec, where they would assumedly prefer the croissant. However, the collective annoyance doesn’t stem from fears that the middle-weight Raptor won’t make it to North America, as there’s already too much evidence to the contrary. Everybody just wants Ford to stop playing hard-to-get and cough up the details on their new pickup.

Using the Gamescom event in Cologne, Germany as a launching platform, Ford unveiled the Euro-spec Ranger Raptor to the public on Tuesday. While we’re still a little confused by the industry’s growing fascination with debuting new models alongside car-related video games, it is of little consequence. We don’t mind hearing about how it will be in the new Forza Horizon 4 as long as we get to hear some technical details.

Unfortunately, we ended up a little disappointed there. While Ford’s mention of off-road BF Goodrich tires, upgraded front suspension with Fox Racing shock absorbers, aluminum control arms, and fresh Watt’s linkage system were handy tidbits of info, details about the engine were not.

That’s because the Euro Ranger Raptor will come with a “bi-turbo 2.0-litre” EcoBlue diesel when it goes on sale next summer. The odds of that unit coming to America are on par with you growing an extra set of hands and using them to scratch off the jackpot on a lottery ticket purchased on the same day. Alright, it’s probably more likely than that. But we would still be very surprised if showed up stateside and absolutely flabbergasted if it were the only engine option.

Like the Australian version, the diesel model produces 210 hp and 369 lb-ft of torque and sends it to all four wheels through the increasingly popular 10-speed automatic gearbox.

“Forget everything you think you know about pick-ups,” said Leo Roeks, Ford performance director for Europe, in a corporate statement. “Our new Ranger Raptor is a different breed — a thoroughbred desert racer and extreme lifestyle off-roader that can toil with the best of them in the harshest of working conditions.”

It certainly looks the part. There’s a junior version of the F-150 Raptor grille, flared fenders, skid plate, bolstered seats, magnesium paddle shifters, and new LED fog lamps with functional air-curtain ducts to complete the baja aesthetic. You can also select one of six Terrain Management modes to help you on whatever surface you’re interested in tackling. That includes everything from normal driving to low-speed rock crawls and high-speed desert blasts.

We’d imagine it’s probably quite capable in the dirt, but it’s not going to offer a blistering 0-to-60 time on pavement. The Aussie-spec Raptor Ranger takes over 10 seconds to hit highway speeds, topping out around 105 mph, and we expect the European version to be no different. Of course, that information probably irrelevant to us.

[Images: Ford Motor Co.]

Matt Posky
Matt Posky

A staunch consumer advocate tracking industry trends and regulation. Before joining TTAC, Matt spent a decade working for marketing and research firms based in NYC. Clients included several of the world’s largest automakers, global tire brands, and aftermarket part suppliers. Dissatisfied with the corporate world and resentful of having to wear suits everyday, he pivoted to writing about cars. Since then, that man has become an ardent supporter of the right-to-repair movement, been interviewed on the auto industry by national radio broadcasts, driven more rental cars than anyone ever should, participated in amateur rallying events, and received the requisite minimum training as sanctioned by the SCCA. Handy with a wrench, Matt grew up surrounded by Detroit auto workers and managed to get a pizza delivery job before he was legally eligible. He later found himself driving box trucks through Manhattan, guaranteeing future sympathy for actual truckers. He continues to conduct research pertaining to the automotive sector as an independent contractor and has since moved back to his native Michigan, closer to where the cars are born. A contrarian, Matt claims to prefer understeer — stating that front and all-wheel drive vehicles cater best to his driving style.

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4 of 29 comments
  • Akear Akear on Aug 22, 2018

    Trucks by there very nature are not luxury or sports cars. Their handling and drivability are sub par. A truck cannot turn a lick.

  • Jeff S Jeff S on Aug 22, 2018

    The driving and handling of the land yachts of the 60's and 70's were sub par and they could not turn a lick but many were sold. On an interstate a vehicle does not have to drive and handle as well but the smooth ride is what is most valued. As Vulpine has stated the body on frame luxury pick is today's replacement for the luxury land yacht of the past. Most of these luxury pickups will never go off road.

  • Charles The UAW makes me the opposite of patriotic
  • El scotto Wranglers are like good work boots, you can't make them any better. Rugged four wheel drive vehicles which ironically make great urban vehicles. Wagoneers were like handbags desired by affluent women. They've gone out of vogue. I can a Belgian company selling Jeep and Ram Trucks to a Chinese company.
  • El scotto So now would be a good time to buy an EV as a commuter car?
  • ToolGuy $1 billion / 333.3 million = $3 per U.S. person ¶ And what do I get for my 3 bucks -- cleaner air and lower fuel prices? I might be ok with this 🙂🙂
  • VoGhost Matt, I'm curious why you write that inventory levels are low at 74 days. Typically, 60 days is the benchmark for normal inventory.