While Ford hasn’t officially confirmed anything, we do believe pretty strongly that a new Ford Ranger is in the works that will be sold here in the United States. It’s also the same reason why we believe a new Bronco is coming. But one thing we do know is that if they do a new Ranger, they need to do an off-road special. They need something to compete with the new Tacoma TRD Pro and the Colorado Trail Boss. That something should be beyond just the FX4. It should be a Raptor.
First of all, a Raptor-fied Ranger would sell well because everything with a Raptor badge sells well. All previous versions of the Raptor sold with very few, if any, discounts, and were some of the fastest selling products Ford made. That alone should be reason enough to make it happen.
But another good reason is that Toyota is really upping the game with the Tacoma TRD Pro. While we don’t necessarily expect people to cross shop the Tacoma (Tacoma buyers are typically very loyal), we also don’t expect Ford to not be competitive in this space.
Let’s take a minute to look at the specifications of the TRD Pro Tacoma and how easy it’d be for a new Ranger Raptor to compete;
- 16-inch TRD black alloy wheels with Goodyear Wrangler® All-Terrain Kevlar®-reinforced tires
- TRD Pro aluminum front skid plate
- Rigid Industries® LED fog lights
- Projector-beam headlights with black bezels, LED Daytime Running Lights (DRL), and auto on/off featuret
- 4-way adjustable driver’s seat with lumbar support and 4-way adjustable front passenger seat
- Entune™ Premium Audio with Integrated Navigation and App Suite
- Leather-trimmed tilt/telescopic steering wheel with audio and Bluetooth® hands-free phone controls
- Rear parking assist sonar
- Blind Spot Monitor (BSM) and Rear Cross-Traffic Alert (RCTA)
- FOX 2.5 Internal Bypass shocks tuned by TRD
- TRD-tuned front springs with a 1-inch lift
- TRD-tuned rear suspension with progressive-rate off-road leaf spring
If you look at that list, you really don’t see anything special that couldn’t be applied to, or already exists on, a current Ford product.
Additionally, Ford will have an advantage over Toyota when it comes to powertrain and fuel economy. The new Tacoma uses a tried-and-true V6 engine with a 6-speed automatic. However, fuel economy isn’t that stellar. A modern EcoBoost engine and more modern transmission could return stronger fuel economy numbers while offering better performance.
Finally, while we haven’t had a chance to test the various drive modes on the new Ford Raptor, it’s technology that could be easily adapted to the smaller Ranger, helping improve the off-road credentials even more.
Ideally, the Ranger line would look like this;
- Ranger XL
- Available FX4 Off-Road on all versions, except Raptor.
- Ranger XLT
- Ranger Limited
- Ranger Raptor
- Special off-road equipment exclusive to Raptor.
How will it all actually shake out? We don’t know. Though, we don’t expect to hear anything about either a new Ranger or a new Bronco until next year. Check out our proposed timeline for the launch of both of those vehicles.