Here’s another U.S. Army proposal for a defense, security, rescue vehicle. This time it’s called the Ford Ranger Ricardo. Ricardo is an upfitter in the UK, in case you’ve never heard of them. Ranger is the best-selling pickup in Europe. It makes sense to see what our allies in the UK can come up with for a US military vehicle. This could be distributed throughout Europe, Asia, and Africa U.S. military bases directly from Ricardo.
Taking cues from your basic Ranger lifted off-roader Ricardo modified the suspension and increased the ride height, beefed up the springs and dampers. Then it added heavy-duty wheels and 35-inch tall off-road tires. Brakes, too, were upgraded and a number of skid plates protect vulnerable exposed areas underneath.
What’s Peeking Out From The Roll Cage?
Ricardo developed a secretive rollover protection system within the Ranger, but a lot of the info related to the Ricardo Ranger has not been released as it is for the Army. A large, stout roll cage was built into the pickup bed, and what is that we see peeking out from under the camo cover?
Oh, that’s a machine gun attached to the ring-mounted weapons system structure built into the roll cage. The bed and floor of the cab have been protected with thick armor. All glass is bullet-proof. Because of the added weight of these additions the front and rear bumpers are made from lightweight materials.
The stock-based electrics have been upgraded to accommodate adding radio communications equipment. It also has EM shielding and C4i integration which takes in command, control, communications, computers, and intelligence.
Cool and Cost-Efficient
“The adaptation of existing and well-proven automotive platforms for defensive roles provides an opportunity to deliver a robust, fit-for-purpose and highly cost-efficient package. It is easy to maintain, benefitting as it does from an established international supply chain of parts and service,” says Paul Terry, Ricardo’s special vehicles director.
In Europe, the standard engine is a 2.0-liter turbodiesel with 210 hp and 369 lb-ft of torque. A 10-speed automatic transmission is hooked to the engine transferring the power to the rear wheels. Ricardo says other engines can be accommodated based on the military’s desires.
Ricardo Built Land Rovers For British Military
While the Ricardo Ranger is a prototype, this isn’t the first rodeo for Recardo. It has built a gang of attack Land Rovers for the British Army which are still in service.
Recently we have gotten a look at the results of similar vehicles from Chevrolet and Jeep being proposed to the Army for consideration. On all of these occasions, we have suggested that these would be excellent examples of limited-edition models for the public. It could include the olive-drab paint, notwithstanding the armor plate bits.
As these proposals are based on actual military applications the basic, raw, and aggressive looks these pickups convey. It would seem like a no-brainer for production. Carrying-over the stripped-down nature of these pickups into the interiors would also be interesting. Rubber instead of carpet, plain simple fabrics, and other details could really distinguish these specific models that could be wildly successful.