In Europe, Ford is offering a sporty variant of the Ranger pickup called the MS-RT.
Along with a handsome body kit, the Ranger MS-RT sits 1.6 inches lower with a 3.1-inch wider front and rear track and a revised suspension.
The MS-RT is built in collaboration with Ford's rally-racing partner M Sport and is offered through European Ford dealerships.
Street-oriented sport trucks were all the rage in the early 2000s, from the Ford F-150 Lightning and Chevrolet Silverado SS to the Viper-engined Dodge Ram SRT-10. With Toyota teasing a Tacoma X-Runner concept and Ford testing a more athletic Maverick Lobo, these lowered pickups may be on the verge of a comeback. Now we have a first look at the new Ford Ranger MS-RT, and while this factory-backed upgrade will only be available for Europe-market Rangers, it shows what an ST-badged version of Ford's midsize truck could look like.
Most of the changes are cosmetic. The front bumper is restyled with a wide lower grille sandwiched by vertical vents, and there's an integrated front splitter. The grille also wears a honeycomb look, while the tailgate gains a ducktail spoiler. This is echoed by a spoiler on the roof, and Ford says these add-ons improve high-speed stability. The MS-RT also gains aggressive side skirts with a vent behind the front wheels and a restyled rear bumper that incorporates a diffuser.
The Ranger MS-RT wears special 21-inch wheels wrapped in 275/45 Continental ContiSportContact tires, the largest wheels ever available on a Ranger. The track width has been expanded by 1.6 inches on each side, necessitating flared wheel arches. Ford also fitted the MS-RT with unique suspension, including firmer front dampers and a returned rear setup. The truck has also been lowered by 1.6 inches, giving it a meaner stance, and, Ford says, improving handling.
Inside, faux leather and suede seats with more serious bolstering also gain an eye-catching stitched pattern and MS-RT branding. A MS-RT badge also appears on the dash and the steering wheel gets a blue 12 o'clock marker.
No upgrades are made to the engine, with the MS-RT using Ford's 3.0-liter diesel V-6 that produces 237 hp and 443 pound-feet of torque. The motor is hooked up to a 10-speed automatic transmission and a four-wheel-drive system. Ford says the MS-RT is still capable of the same carrying and towing capacities.
The MS-RT comes from M Sport, which helps engineer and build Ford rally cars such as the Dakar-ready Ranger race truck. The company has a history of modifying Ford commercial vehicles, with the Ranger revealed alongside an upgraded Transit Custom van. The Ranger MS-RT will be offered through Ford Pro dealerships in Europe and are finished in a factory on a Ford production facility campus. Deliveries are supposed to start by the middle of the year, but sadly these trucks won't be making their way Stateside.
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