The 2019 Ranger marks Ford’s return to the midsize pickup truck segment in the United States, but the range’s most desirable model probably won’t be coming Stateside.
Yes, we’re talking about the Ranger Raptor, a diesel-powered version that’s already on sale in markets such as Australia, Southeast Asia and Europe. Officially, Ford says it would be too costly to make the Ranger Raptor comply with U.S. regulations, as the performance variant is based on the international version of the Ranger.
However, patent images surfaced earlier this year in the United States, pointing at an eventual launch in Ford’s home market. Unofficially, rumor has it Ford is afraid the Ranger Raptor would steal sales from the larger, more profitable F-150 Raptor. So, is the Ranger Raptor really that good?
As it turns out, it is. Autoblog went to Australia to drive the 2019 Ford Ranger Raptor and find out whether U.S. customers should feel sorry about it not coming to America. Well, they should because the performance truck is mighty impressive off-road.
Chances are you’ll reach secluded places more easily in the Ranger Raptor than in the F-150 Raptor, given the former model’s smaller footprint. Factor in the Fox shock absorbers, rear coil-over setup with Watts linkage, Terrain Management System, as well as the impressive ground clearance and off-roading angles, and it’s hard to imagine a scenario where the Ranger Raptor would get stuck.
Not everything about it is perfect, obviously. The reviewer points out that the 2.0-liter four-cylinder bi-turbo diesel engine lacks a bit in the power department. True, 210 hp (213 PS) and 369 lb-ft (500 Nm) of torque don’t sound that bad, but the 2019 Ranger Raptor is a heavy vehicle and needs to be floored at highway speeds when the need of overtaking arises.