Last year, Ford finally brought the Ranger back to the United States in order to meet growing demand in the midsize truck segment. There was one notable omission from the lineup, however: the high-performance Ford Ranger Raptor, which remains unavailable in the U.S. market. Now, it seems Ford’s controversial decision not to bring the badass little truck here is about to sting a bit more.
The Australian outlet Wheels reports that Ford is set to offer a new, more powerful version of the Ranger Raptor. It’s not getting just any upgraded plant. It will receive the 5.0-liter Coyote V8 from the Ford Mustang GT. The report says the V8 Ranger Raptor should make something close to the 460 horsepower and 420 lb-ft of torque it does in the Mustang, which would be a substantial upgrade from the current four-cylinder turbodiesel-powered Ranger Raptor’s 210 horsepower and 369 lb-ft.
Sadly, Americans won’t get to buy the V8 Ranger Raptor. It’s going to be an Australia-only special edition. Production is expected to be small, with the vehicles modified and engine-swapped post-production by a third-party firm. (Hennessey’s “VelociRaptor Ranger” modification, with an upgraded stock engine, could be the closest thing currently available to U.S. buyers.)
Ford is likely to offer some form of Raptor-ized Ranger in the U.S. for the next generation of the pickup truck. The issue with bringing over the current one was less about the potential market (which, presumably, would be ravenous) and more about the difficulty of getting that diesel engine approved for America. Don’t count on that new version scoring the Mustang GT’s V8, though; the F-150 Raptor uses a V6 (albeit twin-turboed), so if the Ranger Raptor were to materialize here, Ford would presumably want to make sure the bigger, pricier truck still has the bigger powerplant.