Ford’s new Ranger Raptor was confirmed last month via a video teaser put out by Ford Australia, in which a clad Ranger mule can be seen running trials in aggressive fashion on the Outback. The pick-up is due in 2018, and will make its way into a number of Asia-Pacific markets.

Little is known about what the “ultimate performance off-road truck” variant of the T6 will have under the skin, especially what will drive it. Initial rumours proffered that the automaker’s 3.5 litre twin-turbo EcoBoost V6 or an uprated version of the existing 3.2 litre would find its way beneath the hood, but it has come to Motor Report’s knowledge that the Raptor is set to feature a 2.0 litre turbodiesel engine.

The unit in question should be Ford’s new EcoBlue mill, which made its debut last year on the Transit and Transit Custom – if the report is right, the Ranger Raptor could well be giving the new Panther engine its debut in the region.

The 2.0 litre direct-injected unit will progressively replace the Puma oil burner range, which has been around for nearly two decades. Presently, the Puma mills can be seen on local Ranger variants, in P5AT 3.2 litre and P4AT 2.2 litre Duratorq TDCi forms, the ZSD-422 being available in two output tunes.

Initially, the EcoBlue was offered in three outputs (105 PS, 130 PS and 170 PS) for commercial applications when it debuted, but the automaker has stated that power on the Panther 2.0 TDCi can be bumped up to as high as 240 PS for high output applications. It also says that the Euro 6-compliant unit offers 20% more torque (up to 340 Nm) compared to the 2.2L TDCi, the twist available from as low as 1,250 rpm.

There’s also a possibility that the Raptor could see a switch in transmission as a result of the new mill coming on board – speculation is that the new Getrag 10R80 10-speed might replace the existing 6R80 six-speeder.

GALLERY: Ford Ranger Raptor spyshots