Ford has revealed an aggressive-looking version of its Ranger ute, but it’s only for Europe at this stage.

    The Ford Ranger MS-RT, along with the Transit Custom MS-RT, has been co-developed by both the Blue Oval’s global team and firm MS-RT, an offshoot of Ford’s rally partner M-Sport.

    It features a raft of mechanical and cosmetic changes and has been developed as the “street truck” equivalent of the Ranger Raptor, though it uses the standard Ranger’s 3.0-litre turbo-diesel V6 which in Europe produces 176kW of power and 600Nm of torque.

    Customer deliveries in Europe will begin of the modified dual-cab ute in mid-2024.

    “We have no news to share on any plans to bring the Transit Custom MS-RT or Ranger MS-RT to Australia,” said a Ford Australia spokesperson.

    Under the aggressive-looking body sits upgraded rear suspension and new, firmer dampers at the front.

    The Ranger has also been lowered by 40mm, while track width is up by 40mm.

    Ford says the upgrades are designed to give the Ranger “greater handling precision and stability through corners”.

    Visually, it’s distinguished from lesser Rangers not only by its lower ride height, but also through diamond-cut 21-inch wheels in low-profile 275/45 R21 tyres, the largest to ever be offered on a Ranger.

    They sit within flared wheel arches which increase the width of the Ranger by 82mm, while there are new side skirts.

    Up front, there’s a new front bumper and splitter and a restyled, honeycomb grille, while down back there’s a unique rear bumper with integrated diffuser, plus a ducktail spoiler and cab spoiler.

    Ford says these spoilers were “optimised using computer simulations to assist with overall aerodynamic balance and to enhance high-speed stability”.

    It’ll be offered in a range of colours, though the featured example is finished in the same Conquer Grey as the Ranger Raptor.

    Inside, there are new front seats with grippier bolsters. All five seats are finished in leatherette and suede upholstery with blue stitching and distinctive patterning.

    As with the regular Ranger, drive is sent to all four wheels via a 10-speed automatic transmission and a full-time four-wheel drive system.

    It also retains the same 3500kg braked towing capacity.

    “If Ranger Raptor is the ultimate off-road truck, then the Ranger MS-RT is the ultimate street truck,” said Hans Schep, general manager at Ford Pro – the company’s commercial vehicle arm – in Europe.

    “It’s a departure from what we usually see in this segment in Europe, but with more car-like driving dynamics and the towing and carrying capacity unchanged, we believe it will offer a compelling new option for pickup customers.”

    Rangers will be sent to a new facility at Ford Dagenham Estate in the UK to undergo final assembly.

    MS-RT (or M-Sport Road Technology in full) grew out of a partnership between founder Edward Davies and M-Sport – which has partnered with Ford to engineer and built its rally cars – back in 2015.

    It also modified the previous-generation Ranger and Transit Custom, as well as the Transit Connect.

    The previous Ranger MS-RT was a less extensively modified vehicle.

    It featured the (then flagship) 2.0-litre BiTurbo four-cylinder diesel engine, plus 20-inch OZ Racing alloy wheels and a body kit. It was also available in a super cab body style.

    MORE: Everything Ford Ranger

    William Stopford

    William Stopford is an automotive journalist based in Brisbane, Australia. William is a Business/Journalism graduate from the Queensland University of Technology who loves to travel, briefly lived in the US, and has a particular interest in the American car industry.

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