A Ford Ranger with a focus on handling and grip has been unveiled in the UK, but is unlikely for Australia for now.
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Ford in the UK has given the Ranger pick-up some extra street cred with a limited edition focused on daily driving.

Based on the 2021 Ford Ranger Wildtrak powered by a twin turbo 2.0-litre four-cylinder diesel paired to a 10-speed auto, the MS-RT edition gains a bold new look, OZ Racing wheels, and road-biased Michelin tyres. The interior also gains some styling tweaks.

In the UK the Wildtrak is available in double-cab and space-cab guises; in Australia it is only available as a double cab.

Despite the daring appearance there is no extra power, and the suspension remains unchanged.

This means there was no need to re-test and re-calibrate the vehicle, and its one-tonne payload and 3500kg towing capacity remain.

Notably, the front end has borrowed the larger mesh grille from the Sport edition of the Ford Everest SUV, made possible by the redesigned front bumper.

Ford says it will sell the Ranger MS-RT editions through its dealer network in the UK, but has not indicated how many will be built.

CarAdvice understands the Ford Ranger MS-RT is exclusive to the UK for the time-being.

However it could be a pointer to a more road-biased model in the line-up for the next generation Ford Ranger, as a book-end for the off-road focused Ranger Raptor.

Car makers are trying to cater to the broader appeal of double cab utes as they increasingly are used as family cars.

Volkswagen is about to introduce a road-biased version of the Amarok called the W580, and Toyota has given its HiLux Rogue more of a luxury appearance versus its more rugged counterparts.

In a media statement Ford UK said the Ranger MS-RT was designed to offer a “high-end, street-focused version of Europe’s best-selling pick-up that sits alongside the desert-race-influenced Ford Ranger Raptor at the pinnacle of the Ranger line-up”.

The company said the Ford Ranger MS-RT “blends Ford’s decades of success in pick-up trucks with striking motorsport-inspired design to offer a road-focused truck combining immense kerb appeal with the hard-working ability that our customers love."

MS-RT is a division of M-Sport UK, Ford’s motorsport partner since 1996. Since M-Sport’s first competition in 1997, it has notched up two world titles, 52 wins in the World Rally Championship (WRC) and more than 200 podium finishes.