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A Ford Ranger Raptor stuffed with a V8 is currently in development in Australia. Supposedly, two Ford executives are Jonesing for a Ranger Raptor R made by the automaker. But would a Raptor R fly in the US?

What would Ford develop a Ranger Raptor R from?

2023 Bronco DR Racing prototype
2023 Bronco DR Racing prototype | Ford

“There is a lot of that Bronco DR that is standard Bronco, and the underpinning of the standard Bronco and the underpinnings of the Ranger we’re just in the process of releasing, is the same architecture,” Trevor Worthington, Ford’s vice president of global operations and programs, told Cars Guide. 

Bronco DR is the racing-only version of the production Bronco. It is strictly for off-road racing and is not even close to being street-legal. Powering the DR is the 5.0-liter V8 with 400 hp. Ford is planning to build 50 Bronco DR racers. The cost? In the mid-$200,000s. 

“I’d love to think we could do something like that”

Ford Bronco DR V8
Ford Bronco DR V8 engine | Ford

Then there are similar comments from Ford Performance Motorsports Global Director Mark Rushbrook. He said, “There would be a lot that would transfer between the Bronco DR and the Ranger platform. But at the end of the day, it’s got to be sensible and work for the business. I’d love to think we could do something like that. No plans at the moment, but we want to work on it.” 

Since the pieces already exist for the DR, why not build 50 Ranger Raptor R pickups and see what happened? But if they’re thinking something for the street, that’s a much more compelling scenario. Then the next question is if a Ranger Raptor with V8 power would pound the F-150 Raptor? 

What if a Ranger Raptor R was better than the F-150 Raptor?

2022 Ford Ranger Raptor
2022 Ford Ranger Raptor | Ford

If that were to happen in development then we doubt Ford would compromise anything related to the F-150 for a mid-size performance pickup. The F-150 is the Ford franchise. But a lighter-weight pickup like the Ranger with similar power to the F-150 could do some damage. 

And that is the reason why the last Ranger Raptor didn’t make it to our shores. Available in Australia, Ford was afraid of its performance overshadowing the F-150. This new version, however, is aimed at the US market. So those considerations have been addressed.

Ford’s Ranger Raptor will be shown next month

2022 Ford Ranger Raptor
2022 Ford Ranger Raptor | Ford

The new Ranger Raptor will debut next month. It most certainly has a twin-turbo V6 with around 325 hp. But Ford has two available. Either the 2.7-liter from the Bronco or the 3.0-liter from the Explorer will be powering it. Right now, nobody is talking at the Blue Oval.

For years Ford has been all-in on the EcoBoost V6. A racing version was developed for its crown jewel, the GT. So a V8 performance package in anything other than the Mustang seems like a stretch. But automakers work in mysterious ways, and Ford has done a few about-face moves over the decades, so you never know.