If you love UTEs, you should be excited about the upcoming year. Although they are still quiet about it, Toyota, Ford, and Holden are the three manufacturers which will release their most expensive and adventurous UTE models next year. The most powerful UTE is VW’s Amarok Ultimate V6 turbo diesel which costs $74,000 without any optional kit, be it could lose its crown soon.
We all know about the new Ford Ranger Raptor as we have seen numerous spy photos of its prototypes in Australia and the other world markets. However, besides Ford, Toyota and Holden are also developing their models for the race. Blue Oval’s Ranger Raptor will compete against Holden’s enhanced Colorado and a genuine TRD HiLux with aggressive design, larger wheels and tires, modified suspension and performance brakes.
All three models will keep their diesel powerplants since it takes too much money to develop a high-performance petrol unit for a small Australian market and meet the emission standards at the same time. That being said, we expect to see the new Ranger Raptor with the upgraded version of the ongoing 3.2-liter 5-cylinder diesel engine. Rumor has it that the US-spec Ranger Raptor could get the V6 turbo petrol which also powers the F-150 Raptor or even the four-cylinder turbo-petrol from the Mustang and Focus RS.
We are not certain at the moment, but the US Ranger Raptor might offer both petrol and diesel units, considering that its successful rival Chevrolet Colorado together with the Colorado ZR2 provides the customers with both options. As for the HSV Colorado and the TRD HiLux, they will stick to their 2.8-liter turbo diesel engines. The HiLux will also be offered with a 4.0-liter V6 petrol in the local market, whereas the 3.6-liter V6 petrol which the Colorado ZR2 uses in the US is not available in Australia.
The starting price of each model will be over $65,000. A Ranger facelift comes at the same time as the Raptor itself, and it might bring a new super-efficient 2.0-liter turbo diesel instead of the 2.2-liter which is used for the current vehicle. This new engine might be offered with the other models besides the new Ranger.
Speaking of the 2018 Ford Ranger, it will be equipped with the new nose, updated cabin and additional safety features such as automatic emergency braking and blind spot monitoring on some of the trims. In terms of mechanics, this one will receive a new brake package with four-wheel discs on some models. Furthermore, we expect the bulky tow bar assembly behind the bumper to be responsible for better off-road ground clearance.
It will be entertaining to see all three of the “super utes” coming at the same time. They will compete against the Mercedes-Benz X-Class, that is supposed to arrive in the mid-2018, and which should be powered by a 3.0-liter V6 turbo diesel engine. The new X-Class with this engine will be launched six months after the four-cylinder diesel version arrives. We also need to mention that an AMG design package will be available for all of those people who prefer a show car to a workhorse.
Since all of the three models, the Ford Ranger, the Toyota HiLux, and the Holden HSV Colorado will be introduced in the Australian market, that clearly shows the rise in popularity of UTEs in recent years. So far, this year, the Toyota HiLux and Ford Ranger are the top sellers, whereas last year, the HiLux led the Australian car market in terms of units sold. This has never happened before, but it is obvious what the public wants.
Which one of the three models do you like the most?