Next-Generation Ford Ranger Could Get V-6 and Diesel Options: Report

Ford might be testing a new global gas engine destined for a U.S.-ready Ranger Raptor in the deserts of Australia.

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Even though the Ford Ranger is technically new for the United States, the mid-size pickup truck is based on a platform that is several years old. As such, Ford's already in the development phase of the truck's successor and means we might see a refresh sooner rather than later. And when we do, we might even see it with some new engine options Ford is possibly testing in Australia's barren deserts. 

Right now, the U.S. sold Ranger is powered exclusively by a 2.3-liter EcoBoost I-4 making 270 horsepower and 310 pound-feet of torque. While we'd argue that's ample for most people, there's always room for improvement. Especially so if Ford's working on delivering a Ranger Raptor to the United States with the succeeding generation of the truck. According to a report out of Australia's Wheels, Ford is indeed working on just that, and testing more powerful options. 

One of the engines reportedly being tested down under is the 2.7-liter EcoBoost V-6. Rated at 325 horsepower and 400 lb-ft of torque in the U.S., which would be the perfect upgrade for the Ranger, especially if Ford's looking to produce a hopped-up Ranger Raptor. While this author isn't a betting man, this seems like the most logical of solutions.

Not to be outdone, Ford is also apparently testing a Ranger with the 3.0-liter Power Stroke diesel, an engine that's currently available in the F-150. In its current set up, the diesel produces 250 horsepower and 440 lb-ft of torque, far better than the only other diesel mid-size trucks in the United States, the Colorado and Canyon, which both produce 181 horsepower and 369 lb-ft. Who says we couldn't see a diesel Ranger Raptor similar to that of the ZR2?

As for the more likely set up, if the 2.7-liter makes its way into the global Ranger, it'll be the most powerful dual cab, metric ton truck you can buy on that continent. Wheels, however, speculates that the diesel has the best chance of being a new global engine and the 2.7-liter will come Stateside in the Ranger Raptor. This looks far more conclusive as Wheels apparently caught a Ranger Raptor mule pumping premium gasoline and not diesel.

The current Ranger Raptor, which the U.S. still doesn't get, is powered by a 2.0-liter diesel engine and reviews talk about how it doesn't live up to performance expectations of its full-size Raptor sibling. To sell in the United States, especially to those who've driven the F-Series Raptor, will likely demand it has ample acceleration and throttle response. It can't just be a slightly more aggressive Ranger to appeal to the buyers who know what the Raptor name means.

As margins continue to lessen, The Drive believe the next-generation Ranger will share a lot more with the platform globally. This means a U.S.-spec Ranger with the 2.7-liter could be sold globally, though that's yet to be set in stone. Dropping in the 3.0-liter diesel, which is already EPA certified, is a different story as the certification process would be easier and significantly improve the towing capability of the truck.

The Drive reached out to Ford here in the United States to inquire about the next Ranger and its powertrain. As expected, Ford doesn't comment on future product or speculation about said future product.

Wheels says the new truck will be in 2021, so we might not have to wait too long to find out what Ford won't comment on.