The Ford Ranger already makes for an OK off-roader as it is... well the 4x4 variants at least. Should the going get tough, there's the Ranger Raptor, which is purpose-built to take on rough terrain, fast. However, even the Ranger Raptor isn't enough to race at the 2020 South African Cross Country Series.
In order to be competitive, Ford built a dedicated Ranger race truck which is powered by the same engine as the F-150 Raptor.
While it may still (somewhat) look like the Ranger offered by Ford in dealerships world, underneath it is a completely different animal. In particular, it has been modified to compete at the top FIA class of the South African Cross Country Series. The automaker previously fielded a fleet of Rangers powered with 5.0-liter V8 engines sourced from the Mustang and solid rear axle suspension. However, this year, the new 2020-spec Ranger uses a new chassis paired with the 3.5-liter EcoBoost V6 found in the F-150 Raptor.
Ford didn't reveal any performance details regarding the engine in this race-prepped Ranger. It's safe to assume though it will be heavily modified for competition use. Together with the updated chassis, the solid axle rear end has been ditched as well. In its place is the new fully-independent suspension setup on all four-corners with 11-inches of travel. Since it will be racing in rugged terrain, naturally, power is sent to all four wheels. Brembo brakes bring the cross country Ranger to a stop and chunky BF Goodrich tires ensure grip on any terrain.
Styling-wise, the exterior has been extensively modified from standard. From the lone photo provided, it appears to be based on the single-cab Ranger. Upfront there's a large skid plate to protect the engine and underchassis from debris. The fenders have been vented to improve aero and widened to fit the larger wheels and tires. Needless to say, it looks ready to go racing.
The new F-150 Raptor powered cross country Rangers will start competing in the SA Cross Country Series later this year.