It's been a long wait.
Yesterday, Ford CEO Jim Farley took to Twitter to confirm that both the 2023 Ford Ranger and the much-anticipated Ranger Raptor would be coming to the USA. It will complete the Raptor trio of the F-150 Raptor and Bronco Raptor. We already set eyes on the all-new Ranger, but now the Ranger Raptor has been officially revealed after we had to make do with months of spy shots of the high-performance truck. As expected, the Ranger Raptor arrives with much more aggressive looks than the regular Ranger, a more powerful V6 engine, and stronger underpinnings to allow it to undertake off-road adventures at high speeds.
Outside, this Ranger is unmistakable as a member of the Raptor family. It has the Raptor-style black grille with big FORD lettering, set between wraparound LED daytime running lights. Lower down, there is a sturdy skid plate.
On the sides, there are massive wheel arches set around thicker all-terrain rubber. Raptor graphics are found on the rear fenders, and also on the tailgate. But as good as it looks, the Raptor is all about what's under the skin. It's powered by a 3.0-liter EcoBoost twin-turbocharged V6 tuned for 284 horsepower and 362 lb-ft of torque in Europe. That's perhaps not as powerful as some would have hoped for but means that the F-150 Raptor can comfortably maintain a power and performance gap over its smaller sibling. A less powerful turbodiesel model will also be sold in Europe. However, in Australia, the V6 has been tuned to generate a much healthier 392 hp and 430 lb-ft. Hopefully, the US-spec model comes with the uprated V6.
To allow that V6 to sound as good as it can, Ford has equipped an electronically-controlled active exhaust system with four modes - Quiet, Normal, Sport, and Baja - depending on the specific scenario. Together with seven selectable driving modes, the new Ranger Raptor is highly versatile for use on or off-road.
The V6 may not be massively powerful, but it does have a graphite-iron cylinder block that's about 75% stronger and 75% stiffer than the iron used in traditional castings. It also borrows the nifty anti-lag system from the Ford GT that delivers rapid boost on demand. Paired with this engine is a unique chassis and uprated suspension.
The Ranger Raptor has specific mounts and reinforcements, as well as special frames for the shock tower and other elements, to handle testing off-road conditions. It uses next-generation FOX 2.5-inch Live Valve internal bypass shock absorbers with position-sensitive damping. The shocks are filled with Teflon-infused oil that Ford says reduces friction by 50% relative to the outgoing model.
"The suspension adapts in real-time to enable exceptional on-road body control while absorbing corrugations and bigger ruts off-road with ease, ensuring maximum control and performance," said Ford Performance chief program engineer for the Raptor, Dave Burn.
There are three on-road driving modes: Normal, Sport, and Slippery. These are matched by four off-road modes - Rock Crawl, Sand, Mud/Ruts, and Baja - allowing the Ranger Raptor to adapt to multiple terrains at the touch of a button.
Heading inside, the Ranger Raptor has Code Orange accents dotted around the cabin for a sportier look. A 12.4-inch digital gauge cluster, a 12-inch touchscreen, a leather sports steering wheel, and a 10-speaker B&O sound system are standard. In Europe, deliveries of the new Ranger Raptor will begin in late summer, but as Jim Farley indicated yesterday, the truck will only reach the US sometime next year.
"We've really focused on delivering a genuine performance truck with the Next-Gen Ranger Raptor," said Dave Burn. "It's significantly faster, looks incredible, is packed with new features, and it's the toughest Ranger we've ever made."
Ford has yet to officially announce pricing but previous sources indicate that the 2023 Ranger Raptor will begin at $52,500.