Ford is yet to officially confirm the existence of a Ranger Raptor for the North American market, but documents filed with IP Australia referencing an American design patent suggest its announcement is imminent.
The long-awaited return of the Ranger to the USA was announced earlier this year, but left out any mention of the Raptor, which shares its four-wheel disc brakes with the American chassis, but picks up a coil-sprung suspension and a Watt's linkage instead of leaf springs.
The Ford Ranger Raptor was launched to the Australian market late last month, debuting with a price tag of $74,900 before on-road costs, sporting a 2.0-litre bi-turbo four-cylinder diesel engine that making 157kW (211hp) of power and 500Nm (369 lb.ft) of torque, mated to a 10-speed automatic transmission.
That engine isn't likely to make it to the petrol-loving American market, with the brand confirming it will use a 2.3-litre four-cylinder turbocharged petrol engine for regular Ranger expected to produce 209kW (280hp) of power and 420Nm (310lb.ft) of torque.
Ford may stick with a more powerful version of that engine for the US Raptor, but we expect it to run with the larger 2.7-litre EcoBoost six-cylinder turbocharged petrol making 242kW (325hp) and 542Nm (400lb.ft) of torque, as seen in the Edge and F-150.
How do we know the vehicle pictured here is the Ranger Raptor for the USA? There are a few giveaways. First is the 'Ford' insignia on the grille, which is reserved for the Raptor, and sets this apart from other Ford Ranger design patents.
Secondly, the US-market Ranger and Ranger Raptor gain a sliding glass window on the rear and finally, the tray gets a sports bar, which isn't seen on the Australian version.
The design registration lodged with IP Australia references a US design patent filing, which indicates that this model is also destined for the USA.
We first spied the Ranger Raptor's PX prototype and donor car in 2015, with Ford's Asia Pacific engineering operation working hand-in-hand with Ford USA to develop the T6 platform to work as a US Ranger, along with a Ranger Raptor and the continuation of PXII for Australia.
Hopes for a V6 Ranger Raptor could be dashed if Ford's head of product development for Asia Pacific has his way, suggesting that there isn't demand for a V6 petrol or diesel engine for Raptor.
"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," said Trevor Worthington.
"It'd be like turning up with something that people wouldn't even consider buying."
When quizzed about the existence of a Ranger Raptor for the US market, Ford Australia communications and public affairs director, Martin Gunsberg wouldn't comment on the patent filing.
"We do not have any information to share about Ranger Raptor for markets beyond those already confirmed," Gunsberg said.
"We do not provide comment on speculation around development vehicles."
If you had the choice, which engine would you stick under the bonnet of the Ranger Raptor and why?