Ford Australia is poised to unveil a mystery hardcore Ranger Raptor variant, with the brand teasing the new model ahead of the covers coming off tomorrow.
The new model is shrouded in mystery (and in darkness in the teaser image above), but it at least appears to be a truly hardcore off-road racing variant of the brand’s already very-tough truck, with the image seemingly revealing super-chunky off-road rubber as well as a new light bar that runs atop the bed.
The Facebook posts teasing the truck are co-tagged Ford Australia and Ford Performance (the latter overseeing both Ford’s hi-po products and the brand’s racing activities) adding weight to the idea that an off-road racing variant is on the way.
If it is a Baja-ready Ranger, then the model would be Ford’s answer to the Toyota HiLux Dakar – the off-road-racing HiLux that the Japanese giant unleashes on the Dakar series.
What’s interesting here is what could be powering this new Ranger Raptor variant. It certainly sounds angry enough in the teaser trailer, and we know that it doesn’t have to borrow from the existing Ford Ranger engine lineup.
Toyota’s Dakar entry, for example, does away with the HiLux’s 2.8-litre turbo-diesel and replaces it with the thumping 3.5-litre twin-turbo V6 from the LandCruiser GR Sport, delivering a whopping 298kW of power and 660Nm of torque.
Ford, though, already has the wood on the HiLux in the power department – and, even more impressive, already almost matches the Dakar version – with its 3.0-litre twin-turbo V6 petrol engine already producing 292kW and 585Nm, suggesting a tune, rather than an engine swap, might be on the table.
But speculation is just that, and all will be revealed tomorrow, with Ford pulling the covers off the mystery Ranger Raptor tomorrow morning, Australia time.
For now, watch this space.