America's affinity for small, practical trucks is practically dead. The Ford Ranger and Chevy S10 are gone, Toyota and Nissan's "small" pickups have swollen to proportions approaching those of full sized trucks, and Jeeps are, well, Jeeps.
So how is a little 2011 Ranger to compete with the current lineup of 'roided out pickups? Easy. By getting a Coyote 5.0-liter V8 stuffed into its tiny engine bay. After all, even though the U.S. market has more or less turned its back on small trucks for the time being (sorry, crossovers don't count), beefing up one of the leftovers of a bygone era is a great idea. Jamming a big engine into a small, light vehicle with crappy handling is as American as jamming a big engine into a small, light vehicle with crappy handling.
Not that a Ford Ranger is particularly crappy in the handling department, and compared to the SVT Raptor and other fullsized supertrucks, its 5.0-liter is probably pretty mild. This is still a cool creation that follows the original 1960s muscle car template. Maybe small trucks could be revived if models like this were offered in limited production runs to enhance the jilted little guys' cool factor.
Small trucks are alive and well in the rest of the world. Sure, this project truck has nothing to do with their demise, but it makes me wonder when we'll get them back. The 2013 Chevrolet Colorado looks promising, but we'll see how small truck-ish it actually is when it arrives.
Photo credit: CoolFords/Facebook