As we move through the latter half of any year, passing through major automotive shows, and seeing the physical realizations of countless concept offerings in showrooms and dealer lots alike there’s usually a diverse array of sentiment to be felt. On one hand, we’re captivated by the exploration of all that is new, be it individual features new to a model year or an altogether new offering. On the other, however, is the disappointment when we learn of offerings that won’t be available stateside, especially when they’re exceptionally compelling.
Take the Ford Ranger Storm, for example. Hot on the heels of the ground-breaking announcement that the midsize Ranger would make its long-awaited return to Ford’s lineup, we learned that there would be a ground-shaking variant emulating the aggressive styling and performance of the immediately-iconic Raptor F-150. Too bad for us, though, it would only be made available in other markets. Fast-forward to the Sao Paulo International Motor Show held in early November, and the announcement that yet another Ranger variant would be served up in the form of the Storm.
In fact, here’s a quick walk-around of the Storm captured at Sao Paulo.
Powered by a 3.2-liter diesel engine paired to a six-speed automatic transmission, the Storm wrangles an all-too-capable 200 horses. Its overall aesthetic is heralded by a bold “STORM” grille design, echoes of which are visible in the stamped tailgate. Protective body cladding emphasizes the Storm’s off-road attitude, accentuated by its integrated snorkel, off-road bumpers and modest lift. 17-inch wheels clad in BFGoodrich all-terrain ties, and its utilitarian accessibility would be fleshed out by a sleek roof-rack design and subtle running boards. All in all, it is an amazing concept, and I can immediately think of a few friends that would be quick to jump in line for the chance to take one home.
But like the Raptor variant before it, the Storm will not be available in the United States. In fact, it’s highly likely that the ballsy-looking Storm will only be found in Brazil (of all places). This, of course, creates some frustration for Ford loyalists, off-road enthusiasts and (inevitably) some missed opportunities in terms of both sales and customer conversions. More than any other demographic, the American motorist fits the profile for this new generation of aggressive, hi-po’d offerings. And that’s on top of the reintroduction of a midsize offering into Ford’s lineup. Bottom-line, the Raptor and Storm variants of the resurrected Ranger belong stateside, and it’s disappointing that we may not get the chance to enjoy them ourselves. What are your thoughts on the resurrected Ranger, and the exclusive nature of the variants being served up? We want to know.