Spy Shots

Diesel 2019 Ford Ranger Wildtrak caught testing in Michigan

Could a diesel Ranger Wildtrak come to America?

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When the 2019 Ford Ranger's U.S.-spec model was finally revealed, only one engine was announced to go with it, a gasoline turbocharged 2.3-liter four-cylinder derived from the same engine in the Mustang EcoBoost and Focus RS. We certainly have can't complain about the engine, especially having not experienced it in the new truck yet, but Ranger fans might've been surprised to see that no diesel engines were announced. Imagine our interest, then, when we saw these spy photos of a diesel-powered Ranger testing in Michigan.

The Ranger seen above is surely a diesel. In an obvious sign, the fuel filler flap has a piece of tape stuck to it with the word "diesel" written on it. The spy photographer also reports seeing a bit of black smoke coming out on a stone-cold startup in our chilly Michigan winter. With that established, there are a couple of clues making us wonder if this diesel Ranger is for us, the first of course being that it's testing here in America. But the second is that this Ranger bears styling cues closer to the new Stateside version than the overseas variant. The grille has the split center bar like that of other American Rangers, along with small square LED foglights.

Now as for what diesel engine it could be, w're thinking about the 3.2-liter inline-5. In its foreign-market form, the oil burner makes 185 horsepower and 350 pound-feet of torque, which puts it right inline with the Chevy Colorado's diesel engine output. But potentially more importantly, the engine is already available in the U.S. in the Ford Transit, meaning that much of the work to make it legal here is already done.

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On the subject of styling, it also appears that this truck is equipped like an overseas Ranger Wildtrak, which is pictured above. It has the sport fairing over the bed and roof rails on the cab that come on that trim. It also seems to have a bit more ground clearance than a standard Ranger. Considering that this truck appears to have been tweaked to fit the American lineup, we have to wonder whether the Wildtrak trim may also be available soon, as sort of a competitor to the Colorado Z71 and Tacoma TRD Off-Road models, but leaving plenty of room for the upcoming Ranger Raptor.

Of course, Ford could just be testing Ranger models and powertrains here in the United States that will never be sold here. In any case, check out the images above and let us know what you think.

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