Ford Australia has registered the Ford Ranger Raptor and Ford Ranger FX4 trademarks ahead of the revised Ford Ranger's local launch later this year. The trademarks, which were lodged on June 5, 2015 are for the trademarks Ford Ranger Raptor, Ranger Raptor and Ranger FX4.
The CarAdvice spy photographer has also snapped images of what appears to be a high-riding, flared wheel arch bearing Ranger, which could be the Ranger Raptor or Ranger FX4 undergoing local testing.
While there has never been an official Ranger Raptor (just aftermarket body kit options), the Ranger FX4 was a special edition version of the American Ford Ranger. The Ranger FX4 came with all-terrain tyres, a Torsen limited-slip rear differential, skid plates, Bilstein shock absorbers and a 31-spline 8.8-inch rear differential.
Ford Australia has released specifications and further detail around the local Ranger Wildtrak offering, but has refused to comment on any further Ranger derivatives above and beyond the Ranger Wildtrak.
"We’re concentrating on the pre-launch for the Ranger at the moment and the Wildtrak is our range-topper for Australia," said Ford Australia brand communications manager, Neil McDonald.
The vehicle exclusively photographed by the CarAdvice photographer was being driven by a test driver wearing a helmet. The Ranger was lobbed over high undulations on a gravel road at speed, possibly testing suspension rebound and articulation.
Fitted with wheel speed measurement equipment, bolted on flared wheel arches, a snorkel, a large front bulbar and a higher ride height, we believe this could be a tailored off-road vehicle Ford is preparing for the market.
If the vehicle pictured is a vehicle expected for the market, it would likely go above and beyond the current offering and give customers an opportunity to buy a hardcore ute that is ready for proper off-road action. In some of Ford's international markets, the requirement for this type of product is generally only met by aftermarket suppliers.
CarAdvice will keep you posted if any more information comes to hand on the Ranger Raptor or Ranger FX4 trademark registrations, or indeed the pictured vehicle.
Click on the photos tab to see more images of the spied vehicle.