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New MS-RT Ford Ranger goes lower and meaner in ‘ultimate street truck’ bid

The second-generation MS-RT Range model offers 'street truck' sophistication, according to Ford

While MS-RT is best known for its rally-inspired upgrades to the Ford Transit Custom - the latest of which has just been revealed - it's been tasked with giving the Ford Ranger a visual makeover, too. MS-RT's first attempt at modifying the Ranger was based on the previous generation model, which received bigger wheelarches and plusher interior trim, and now it's turned its attention to the current award-winning Ranger pick-up truck.

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With so many variants of the Ranger now offered, MS-RT has had to be careful where it positions its version. Too restrained, and it could pass for the regular truck, too wild, and it could steal thunder from the Ranger Raptor performance pick-up. So MS-RT has gone down the path of the "ultimate street truck", according to Ford.

“If Ranger Raptor is the ultimate off-road truck, then the Ranger MS-RT is the ultimate street truck,” says Hans Schep, general manager of the Ford Pro commercial vehicle division. “It’s a departure from what we usually see in this segment in Europe, but with more car-like driving dynamics and the towing and carrying capacity unchanged, we believe it will offer a compelling new option for pick-up customers.”

To achieve this, the MS-RT Ranger features a unique suspension set-up that's been lowered by 40mm over the standard truck, while firmer dampers are added up front and the rear settings have been retuned. However, while the suspension has been redesigned, the MS-RT Ranger is still able to carry a one-tonne payload and haul a 3,500kg trailer. Under the bonnet is the 237bhp 3.0-litre V6 twin-turbo diesel as seen in higher-spec versions of the Ranger, which is connected to a 10-speed automatic gearbox and intelligent four-wheel drive.

Visually, the MS-RT Ranger is differentiated from the rest of the line-up by flared body-coloured wheelarches - rather than the plastic-clad arches of a Raptor - and these add 82mm to the truck's overall width. The front and rear tracks have been widened by 40mm, too, while 21-inch diamond-cut alloy wheels with 275/45 section tyres are the biggest that have ever been fitted to the Ranger.

There's a new honeycomb grille up front and a deep front bumper with built-in splitter, while new side skirts enhance the low-slung look of the MS-RT Ranger. At the back, there's a lip spoiler on the tailgate and a matching lip added to the trailing edge of the roof, while the back bumper has a diffuser design added to it.

Inside, there's blue stitching that is a common MS-RT theme, while the new sports seats are trimmed in fake leather and suede upholstery. There's a sports steering wheel, while standard kit will be generous, including two-zone climate control, adaptive cruise, front and rear parking sensors and a 12-inch infotainment screen with Sync 4 and online services.

The new Ford MS-RT Ranger is available to order from the Ford Pro commercial vehicle network, with deliveries expected to begin in the summer.

Click here for our list of the best pick-up trucks...

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Senior test editor

Dean has been part of the Auto Express team for more than 20 years, and has worked across nearly all departments, starting on magazine production, then moving to road tests and reviews. He's our resident van expert, but covers everything from scooters and motorbikes to supercars and consumer products.

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