The next-generation Ford Ranger is apparently undergoing testing right now at Ford's Australian You Yangs proving grounds. Australia's WhichCar? magazine cites a source at the proving grounds for the information that engineers are testing two V6 engines: A 2.7-liter twin-turbo EcoBoost V6, and a 3.0-liter turbocharged Powerstroke diesel V6. Assuming they both make it to market, the diesel is likely for other regions; every Ranger variant in Australia including the Ranger Raptor gets diesel motors with displacements from 2.0 liters to 3.2 liters. But WhichCar? believes the 2.7-liter is most likely "being developed with the North American market front of mind." There are plenty of Ranger owners here who stand by the 2.3-liter EcoBoost four-cylinder in our Ranger, which puts out 270 horsepower and 310 pound-feet of torque. There seem to be just as many Ranger watchers who claim they'll pull the trigger if Ford puts a more powerful V6 up front.
All through last year, the Stateside rumor was that Ford would put the 2.7-liter in a U.S.-spec Ranger Raptor. That engine in the 2019 Ford Edge ST produces 335 hp and 380 lb-ft, numbers that Car and Driver figured were good markers for a hardcore Ranger. In the Ford F-150, the 2.7-liter makes 325 hp and 400 lb-ft, numbers undoubtedly more pleasing to the pickup brigade. Either way, there would be plenty of room for the V6 to boost the figures over the current 2.3-liter and provide that grunt with less frenzy.
Even though the Ranger just got to the U.S., the current-generation truck debuted globally in 2011 and got refreshed in 2015, with the replacement expected roundabout 2021. Now we'd like to know where the 2.7-liter would slot into that lineup. Ford nixed a U.S. Ranger Raptor for this generation, but sleuthing for clues about the next generation turned up project codes that point to a second-gen off-road beast intended for North America. Different sleuthing for Bronco clues turned up evidence that the Bronco will get the 2.3-liter EcoBoost four-cylinder. It seems unlikely Ford would roll out a standard Ranger with the 2.7-liter around the same time the Bronco greets the world with the 2.3-liter. On top of that, reports say there'll be numerous versions of the Bronco SUV and a Bronco pickup. That means plenty of potential homes for a more powerful EcoBoost.