The all-new Ranger has arrived with a Raptor variant and is ready to fight the Chevy Colorado and Toyota Tacoma.
The new Ford Ranger and Ranger Raptor have finally arrived in North America. Bigger, bolder, and more capable than before, the new midsized truck from the Blue Oval was first revealed to the world in 2022. The range-topper will take the fight to the latest Chevy Colorado and the upcoming Toyota Tacoma.
The most exciting news is, of course, the addition of the Raptor to the local lineup. Billed as the most powerful production Ford Ranger ever, the Raptor bursts onto the scene with a twin-turbo 3.0-liter EcoBoost V6 engine that produces as much as 405 horsepower and a substantial 430 lb-ft of torque. That's a notable increase over the last model (not sold in the USA), which produced 210 hp and 369 lb-ft.
The V6 powertrain boasts a graphite-iron cylinder block and makes use of an anti-turbo-lag system that provides plenty of boost in Baja mode. Ford says the turbochargers are kept spinning for up to three seconds when the driver takes their foot off the accelerator, which allows for a healthy surge when powering out of corners. The 405 horses are channeled to all four wheels via Ford's 10-speed SelectShift auto 'box.
The four-wheel drive system uses an electronically controlled on-demand transfer case (with two speeds), along with front and rear locking differentials. When the Raptor name is affixed to a Ford, you know it's going to be capable off the beaten path. The purpose-built suspension sounds seriously impressive, comprising aluminum upper and lower control arms, a Watts linkage, and trailing arms for improved comfort and control on rugged surfaces.
As standard, the Raptor receives an active valve exhaust system. That means you can speed through the dunes in the "Sport" or "Baja" settings and then return home and appease your neighbors with the "Normal" or "Quiet" modes.
As you'd expect, the Raptor makes use of Fox 2.5-inch Live Valve Bypass shocks. These hardcore shocks adjust the damping performance based on the Drive Mode, of which there are several. This includes "Normal," "Tow/Haul," "Sport," "Slippery," "Off-Road," "Rock Crawl," and "Baja."
Play around with the respective drive modes, and you'll notice how several aspects of the vehicle adapt to the different settings. Each mode adjusts the tuning of the transmission, traction control, engine, throttle response, and even the steering.
The front makes use of a coil-over setup, while the rear utilizes piggyback reservoirs which Ford says reduces heat build-up. Additionally, the Raptor's front frame receives uprated rear shock brackets, front shock towers, and suspension mounting points. A neat trick comes in the form of Trail Control. This allows Ranger Raptor owners to traverse tricky terrain while the truck takes control of the throttle and brakes.
Raptor is based on the handsome Ranger and improves on the recipe with a few appealing ingredients. Up front, you'll find prominent LED projector headlights with a funky C-shaped lighting signature. The Raptor eschews the traditional Blue Oval badging for bold "Ford" lettering that stretches across the mesh grille.
Housed under the flared fenders, replete with their own functional vents, are chunky 22-inch all-terrain KO3 tires from BF Goodrich. 17-inch wheels are standard, but Ford will offer beadlock-capable wheels as an optional extra. Ford knows the Ranger Raptor will be used in harsh terrain, and has gone the extra mile to protect the underbody. The front bash plate is fashioned out of high-strength steel and is supported by shields for the fuel tank, engine, and transfer case.
Step inside, and you'll find an equally impressive interior, filled with model-specific details and plenty of luxuries.
Climb into the cabin, and you're greeted by a sport steering wheel with paddle shifters made from cast magnesium alloy. The steering wheel's centering mark is finished in Code Orange, which is a signature Raptor design cue. This vivid color is applied throughout the cabin, including the air vents and seats. As standard, the front row receives Performance seats with extra bolstering.
Standard features include a 360-Degree and front-view camera that makes life much easier (on or off-road), along with a 12.4-inch digital instrument cluster and a 12-inch center touchscreen. The infotainment system makes use of Ford's SYNC4A operating system, along with wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. A particularly nice feature is the Bang & Olufsen system, which adds a premium touch to the interior. Other equipment worth mentioning includes Zone Lighting and the Pro Trailer Backup Assist system, which Ford claims none of its rivals can boast.
"Ranger Raptor is fast, comfortable, and packed with top-shelf, purposeful technology that's designed to perform. This is the baddest Ranger we've ever made," said Ford's Carl Widmann.
Initially, Ford will offer the 2024 Ranger in three distinct trim levels: XL, XLT, and Lariat. But before we discuss the differences between these models, let's look at the available engines for the latest iteration.
The standard engine is the tried and tested 2.3-liter EcoBoost which produces 270 hp and 310 lb-ft. Should you feel the need for more power, a more muscular 2.7-liter V6 with 315 ponies and 400 lb-ft is also available. This powerplant currently does duty in the F-150 and Bronco. Regardless of which engine you go for, a 10-speed automatic transmission is the only option. Ford also offers the electronic shift-on-the-fly four-wheel drive system, presumably at extra cost. Rear-wheel drive is standard.
While it may not have the capabilities of the Raptor, the regular Ranger is still an impressive truck. The front suspension is short- and long-arm independent and features a tubular stabilizer bar. At the rear, you'll find a more conventional Hotchkiss-type nonindependent live arrangement with leaf springs and outboard shock absorbers.
Ford has repositioned the shocks and shock mounts outboard of the frame rails to improve the ride quality. The company also says the new Ranger benefits from more ground clearance and superior approach and departure angles. What's more, the latest midsized pickup truck has a maximum (available) towing capacity of 7,500 lbs and a payload capacity of up to 1,805 lbs.
The 2024 Ranger will be made available with a wireless charger for mobile devices and an optional dual glovebox to store tools and gear. The second row features under-seat storage bins, which will come in handy when you're trying to hide valuables from prying eyes. The rear seatbacks also fold flat, making carrying larger objects easier.
Buyers will appreciate the more upmarket materials, premium fit and finish, and improved technology. An eight-inch digital instrument cluster is standard, while a 12.4-inch cluster can be optioned. The standard 10.1-inch center touchscreen can be supplanted by a larger 12-inch screen, which includes Ford's SYNC4A operating software.
There are as many as 31 driver-assist features, which include adaptive cruise control, blind spot assist (with trailer coverage), active park assist, and more. Ford will provide numerous optional extras and accessories for those with bigger budgets.
The 2024 Ford Ranger is priced from $34,160, which is considerably more expensive than the MY2023 base model. As a reminder, the outgoing model can be had for as little as $29,585 in SuperCrew form. The Ranger Raptor weighs in at $56,960, which sounds like a bargain when compared to the Bronco Raptor, which recently received another price increase. All 2024 Ranger prices listed here include the $1,595 destination and delivery fee.
It will be interesting to see whether Ford expands the Ranger lineup with the desirable Wildtrak X and Tremor derivatives available in other regions.
The Build and Price configurator will be launched in the coming weeks. The Ranger and Ranger Raptor will be assembled at the Michigan Assembly Plant in Wayne, Michigan. Order books for both models will open later this month, with the first examples hitting showroom floors this summer. The only exception is the 2.7-liter EcoBoost, which will arrive in late fall.
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