The Ford Ranger is bringing it back. “It” being the feel-good vibe that sport trucks first brought us decades ago.
The newly announced Ranger MS-RT is donning a bodykit and wheels to revive the segment, but in a sad and familiar twist, the new sport truck has been designated for the European market only so here is a video to soothe your sorrow:
The new model will be known as the Ranger MS-RT, named after the design and engineering company with which Ford collaborated to make the sport truck. MS-RT is sort of the street version of M-Sport, the privateer racing team that fields Ford’s World Rally Champion cars. MS-RT does, by the way, make a killer panel van. The design-led engineering house cited Brendan Lyne, Ford Europe’s Commercial vehicles director, in its announcement. Lyne said of the new Ranger:
“Ranger MS-RT is designed for customers who value Ranger’s hard-working capability but want the racing pedigree and hand-finished exclusivity of our MS-RT series. This eye-catching vehicle blends Ford’s decades of success in pick-up trucks with striking motorsport-inspired design to offer a road-focused truck combining immense kerb appeal with the hard-working ability that our customers love.”
Those beloved trucks dispensed with the standard engine configuration of the models they derived from and offered healthy increases in output. This new MS-RT model keeps the engine configuration of the Ranger Wildtrack it’s based on, which means it’s propelled by a twin-turbo 2.0-liter EcoBlue diesel motor, good for about 210 horsepower and 368 lb-ft of torque.
To boost its’ sport accolades in a tenuous way, I suppose, it does share a ten-speed automatic transmission with the Mustang. And it will receive other upgrades to its appearance such as racing alloy wheels courtesy of OZ, wider wheel arches and sculpted side skirts.
It retains all the functionality of a truck, without the pretense of primarily being an off-roader. This Ranger is not afraid to admit most of its life will be spent on asphalt and it leans into that road-focus better than many modern mid-size pickups. The only thing it needs now is a bright red or yellow paint job. Come on, Ford Europe, the ’90s are calling.