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Ford is building a Ranger Raptor to challenge the Chevy Colorado ZR2

The Ford F-150 Raptor is, to say the least, an impressive truck. With its uncanny ability to cover rough terrain at high speeds, the Raptor is perfect for bombing across a desert, or outrunning a horde of zombies. And now Ford is making another one.

The automaker’s Australian division released a teaser for a Ranger Raptor, based on the midsize Ranger pickup truck. It will go on sale in the Asia Pacific region in 2018 and, while it hasn’t been confirmed for the United States, there’s a good chance we’ll get it because the standard version of the Ranger is coming here in 2019.

While the teaser shows that the Ranger Raptor has the same off-road moves as its big sibling, Ford is mum on technical details. The F-150 Raptor features a 3.5-liter twin-turbocharged EcoBoost V6, Fox Racing shock absorbers, and multiple driving modes to handle different types of terrain. It’s likely that the Ranger Raptor will feature a similar array of upgrades, although perhaps with a smaller EcoBoost engine.

What’s clear is that the Ranger Raptor will have the same aggressive styling as the original. A massive grille and muscular fender flares are visible through the camouflage.

When it arrives, the Ranger Raptor will take the classic Ford versus Chevrolet rivalry to a new level. Its most direct competitor will be the Chevy Colorado ZR2, another midsize truck built for off-roading. Chevy doesn’t make an off-road performance version of its larger Silverado pickup, so until now the automakers have competed asymmetrically in this segment.

Ford withdrew the Ranger from the U.S. market in 2011 amid slowing sales of midsize trucks. But it continued to sell the Ranger abroad and, at the 2017 Detroit Auto Show, announced that the truck would return to the U.S. in 2019. It’s unclear whether Ford will sell the current international model here, or launch a redesigned version. That will likely be the deciding factor in whether, or when, the Raptor Ranger appears in U.S. showrooms.

Whatever form it takes, the U.S.-spec Raptor will also form the basis for a new Ford Bronco SUV, arriving in 2020. Ford hasn’t released any details on either model, only confirming their existence in its curt Detroit Auto Show announcement.

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Stephen Edelstein
Stephen is a freelance automotive journalist covering all things cars. He likes anything with four wheels, from classic cars…
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