Skip to main content

Ford may outfit its Ranger pickup in Raptor armor before unleashing it on the Tacoma TRD

2015 Ford Ranger Wildtrak Image used with permission by copyright holder
While its rivals have either maintained a presence or re-entered into the small truck market in the U.S., Ford has been out of the game for several years, without plans to re-introduce its Ranger pickup until 2018 or later.

Fans of the Ranger therefore must either turn to the Chevrolet Colorado/GMC Canyon, or the Toyota Tacoma to get their light truck fix. Fortunately, Ford’s Performance Communications Manager, Paul Seredynski, has hinted that, when the Ranger does return to the states, it might come with a performance variant.

Specifically, Mr. Seredynski said a Raptor Ranger is a “fascinating idea” and could likely fit within the 12 promised Ford performance models that will debut over the next four years. Among those, the redesigned F-150 Raptor already has a strong fan base. A Raptor Ranger would also have immediate competition from Toyota’s Tacoma TRD, which could mature into a full-blown sport truck between now and the end of the decade.

It’s certainly a great concept: near the potential of the F-150 Raptor with the maneuverability of a smaller truck. However, Ford Performance chief engineer Tyrone Johnson noted, “everything we do has to have a solid business case” as the company isn’t interested in models that lose money.” Of course, there are very few vehicles that are ever put on sale where the automaker knows it will lose money.

If a business case can be made for a performance iteration of the Ranger, it will likely be built in Ford’s Michigan Assembly Plant a year or so after the regular Ranger is offered.

It hasn’t yet been confirmed, but Dodge may also reintroduce its Dakota small truck — which itself might borrow the “Rebel” performance badge from its larger sibling. Who knows, in five years’ time there may be several performance trucks of all shapes and sizes to choose from (and with a range of traditional and hybridized powertrains).

Editors' Recommendations

Miles Branman
Former Digital Trends Contributor
Miles Branman doesn't need sustenance; he needs cars. While the gearhead gene wasn't strong in his own family, Miles…
Tesla Model 3 vs. Hyundai Ioniq 6: Which electric sedan is best?
Front three quarter view of the 2023 Hyundai Ioniq 6.

There are finally some more electric sedan options. For years, the Tesla Model 3 was really the only good electric sedan that comes at a reasonable price -- until, Hyundai recently launched the Ioniq 6. The Ioniq 6 certainly takes some cues from the larger Ioniq 5, but is smaller and sleeker, with a design seemingly inspired by the Porsche 911.

But the Tesla Model 3 is still clearly an excellent option for those looking for an electric car, and who don't want a larger crossover. Which is better? Here's a look.
The exterior design of the Tesla Model 3 and Hyundai Ioniq 6 is quite different. If you've seen a Tesla car before, then you'll immediately recognize the Model 3 -- it looks largely like a slightly different version of every other Tesla (except the Cybertruck).

Read more
Scout Motors Electric SUV: rumored price, release date, design, and more
Scout SUV Teaser

There's another electric SUV on the way, and this one comes with a familiar name. Volkswagen is reviving the classic Scout name for a new electric SUV that's billed as being an "RUV," or a rugged utility vehicle. And, it could well prove itself as the best electric SUV in its price range, when it does finally come out.

The new EV isn't due out for quite some time, but there's already a fair bit that we know about it. Curious to learn more? Here's everything you need to know about the upcoming Scout SUV.
There's very little we actually know about the Scout SUV so far, but we do know a little about the eventual design. A few teasers for the upcoming vehicle have been released, showing sketches of both the SUV and the accompanying pickup truck, along with what's presumably the front of the SUV -- though in a dark environment, with little detail.

Read more
Volkswagen ID.GTI concept is another icon reimagined as an EV
Front three quarter view of the Volkswagen ID.GTI concept.

Volkswagen reinvented one of its most iconic models with the ID.Buzz, a modern, all-electric homage to the classic Microbus. But that's not the only fan favorite vehicle currently in the automaker's catalog.

Debuting at the 2023 Munich Auto Show, the Volkswagen ID.GTI concept aims to do for the Golf GTI hot hatchback — VW's signature performance car — what the ID.Buzz did for the Microbus. VW claims a production version has already been given the green light, although it won't say when it will appear.

Read more