You asked, Ford delivered – the all-new Ford Ranger Raptor has been revealed and, as expected, it has dropped its modest twin-turbo four-cylinder diesel for a turbocharged V6 petrol engine.
The new 3.0-litre twin-turbo V6 EcoBoost makes 292kW of power and 583Nm of torque – that’s almost double the amount of power of the out-going model. The new engine is paired to a 10-speed automatic transmission and new permanent all-wheel drive system.
Ford calls it “hot hatch fast, on dirt.”
The new engine is the same EcoBoost unit that Ford has used in the Bronco which has raced in the Baja and King of the Hammers off-road events in the US, so it’s a race-proven engine to help justify its place in the Ford Performance line-up.
“We’ve really focused on delivering a genuine performance truck with the Next-Gen Ranger Raptor,” explained Dave Burn, Ford Performance chief program engineer for the Ranger Raptor. “It’s significantly faster, looks incredible, is packed with new features, and is the strongest Built Ford Tough Ranger we’ve ever made.”
The big performance boost has required an overhaul of the chassis, with upgraded suspension to ensure it can handle the extra power. The biggest element are new Fox shock absorbers, these are 2.5-inch Live Valve Internal Bypass dampers, which Ford claims helps improve handling both off-road and on sealed roads.
These new dampers are filled with Teflon-infused oil that reduces friction by up to 50 per cent compared to the out-going Raptor, according to Ford.
The new permanent four-wheel drive system features an electronically controlled two-speed transfer case as well as front and rear locking differentials.
“While Ranger Raptor was inspired by desert racing, it’s also a supremely capable overlanding vehicle. Out of the box we’ve created an off-road vehicle that you don’t need to modify to get you where you need to go and back again safely,” said Burn.
To that end Ford has developed seven selectable drive modes that adjust the engine, transmission, traction control, exhaust valve and steering and throttle response. The seven modes are Normal, Sport, Slippery, Rock Crawl, San, Mud/Ruts and Baja.
On the surface the Raptor continues to get a bolder, more aggressive look compared to the rest of the Ranger line-up. As Ford’s exterior design manager for the vehicle, Dave Dewitt, quipped: “It looks like it has been to the gym.”
At the front there’s a big grille with large ‘F-O-R-D’ lettering which is a trademark of Raptor models. There’s more underbody protection as well as pumped out wheel arches to fit the 17-inch alloy wheel with BF Goodrich All-Terrain KO2 tyres.
Inside there’s carryover interior elements like the steering wheel with centre-line stitching and magnesium gearshift paddles, but there’s also new ‘jet fighter-inspired’ sports seats as well as the large digital instrument panel and central touchscreen we’ve already seen in the next generation Ranger.
Full specification and pricing details will be revealed closer to the Raptor hitting showrooms, which will come before the end of the year – likely between July and September.