Pretoria - The much-anticipated Ranger Raptor that has Ford fans salivating will hit the local market in 2019, Ford Southern Africa has confirmed.

The automaker also revealed today that the recently announced super-bakkie will be locally built at the company's Silverton plant near Pretoria, which is undergoing a R3-billion revamp to expand production capacity of the existing Ranger line-up.

“The response to our announcement that Ford will be introducing a Ranger Raptor has been absolutely phenomenal, and we’re exceptionally proud to now confirm that this highly anticipated performance model will be assembled in South Africa,” stated Dr Casper Kruger, managing director of Ford Motor Company Sub-Saharan Africa Region.

As the latest addition to the Ford Performance line up, the Ranger Raptor will be a high-performance desert-racing inspired variant that builds on the heritage of Ford’s iconic F-150 Raptor sold in the US, one of the world’s most extreme production pickups. 

Though it’s been seen only in disguised form so far, Ford promises a ‘head-turning exterior look that exudes toughness’ as well as a ‘level of capability and off-road performance never before seen in this segment’.

Ford isn’t yet revealing any technical details, but a potential contender for the super Ranger’s engine bay is the 3.5-litre twin-turbo V6 that powers the F-150 Raptor, which shoves out a meaty 336kW of power and 690Nm for a sub six-second 0-100km/h time. It may also inherit the F-150’s ten-speed automatic transmission, and it’s safe to assume it will get four-wheel drive to more effectively lay down all that grunt.

The locally-built Ranger bakkie, launched in 2011, is exported to 148 countries in Europe, the Middle East and Africa, and the R3-billion upgrade to the Silverton assembly line is in order to meet growing local and international demand for the one-tonner.