There’s a new variant for the Ford Ranger in Thailand, called the FX4 Max, and unlike most “special-edition” variants – including a very similarly-named Ranger FX4 – that we’re used to seeing, this one comes with more than just skin-deep styling changes.

The most noticeable mechanical change on the Ranger FX4 Max is its engine. While the previous FX4 special-edition gets the same 2.2-litre Duratorq four-cylinder turbocharged diesel as seen on the Ranger XLT, the FX4 Max is instead equipped with the 2.0-litre twin-turbocharged four-cylinder diesel mill, the same one seen on the Ranger WildTrak and Raptor.

The bi-turbo engine makes 213 hp and 500 Nm of torque, with power sent to all four wheels via a 10-speed automatic gearbox, making the powertrain essentially identical to the Ranger Raptor – all that’s missing is the Raptor-exclusive Terrain Management System. Now you see why we call this the Raptor ‘Lite’?

Other mechanical add-ons include the Fox monotube dampers on all-four corners – while not the same as the Racing Shox found on the Ranger Raptor, the new suspension set-up features increased suspension travel and a taller overall ride height, improving the Ranger FX4 Max’s off-road performance.

Further improvements to its off-road capabilities come in the form of the upgraded BF Goodrich all-terrain tyres, wrapping around the new 17-inch alloys. All in, the Ford Ranger FX4 Max boasts a ground clearance of 256 mm – 20 mm more than the regular XLT variant – and an 26 mm wider track width for more stability especially off the beaten path.

As for looks, the Ford Ranger FX4 Max stands out from the other Ranger variants with its Raptor-inspired “FORD” script grille. Other standard equipment on the FX4 Max include a matte black sports roll bar, a tubular side step, and front and rear wheel arch claddings – all of which are finished in a Bolder Grey colour, alongside the door handles, wing mirror housings, wheels, and bumpers.

Inside, the FX4 Max variant-exclusive touches include the Alcantara upholstery with carbon-fibre-like trims and “FX4 MAX” embroideries, as well as a bank of six auxiliary power switches on top of the dashboard. These switches work in conjunction with the 250A alternator, allowing owners to connect external appliances such as winches or LED light bars without messy cabling runs.

The Ford Ranger FX4 Max is available in Thailand for THB1,189,000 (~RM159k), approximately THB500k less than the Ranger Raptor.

Closer to home, Sime Darby Auto Connexion has recently unveiled the special edition Ford Ranger Raptor X here in Malaysia, with a fresh new coat of True Red paint, and several additional niceties.