One of the most appealing is the F-150 Raptor sold in the US – a 450bhp, 3.5-litre twin-turbocharged take on one of America’s best-selling vehicles, with trophy truck attitude and a host of upgrades to make it as good in the dunes as a Focus RS is around hairpins.
Developed by Ford Performance, the company calls it ‘A motocross bike, snowmobile and an ATV rolled up into a pickup truck’, and its styling is heavily influenced by the F-150 Raptor, from the shade of blue in these initial images to the wide Ford lettering on the grille and the chunky alloy wheels and off-road tyres.
The bumpers and arches have been flared to take account of the larger rolling stock and the Fox Racing Shox long-travel suspension, while a sizeable skid plate and re-engineered ladder chassis are better suited to the difficult terrain the Ranger Raptor is designed to tackle.
A dedicated Baja mode for the terrain management system (that also includes Normal, Sport, Grass/Gravel/Snow, Mud/Sand, and Rock modes) is designed specifically for high-speed off-road driving.
Power and torque comes not from a large-capacity petrol like the F-150, but a 2-litre twin-turbocharged diesel designed to pair high torque with low weight. As a result it makes 210bhp and 500Nm, and shares its 10-speed automatic transmission with the full-fat F-150 Raptor.
If the Ranger Raptor does come to the region, the only challenge will be where one might make the most of it. While dedicated off-road driving centres are easy enough to find, our islands aren’t quite blessed with the same expanses of freely-accessible open terrain as our friends and their F-150s…
This article originally appeared at evo.co.uk