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By Charl Bosch

Motoring Journalist

Petrol power finally coming to (next) Ford Ranger Raptor?

Engine will be sourced from the Explorer ST where outputs are rated at 298kW/563Nm.

The leaking of technical details regarding the all-new Ford Ranger last month has ignited speculation that the Raptor will finally follow its big brother, the F-150, in being powered by a force-fed V6 petrol engine.

According to Australia’s caradvice.com.au, the next Raptor will allegedly be powered by the Blue Oval’s new 3.0-litre twin-turbocharged EcoBoost V6 that powers the Explorer and most of the Lincoln range of models. For the Raptor though, the engine will be sourced from the Explorer ST where outputs are rated at 298kW/563Nm. The General Motors co-developed ten-speed automatic will again be the only transmission option like it is the current model.

It however stated that the petrol Raptor could well be limited to the United States following a report in January last year by Road and Track that the North American model, which currently bears the internal code P375N as opposed to the world model’s P375, will carry the same P703 moniker as the incoming international version.

Despite the reported retention of the current 2.0-litre bi-turbodiesel engine, it seems likely that the Raptor, outside of the United States and in accordance with the original report form carexpert.com.au, will be equipped with the 3.0-litre turbodiesel engine alleged to be the same 186kW/597Nm Powerstroke unit that does duty in the F-150.

While it remains to be seen which engine Ford will eventually offer, both are likely to silence the criticism lobbed at the current twin-blown four-cylinder oil-burner, which Autoblog reported as being the main the main reason for the Raptor not being offered in its home market where petrol engines are still preferred over diesel.

In an interview with CarAdvice back in 2018, the Blue Oval’s Vice-President of Product Development for the Asia-Pacific region, Trevor Worthington, not only denounced talks of a more powerful Raptor happening, but also lashed out at remarks made regarding the fitment of the 157kW/500Nm engine.

“Well, we haven’t looked at that one [referring to a petrol or diesel V6] because as I’ve said this morning, the vast majority of the 200 markets that we sell Ranger and when I say a vast majority I mean 99 per cent are all diesel markets,” Worthington said.

“The job always was, what’s the best diesel power pack that we can find, balanced across all the attributes, that’s going to work in all of those markets and with all kinds of people. We are convinced that this is the right solution, transmission and engine power pack. I think the only V6 diesel that we have is a 3.0-litre V6 and I’m pretty sure it wouldn’t fit even if we tried to make it fit”.

A month after Worthington’s comments, the Ranger5G online forum posted patent documents of an apparent US-spec Raptor, which, in spite of an example being spotted in the States with left-hand-drive, eventually come to nothing, thus ending hopes of a more powerful alternative to the diesel happening.

As it stands, the new Ranger is set to make its debut in 2022 ahead of its new sibling, the Volkswagen Amarok, with production once again taking place at the Silverton Plant outside Pretoria.

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