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Ford Ranger Raptor gets Europe launch date

The Australian-developed Ranger Raptor has been confirmed for a European launch, with Ford confirming the news at the Gamescom trade fair in Germany.

Why at a gaming convention, you ask? Because Ford today also announced the Ranger Raptor will play a starring role in the new Forza 4 racing game.

The European launch is yet another stop on the Raptor's around-the-world ticket, with the 'bad-ass' Ranger also to be sold in America.

Stateside, the Raptor is rumoured to be on the receiving end of a punchy petrol powerplant - possibly the 2.7-litre six-cylinder unit from the F-150, good for 242kW/542Nm - but European cars will share Australia's diesel engine when it launches there in mid-2019.

That means a 2.0-litre four-cylinder twin-turbo diesel engine producing 157kW at 3750rpm and 500Nm from 1750rpm-2000rpm. It's paired with a 10-speed automatic transmission – the same gearbox used in the F-150 Raptor - and partners with Ford's 'Terrain Management System' with six modes: Normal, Sport, Grass/Gravel/Snow, Mud/Sand, Rock, and Baja mode, the latter designed for high-speed runs off-road.

“Forget everything you think you know about pick-ups,” says Ford's Europe performance director, Leo Roeks. “Our new Ranger Raptor is a different breed – a thoroughbred desert racer and extreme lifestyle off-roader that can toil with the best of them in the harshest of working conditions.”

Ford might not be manufacturing cars here, but Australian fingerprints are all over the Ranger Raptor. For one, the Australian team was heavily involved in the car's design and engineering, and local testing was carried out at the You Yangs proving ground in Victoria.

“Our local design and engineering team has worked incredibly hard with Ford Performance on this truly unique program to deliver a product that brings Raptor DNA," former Ford Australia boss Graeme Whickman said at the Ranger's local launch.

Can we consider the Ford Ranger Raptor an Aussie pick-up? Tell us in the comments below.