While the North American market won't be treated to the off-road-oriented Ranger Raptor, we may get the next-generation model.
In a Thursday report, Road & Track dug into social media profiles of Ford engineers and found that the next-generation Ranger is under development and will likely include a Ranger Raptor for the North American market.
As a refresher, the Ranger that Ford introduced for America in Detroit last year has been on sale globally since 2011, and the next-generation model is tipped for launch next decade, perhaps 2022.
Ford has gone on the record to say the current Ranger Raptor was not designed for the U.S. market and dashed all hopes of an American launch in October. Specifically, Hermann Salenbauch, vehicle line director at Ford Performance, said tweaking the model to meet U.S. regulations is too costly.
2019 Ford Ranger Raptor
Enter project P703, the codename for the next-generation Ford Ranger. A social media profile for an unnamed engineer shows he or she is currently working on the P703 project, but a project description says this individual is working on the Ranger Raptor and it is for the North American market. This same individual worked on the Ranger Raptor introduced for the global market. Additional social media profiles from unnamed engineers claim the next Ranger Raptor is referred to as "Project Redback," the same name used for the global Ranger Raptor when it was baking inside the halls of Ford.
The links are loose, but they provide the first ounce of evidence the next Ranger Raptor will be developed for the global market and the U.S. We'll likely see the off-road pickup sport an EcoBoost engine rather than the turbo-diesel engine Ford plops under the hood around the world. Other specific details aren't available just yet, but 2022 isn't far off.
One final note: the next Ranger and Bronco are expected to share a chassis and many design cues. If the next-generation Ranger does spawn a Raptor model for the U.S, its relationship with the Bronco could indicate a Bronco Raptor is in the pipeline, too. That's something we'd like to see.