The next Ford Ranger Raptor has been revealed with a new 3.0-litre twin-turbocharged petrol V6 engine replacing the current truck's 2.0-litre diesel. The switch in powertrain marks a significant boost in power, up from 201hp to 288hp, with 491Nm of torque, while the chassis and suspension have been overhauled for greater off-road ability.
One tough-looking truck
The new Ford Ranger Raptor will be the first version of the new-generation Raptor to go on sale, and it is scheduled to hit dealers worldwide by late 2022. It features a look that's an evolution of the current Raptor, so it still gets plenty of inspiration from the larger US market F-150 Raptor.
The main focal point is the big matt-black grille with large FORD lettering across it, while the C-shaped daytime running lights are another nod to the F-150. On the Ranger Raptor, these are joined by LED headlights, and there are LED clusters at the rear, too. More matt black trim features for the bumpers and running boards, while the wider front and rear wheelarches cover black 17-inch alloys wrapped in all-terrain tyres.
Inside, Code Orange trim details mark the Raptor out, while the large 12-inch central touchscreen and 12.4-inch digital dials give the cab a hi-tech boost. Sports seats hold front and rear occupants in place, while controls for the off-road systems are located on the centre console.
The new V6 EcoBoost engine is shared with the recently revealed Bronco Raptor, but while that model is expected to have in excess of 400hp, the Ranger version has to 'make do' with 288hp. That's still an 87hp increase over the existing truck, while Ford's engineers have included an anti-lag system (as originally seen on the Ford GT supercar) that keeps the turbos spinning for up to three seconds once the driver has backed off the throttle, to help with the truck's response to accelerator input. The V6 is joined by a re-engineered version of the current Raptor's 10-speed auto.
Full-time four-wheel drive is fitted, and there's an electronically-controlled two-speed transfer case. Front and rear locking differentials are also included as standard, while seven selectable drive modes mean the Ranger Raptor can tackle anything from smooth tarmac to low-speed rock crawling and high-speeds dirt tracks.
The latter is overseen by the 'Baja' mode, which optimises the Raptor's systems to make the most of its off-road systems. Under the skin, this includes reinforced suspension mounts, along with lighter but beefier suspension components to reduce unsprung weight, while all-new Fox dampers have been tuned to deliver the best off-road performance.
Sounds of the wild
As well as being tuned for hard off-road driving, Ford has given the Ranger Raptor the sounds to go with it. An active exhaust system offers four different settings, depending on use. Quiet is a set-up that's previously been seen on the Mustang, which keeps the volume down, while Normal and Sport modes add some more sound. Finally, Baja mode cranks up the volume, and Ford says it is more like a straight-through exhaust system, intended for off-road use only.
The standard Ford Ranger is due to arrive in dealers at the start of 2023, but the Ranger Raptor model gets a head start, by arriving later in 2022. Official figures on performance and payload weights are expected to be announced then, along with an on-sale date for the Irish market.