The Ford Ranger has always been an in-betweener. A bit more glamorous than your regular workhorse pick-ups, but not as upmarket as the premium full-size trucks. The same holds true with its powertrain options too. Although a Raptor variant is already out, the regular models are powered by mediocre powertrains, with a 197 horsepower diesel being the most powerful engine available and the petrol option being a 2.5-litre unit good for 163 horsepower.

This week, the Blue Oval has announced official specs for the new 2019 Ranger. The mid-size American pick-up, which is making a comeback in its domestic market with the new model, will be powered by the tried and tested 2.3-litre Eco Boost block, which will make 270 horsepower and 420Nm of torque. That’s a major upgrade over the current version, and mated to a 10-speed automatic gearbox, should be able to “carry serious gear” as Ford claims. Ford also claims the new Ranger will be able to tow 7,500 pounds (3,400kg) with the available tow package and a trailer brake controller making it the best in its class for towing capability.

“Think of Ranger as the biggest and most capable backpack for your gear,” says Rick Bolt, Ford Ranger chief engineer. “With 1,860 pounds of maximum payload, Ranger can haul nearly a ton of gear to enable your next adventure.”

Anchored by a high-strength steel frame and solid rear axle with Hotchkiss suspension, the 2019 Ranger is expected to go on sale early next year, with production beginning later this year at the company’s assembly plant in Wayne, Michigan.

With this upgrade, the Ranger is sure to climb up a few notches in terms of market positioning.