Meet the Ford Ranger Raptor: a truck the Blue Oval says is all about character and personality.
And it certainly has a personality. A fast one at that. Found under the hood of the new Raptor is a petrol 3.0-litre twin-turbo V6 EcoBoost motor, punching out 292kW of power and 583Nm of torque. That’s mated with a ten-speed automatic transmission where each gear is programmed to a unique boost profile.
The Raptor’s conventional 2.0-litre Biturbo diesel engine remains available (albeit not in NZ), but it’s with the V6 where Ford says you can feel the difference. An anti-lag system borrowed from Ford’s motorsport division gives the new Raptor instant power.
Chunk the motor into the most potent Baja mode and the turbos will continue spinning for three seconds after the driver backs off the throttle. And, as we expected, there are two exhausts.
“The 3.0-litre brings a different dynamic to the Ranger Raptor that will satisfy even the most hardcore performance enthusiast,” Chief Engineer for the Raptor Dave Burn said.
“The acceleration and raw performance of the new powertrain leaves you grinning from ear-to-ear.”
Sound is important to Ford, and they wanted the new Raptor to suit all needs. An electronically controlled active valve system allows drivers to tune the sound of the Raptor based on the selected driver mode.
Speaking of which, there are four modes: Normal mode, Sport mode, the loudest of the lot is Baja mode, and there is even a Quiet mode. Because, you know, you can’t have a loud Raptor when you’re driving around the streets of Remuera.
Ultimately, Ford wants the Raptor’s sound to build “an emotional connection with the owner.”
To emphasise the speed the new V6 brings to the table, Ford raced a standard Ranger and the Raptor around the same 10km dirt track. The Raptor finished over a minute ahead of the Ranger.
“It’s significantly faster,” Burn said. “[It] looks incredible, is packed with new features, and is the strongest ‘Built Ford Tough’ Ranger we’ve ever made.”
The suspension set-up from the next-gen Ranger has been overhauled for the Raptor. There are new lightweight aluminium upper and lower control arms and long-travel front and rear suspension.
Next-generation FOX 2.5-inch Live Valve Internal Bypass shock absorbers make bumpy trips less…let’s see…bumpy? If it sounds a bit much, it is. Ford says the set-up is “the most sophisticated ever [seen] on a Ranger Raptor.”
The Raptor receives an advanced permanent four-wheel-drive system with the option to electronically switch to rear-wheel drive.
The truck’s look is shaped to reflect the internal ‘toughness.’ You have the C-shaped headlights, a bold F-O-R-D grille pattern and a bumper split from the grille.
Inside, Ford has designed ultra-grippy seats inspired by the F22 fighter jet. They look nothing like what you would actually see in a jet plane, but they reportedly do make riding over uneven terrain more comfortable.
A monster 12-inch touchscreen also sits prominently in the centre for all your entertainment needs.
“We knew that customers would expect improved performance with the Next-Gen Ranger Raptor, but I’m not sure they’re really expecting the enormous leap we’ve made,” Burn said. “It’s a seriously fun car to drive and I think the raw performance is going to blow them away.”