Ford Performance has given the Ranger the full Raptor treatment, applying a host of chassis tweaks and a more potent power plant
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The next generation Ford Ranger Raptor has been revealed, topping the updated Ranger range with improved looks and high-speed offroading capability. Pricing is yet to be announced.
Though the name remains the same, Ford Performance has given the Ranger Raptor a comprehensive update for this new generation. The same 3-litre twin-turbocharged EcoBoost V6 as found in the Bronco Raptor now lies at its core, but power is quite some way down on its US-only sibling thanks to EU emissions regulations, with output at 284bhp and 361lb ft of torque. Nevertheless, these figures give the Ranger a 74bhp boost over the outgoing 2-litre diesel, with torque down 8lb ft. Power is sent to all four wheels through Ford’s new 10-speed automatic transmission, and the aforementioned diesel will also be available as an option from 2023.
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Alongside a new full-time four-wheel drive system, the Ranger Raptor now takes advantage of an electronically controlled two-speed transfer case, locking front and rear differentials and seven drive modes to help send that power to the ground most effectively.
The chassis setup itself is largely based on the outgoing Raptor, which takes the basic T7 ladder chassis, but replaces the standard suspension with a bespoke double wishbone layout up front, and a highly modified rigid rear axle with coil springs and long-travel dampers. Ford Performance’s development team have long used Fox dampers for its Raptor models, and this continues on the new Ranger.
Developed by Ford Performance, the new 2.5-inch Fox shock absorbers allow for features such as ‘Bottom-Out Control’, providing maximum damping force in the last 25 per cent of travel, and increased stiffness during acceleration to prevent unwanted squat. The rest of the suspension system has also been given an overhaul, with new, strengthened upper and lower control arms allowing for more travel and control over rough terrain.
In order to help it stand up to any unforgiving off-road conditions, the new Ranger Raptor also features C-pillar reinforcement, Raptor-specific mounts and an enlarged front steel skid plate to protect the radiator, engine sump and front differential from damage.
The new Ranger’s already brutish design has received an update too, with wider front arches and bespoke side body pressings that combine with more aggressive front and rear bumpers, chunky all-terrain tyres and sharp LED matrix headlights. Inside, the Raptor receives seats said to be inspired by fighter jets, with an orange accent colour making an appearance both in contrasting stitching and ambient lighting. A 12.4-inch digital dash and 12-inch infotainment display feature as standard, with a 10-speaker B&O sound system available as an option.
So the new Raptor has been given a much needed performance boost, but what was perhaps not expected is how popular the current generation has been, despite its breathless diesel engine, and the fact it does not comply with commercial vehicle regulations due to a compromised payload – thus costing thousands more in tax. A thirstier powertrain might knock some of its appeal on-paper, but it’s extra performance will no doubt appeal to those who were wishing for more performance from a high performance pick-up truck – ourselves included.
First European deliveries are set to commence in summer 2022, and although pricing is still under wraps, expect to pay from around $70,000.
This article originally appeared at evo.co.uk
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