There's now a more affordable Raptor on the market.
While Ford still stubbornly isn't planning to launch the Ranger Raptor in the US, its popularity in Australia has spawned a brand new model variant. For customers who can't afford the full-fat Ranger Raptor but want more off-road capability, Ford is now offering the Raptor-inspired Ranger FX4 MAX. Think of it like the Raptor's baby brother. Arriving in Australian showrooms in December, the Ranger FX4 MAX slots in between the Ranger XLT and flagship Ranger Raptor.
Whereas the Ranger Raptor's towing capacity is limited to 5,511 pounds due to its high-performance suspension and coil-spring rear end, the Ford Ranger FX4 MAX can tow up to 7,716 pounds due to its leaf-spring rear end.
Thanks to its unique suspension setup, the Ford Ranger FX4 MAX has a maximum payload of 2,162 pounds compared to 1,649 pounds for the Ranger Raptor.
"Our goal with the suspension was to extend Ranger's off-road capabilities, and we started with the basics: suspension travel, vehicle track and shock damping capabilities," Ford chassis engineering manager Tony Tsiandikos said. "The changes mean greater control of the vehicle in more aggressive terrain. As well, of course, as testing at our Proving Ground in the You Yangs, we took the FX4 MAX through its paces, from the Victorian High Country to South Australia, and we're confident that these are the very places that FX4 MAX customers will take their own vehicles."
Ford has also fitted 2.0-inch monotube Fox shock absorbers at the front and rear and unique 17-inch wheels wrapped in 265/70R17 BF Goodrich All-Terrain K02 tires, matching the tires used by the Ranger Raptor. Combined with a 0.7-inch suspension lift kit, the FX4 MAX has a 1.22-inch higher ride height than the Ranger XLT, while the ground clearance to the rear differential increases by 0.7 inches to 10.7 inches.
Other modifications include "lock-stop profile steering knuckles", new front jounce bumpers, and a 1.14-inch front stabilizer bar. Power is provided by the same twin-turbo 2.0-liter diesel as the Ranger Raptor producing 210 hp and 367 lb-ft of torque. In Australia, pricing for the FX4 MAX starts at $65,940 AUD, which is around $48,225. That's a hefty premium over the $24,110 base MSRP of the Ranger in the US.