This is not the first time we’ve caught a Ford Ranger Raptor testing in Colorado, but this could be different.
In the past, we have seen several right-hand drive Ford Ranger Raptors cruising U.S. highways. In most cases, they are the baby Raptors built for the overseas’ markets. There is one huge difference between this truck and all of the pother ones we’ve seen – this one wasn’t disguised at all.
No coverings, wraps or stickers to hide this truck. Sure, it was still a right-hand drive vehicle, and it had Euro-spec taillights (which are clear), but it was still a test vehicle – which is interesting. This Ranger Raptor had Michigan manufacturer plates and is following the same testing routs other Ford test-mules have.
There are a few possibilities here:
- Ford Australia could be testing out a new powerplant. Even overseas’ automakers test here.
- Someone at Ford is having a laugh by throwing people off the scent.
- The engineers at Ford may be testing the 2.7-liter V6 EcoBoost for other markets.
- There could be something we’re not seeing under the skin: like a suspension, electronic or emission test.
- A Ford executive from Australia loves his Ranger Raptor so much, he spent gobs of dough to bring it here for a year on holiday.
- Ford is considering the Ranger Raptor to comingle with the Bronco lineup as the most capable mid-size truck on our shores. As such, they are performing basic tests in this region with the original. After testing, they could move to the slightly different North American platform.
All of these and other scenarios are possible. Now, before you rage and respond with, “what if it’s nothing?” We have this thought for you… why do it then? Seriously, it costs a fortune to ship vehicles across the sea. It’s expensive to hire someone to drive the vehicle, get it licensed (as a special “test” vehicle – which is required) and insured. Why go through all of that if you’re not up to something?
It will be interesting to see Ford’s next move. We know they don’t want to take too much of the spotlight away from the Bronco. At the same time, they know the Ranger’s sales are growing – it would be silly to not promote and upgrade a good seller. If we’re super lucky, we may see a robust Raptor-like platform underpin the Ranger with (possibly) some Bronco components. All of that combined with the tech from the Australian Ford Ranger Raptor – they could build something epic.