Ranger Raptor spy shots in the United States aren’t proof of anything

Ford Ranger Raptor

Yesterday, spy shots of the new Ford Ranger Raptor hit the internet. They were special because they were caught on the public roads around Ford’s Dearborn campus. Some jumped to conclusions that that means the new Ranger Raptor is coming Stateside, and soon.

They’re wrong.

Look, I want the new Ranger Raptor to go on sale in the U.S. as much as anyone. Midsize trucks are seeing a resurgence as full-size get bigger and more expensive. Just look at Frontier sales to see how badly people want a small truck here in the U.S.

The fact of the matter is that Ford does global testing in Dearborn. The truck photographed was right-hand drive, which makes sense since it’ll be an Australian market truck (plus other places).

Back when Ford introduced the return of the Ranger in January, I asked the very question to Ford about the Ranger Raptor. I was told “no” in no uncertain terms.

While the U.S. Ranger and the global Ranger share a platform, many components aren’t shared. The hard points are the same, but the frame is different. It’s not simply putting the steering wheel on the correct side and offering it for sale here.

While it’s cool to see the truck locally, it’s just Ford doing some sort of testing prior to it going on sale internationally.

Will we see the Ranger Raptor eventually? Possibly. But remember, the Raptor went away for a few years when Ford updated the F-150 to the 2015 model. It took two model years before it made its triumphant return.

Maybe we’ll see on on 2021? A lot will depend on the sales of the new Ranger here. But until then, don’t get your hopes up.

Chad Kirchner
the authorChad Kirchner
In addition to Chad Kirchner's work here, he's a freelance automotive journalist for outlets around the world.