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

2015-Ford-Ranger-Wildtrak
2015 Ford Ranger Wildtrak
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).

Emerging Tech

Awesome Tech You Can’t Buy Yet: Folding canoes and ultra-fast water filters

Check out our roundup of the best new crowdfunding projects and product announcements that hit the web this week. You may not be able to buy this stuff yet, but it sure is fun to gawk!
Cars

Tesla could show the electric pickup Elon Musk is dying to build in 2019

Tesla has started designing its long-promised pickup truck. The yet-unnamed model will come with dual-motor all-wheel drive and lots of torque, plus it will be able to park itself.
Cars

2019 Ford Ranger saves fuel without sacrificing towing capacity

The 2019 Ford Ranger marks Ford's long-awaited return to the midsize truck segment, which has seen a resurgence lately. But will being late to the party make Ford's job more difficult?
Cars

Gateway’s born-again Ford Bronco boasts classic style, 2018 muscle car power

Illinois-based Gateway Bronco has received a license from Ford to make brand-new examples of the first-generation Bronco. Every build starts with a Ford VIN and a donor vehicle, but Gateway upgrades every part of the car.
Cars

Ford’s new Shelby GT500 Mustang will have 3D-printed brake parts

Ford's new $45 million Advanced Manufacturing Center will focus on emerging technologies, including 3D printing. One of the staff's first jobs is to print parts for the 700-horsepower Shelby GT500 Mustang.
News

World’s fastest electric race car to display at Petersen Museum

The Volkswagen I.D. R Pikes Peak race car smashed the all-time record at the hill climb for which it was named. The all-electric VW record-holder will be on display at the Petersen Automotive Museum in Los Angeles until February 1, 2019.
Product Review

The 2019 Porsche Macan S is a luxurious and quick SUV, but it's no road tripper

The roster of models challenging the Porsche Macan grows annually. The German firm updated its smallest, most affordable SUV with a new engine, more tech features, and subtle design tweaks to keep it looking fresh.
Cars

This freewheeling Army truck-turned-tiny home is a labor of love

Most tiny homes are models of efficiency but one British metal worker has redefined the idea, converting an old Army truck into a mobile tiny home that comes with a bed, a sofa, a shower, and a beer garden.
Cars

Take a friend stargazing at 202 mph in the 2019 McLaren 720S Spider

McLaren has introduced the 2019 720S Spider. As its name implies, it's a convertible variant of the 720S coupe. The company promises the Spider retains the coupe's dynamism and agility thanks in part to the widespread use of carbon fiber.
Cars

Bloodhound’s plan to build a 1,000-mph car has run out of gas

The Bloodhound supersonic car (SSC) project has officially shut down. The upside is you can now buy a 135,000-horsepower car powered by a jet engine and a cluster of rockets for $319,000.
Cars

Pininfarina Battista is a 1,900-horsepower, 250-mph electric supercar

The Pininfarina Battista will be the first production car from famed Italian design firm Pininfarina. Named after company founder Battista Pininfarina, it has a claimed 1,900 horsepower and a $2.5 million price tag.
Cars

Allegro.ai is helping Hyundai mine the artificial intelligence gold rush

In November 2018, Hyundai invested in a startup named Allegro.ai. We talked to the company's founder to learn more about what that means for consumers in the not-too-distant futures.
Emerging Tech

With this robotic garage, retrieving your car is like using a vending machine

Remembering where we parked our cars can be a real pain. But what if our cars came to find us, rather than the other way around? A new automated robot parking valet system aims to help.
Cars

Thinking of opting for a car with a diesel engine? Here's what you need to know

Modern diesel-powered models prove that it is possible to build a clean, efficient diesel engine without sacrificing performance. Here's what you need to know about diesel cars, and how they differ from gasoline-powered models.