Cross your fingers and take a huge grain of salt because a rumor from Australia's Cars Guide suggests that the Ford division there is working on a Ranger Raptor R with a V8 under the hood. A pair of execs at the automaker seems to be pushing the company to build the performance pickup.
"There is a lot of that Bronco DR that is standard Bronco, and the underpinning of the standard Bronco and the underpinnings of the Ranger we’re just in the process of releasing is the same architecture," Trevor Worthington, Ford's vice president of global operations and programs, told Cars Guide.
Gallery: Ford Ranger Raptor Unofficial Renderings
Ford Performance Motorsports Global Director Mark Rushbrook at least hinted at the possibility of a Ranger Raptor R, too. "There would be a lot that would transfer" between the Bronco DR and the Ranger platform, he indicated.
"But at the end of the day, it’s got to be sensible and work for the business. I’d love to think we could do something like that. No plans at the moment, but we want to work on it," Rushbrook told Cars Guide.
The Bronco DR is the competition-only version of the SUV that's for customers who intend to go racing off-road. Power comes from a 5.0-liter V8 making at least 400 horsepower (298 kilowatts). The power runs through a 10-speed automatic. The suspension includes Muiltimatic's DSSV Dampers with 80-millimeter bodies and billet aluminum lower control arms.
Ford plans to build an initial run of 50 examples of the Bronco DR, and availability begins in late 2022. Pricing is in the mid-$200,000 range.
Assuming this rumored Ranger R actually happens, it immediately raises the question of whether Ford would offer the pickup in the United States. While there's almost certainly a market for another performance pickup from the brand, the decision-makers might worry about this model stealing sales from the F-150 Raptor.
The standard Ranger Raptor (rendering above) debuts in February 2022. Rumors suggest it uses a twin-turbo V6. This could be the 330-horsepower (246-kilowatt) 2.7-liter unit from the Bronco or the 400-hp (298-kW) 3.0-liter mill from the Explorer ST. All signs point to the performance pickup being available in America, unlike the previous iteration.