Ford’s next-gen Raptor will arrive later this year with a petrol-powered 284bhp V6
When Ford launched the first Ranger Raptor pick-up a few years ago, we loved everything about it. Well, almost everything. The one component that didn’t seem to fit with the Baja-bashing nature was the 210bhp 2.0-litre diesel engine. Sure, it had 369lb ft of torque and we were never expecting an F-150 Raptor-syle V8, but it lacked soul and drama.
Luckily it seems Ford Performance was listening, because the new Raptor (based on the next generation Ranger unveiled late last year) will have a twin-turbo 3.0-litre EcoBoost V6 at its heart. Hurrah!
The petrol V6 will produce 284bhp and 362lb ft of torque. It’ll shout about it too, with a new active exhaust that gets Quiet, Normal, Sport and Baja modes. Ford hasn’t released any acceleration or top speed figures just yet, but the Raptor’s programme supervisor Justin Capicchiano did let slip that it’d be “hot hatch-fast on dirt”. Mega. The 10-speed auto gearbox remains.
Developed by Ford Performance in Australia, the new Ranger Raptor will get re-engineered suspension to cope with the extra power. There’s more travel and FOX 2.5-inch Live Valve dampers, plus underbody protection that’s almost double the size of the standard Ranger’s and made from 2.3mm-thick steel.
The chassis has also been beefed up and there’s now seven different drive modes, plus a new full-time four-wheel drive system with an electronically controlled two-speed transfer case and front and rear locking diffs. Oh, and the engine gets a new anti-lag system that keeps the turbos spinning for up to three seconds after you back off the throttle.
The looks are all about WIDTH. With FORD lettering across the giant grille, bigger arches to cope with the wider track and the C-clamp daytime running lights that appear on the standard Ranger. Those wheels are bespoke 17-inch Raptor units.
Inside there are new “jet fighter-inspired” sports seats and plenty of orange accents, as well as magnesium paddle shifters and that giant 12-inch touchscreen in the middle of the dash. The Raptor also gets a 12.4-inch digital instrument display.
The best bit? The new Ranger Wildtrak won’t arrive on our shores until Spring of 2023, says Ford, but the Raptor will be here in summer this year. Worth noting that the payload will be similar to that of the outgoing Raptor though, so it’s unlikely you’ll be able to claim any tax back by registering it as a commercial vehicle.
What do we reckon then fellow Europeans? Does this make up for us missing out on the Bronco Raptor?