Good things are coming to Australia and the entire Asia-Pacific for hardcore pickup trucks enthusiasts if the recent announcement by Ford Motors is anything to go by. I am referring to the recent announcement by the automaker that Ford Australia will build an off-road Raptor variant of the Ford Ranger pickup truck. To back this announcement, Ford Australia proceeded to upload a video showing a camouflaged testing mule of the ute doing test runs in the Australian desert. If you have seen the video, you will agree with me that the scenes are just breathtaking for lack of a better word to describe how the testing mule hits those jumps and shoots through the desert terrain with ease. According to Ford, the Ranger Raptor is designed to deliver a high performance backed by an aggressive visual identity. However, the automaker has not disclosed any more details about the 2018 Ford Ranger Raptor apart from confirming its presence and showing the video I just talked about.
2018 Ford Ranger Raptor Exterior and interior
As said above, Ford has not released any more information about the model except confirming that the pickup truck will be released in Australia and the rest of Asia-Pacific markets next year. During the announcement, Ford said the model will have a hardcore stance, meaning it will be more or less inspired by the current off-road racing pickup trucks in the U.S.A. As such, expect a customized exterior with a high dose of aggressiveness. According to Ford, the new pickup truck will take performance levels in the mid-size pickup trucks in Asia-Pacific to a new level.
According to the released images and videos, the 2018 Ford Ranger Raptor will feature customized wheels wrapped in thick tires as well as a heavy-duty suspension setup to enhance the pickup truck’s off-road capabilities. Considering the model will spend most of its time navigating sand dunes and other rough objects in the desert, it will certainly have an underbody protection.
Rumor has it that Ford may also hook up the Ford Ranger Raptor with a coil-sprung rear suspension derived from the Everest SUV to improve the ute’s handling on both on- and off-road terrains.
Engine and performance
Since Ford has not given any details about the engine that will power the Ranger Raptor, we are left with no option but to speculate. Most rumors allege that the 2018 Ford Ranger Raptor will have a turbocharged EcoBoost mill like the bigger F-150. As for displacement, the unit is likely to be a 2.0 L, inline-4 rather than the 3.5 L, V-6, but Ford could also decide to use the 2.7 L, EcoBoost V6; this mill is however yet to be used on a performance-oriented vehicle. We will update you with more accurate information when the automaker makes it available.
Price and release date
Appetite for performance-oriented vehicles is increasing in Australia and Ford will surely reap big from this market when the model makes its on-sale debut. Pricing details will be released closer to its on-sale debut.
Ford is set to deliver the 2018 Ford Ranger Raptor to Australia and Asia-Pacific markets sometimes in 2018. It is not clear if the model will make it to the U.S. but I bet enthusiasts would greatly appreciate a mid-size performance-oriented pickup truck that promises an “adrenaline-pumping” experience (the American market craving for anything pickup is unrivaled). If it will come to the states, the earliest possible time is 2019, the year Ford plans to bring back the Ranger to the U.S.