Ford has already developed turnkey racing versions of the Ford Bronco and Ford Mustang, and the Ranger Raptor could be next.

    Already the super-ute has taken on the Baja 1000 and the Finke Desert rally, and the next step could be a turn-key racer in a similar vein to the Mustang Dark Horse R.

    “If you look at what we put out as our quadrants – racing Mustangs everywhere as you see, off-road being important to us including Baja, Dakar, Finke and things like Bronco DR as a turnkey racer, and electrified demonstrators, and Formula 1 – off-road is important to us,” Ford Performance global director Mark Rushbrook told Australian media.

    “Just like you see a full line-up of mustangs – GT3, GT4, Dark Horse R, Dark Horse S – there’s a portfolio available in the off-road space as well.”

    Mr Rushbrook said the Bronco DR pointed to what we could expect from a turn-key Ranger Raptor racer, if it were to come to life.

    With fibreglass bodywork, no windows, a stripped-back interior with a roll cage, and power from a 5.0-litre Coyote V8 engine, the Bronco DR is further removed from the production Bronco than the Mustang Dark Horse R is from its road-going counterpart.

    “It’s a common platform, a lot of what we develop for Bronco DR would work for a similar Ranger,” Mr Rushbrook said.

    Already the Ranger Raptor has seen success in off-road racing.

    A lightly modified Raptor won its class at the Finke Desert Race in the Australian outback earlier this year, having done the same at Baja 1000 desert race in November 2022.

    Where those category winners have been developed in partnership with race teams, for race teams, the Ranger DR (or whatever it would be called) would be a “buy it, take it home, slap a number on the side, take it to Baja” proposition.

    MORE: Everything Ford Ranger

    Scott Collie

    Scott Collie is an automotive journalist based in Melbourne, Australia. Scott studied journalism at RMIT University and, after a lifelong obsession with everything automotive, started covering the car industry shortly afterwards. He has a passion for travel, and is an avid Melbourne Demons supporter.

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