The Ford Ranger Raptor has the potential to be the first true high-performance full-size ute offered in Australia.
Ford Australia is keeping its mouth tightly shut on any specifics at this stage, but judging by the teaser video it has produced it’s almost certain the car will receive wider, more aggressive bodywork, uprated heavy-duty suspension and larger brakes.
The big question, however, is what will reside under the bonnet. Again, it’s important to state this is purely unconfirmed speculation at this point, but a reliable source has told MOTOR three engines were at least considered during Raptor Ranger development.
First and most obvious is an uprated version of the current Ranger’s current 147kW/470Nm 3.2-litre five-cylinder turbo-diesel. We’d expect something in the vicinity of the Tickford-tuned Ford Ranger’s 169kW/564Nm from this approach.
Option two is reportedly the 2.7-litre twin-turbo V6 which can be found in the Ford Fusion V6 Sport and produces 242kW/515Nm. Last but certainly not least, MOTOR is informed the 257kW/440Nm 2.3-litre four-cylinder from the Focus RS was also trialled; an intriguing if slightly unusual prospect.
As mentioned, unsurprisingly Ford refuses to comment on this speculation, however the first two certainly make sense and while the power and torque outputs may alter, at this early stage we wouldn’t be at all surprised to see these two engines make production.
The bad news for Aussie enthusiasts is that we’d be extremely surprised if the petrol engine was made available here. The Ford Ranger is returning to the diesel-averse United States for the 2019 model year and a 2.7-litre twin-turbo V6 Ranger Raptor would be the perfect little brother for the 336kW/690Nm 3.5-litre twin-turbo V6 F150 Raptor.
Locally, diesel variants dominate ute sales so it’s likely we’ll be left with an oil-burner; practical, but not particularly exciting. We’ll know for sure later this year when Ford Australia confirms more details.
Personally, we’d go for the Miami 5.0-litre supercharged V8, or perhaps a custom V12 built from two Barra sixes mated to a common crankshaft?