For years, Americans wanted a production pickup, the Ford Ranger Raptor, which was only available in places like Europe. But that needs to change.
The 2023 Ranger Raptor is the second generation of the noisy mid-size pickup, and it will be available in the US for the first time next year. This is the third high quality truck with the Raptor badge available in America, located under the F-150 Raptor pickup truck and next to Bronco Raptor SUV.
When Ford re-launched the Ranger nameplate in 2019, it also built a performance-oriented version called the Ranger Raptor and offered it for sale in Australia, Europe, Mexico and the Asia-Pacific region. Basically, everywhere the base Ranger was sold, there was also the Raptor – with the exception of the United States. With the new second-generation Ranger Raptor, the production version will be sold along with the base trim at Ford’s home territory.
Under the hood sits a widely used 3.0-liter V6 twin-turbocharged Ford. This powerful engine is mated to a 10-speed automatic transmission that transmits power to all four wheels via a standard all-wheel drive system and a two-speed transfer case. For buyers, this combination of power and capabilities makes a medium-sized truck like the Raptor capable of wreaking havoc both on the road and off the beaten track.
Ford’s official figures for this engine are 284 horsepower and 362 pound-feet of torque, but that’s only for Europe, where it will replace the much duller four-cylinder diesel. The Australian the Raptor Ranger version will get the same engine tuned to 392 hp. and 430 lb-ft, which is much more common in the US, although Ford has yet to confirm any official results – only America will really get the truck this time.
While the powerful pickup engine is fascinating, that’s not the reason most people will run to the dealer for this new Raptor. Instead, more lucrative moments are off-road themes shared with his Bronco brothers, making Ranger able to ride in a desert pool or even run from a low flying plane.
The suspension itself was created by Fox, a name for those who are familiar with the off-road characteristics and other vehicles of the Ford Raptor family. Specifically, the Raptor Ranger uses the Fox 2.5-inch Live Valve kit internal bypass shock absorbers. These shock absorbers use internal valves to change the flow of oil, changing the characteristics of the suspension to protect against falls, additions and breakage, while maintaining a comfortable ride.
This Raptor also has a fairly thick scale. Solid steel body armor and structural reinforcement ensure that the truck can withstand any bullying by drivers. All of its suspension mounting points have been reinforced so that the truck can handle all the jumps from the plane that a regular buyer is sure to make. The truck frame has also been improved by adding structural reinforcement to areas that can be disrupted when hitting trails (and anything that can hide under a large piece of dirt).
Both the front and rear differentials are locked, which is an invaluable feature for many Hardore SUVs. A typical differential functions to allow the wheels to turn at different speeds, which helps maintain traction when the car is turning. But when moving a vehicle like the Ranger Raptor into its natural habitat, this ability can interfere with the truck’s ability to climb uneven, steep or loose terrain. The differential lock evenly distributes power between the wheels to easily deal with difficult situations, making rock climbing a more sensible task.
Touches the road with hefty 33-inch BF Goodrich all-terrain tires paired with optional 17-inch wheels. This combination is wrapped in large wings that add a modern and muscular look to the new mid-size pickup.
Inside, a 12-inch portrait touch screen mimics a premium feel Mustang Mach-E, which offers the latest version of Ford Sync 4A software. There’s also a digital instrument, more color splashes and various other elements have been rearranged for ergonomics.
Prices and availability for the US have not yet been announced, but Ford CEO Jim Farley I say expect it to appear in 2023.