It’s happening! The Ford Ranger Raptor is finally coming to North America in 2023 with the rest of the 5th Generation of Rangers.
Let’s dive into the Ranger Raptor’s design. We’re talking confident and modern styling that’ll turn heads on the streets. Those LED projector headlights are like spotlights, while the signature C-clamp lighting adds that extra touch of flair. And oh boy, the grille is a bold statement with the now classic Raptor F-O-R-D lettering, sitting above an all-steel bumper. Integrated front and rear tow hooks are ready for action, and the LED taillights create a cool C-clamp link back to the front.
Check out those flared fenders with functional fender vents – they’re not just for show. They’re housing 33-inch BFGoodrich all-terrain KO3 tires on 17-inch wheels. And here’s the kicker – you can opt for beadlock-capable wheels with bead locks. What’s that mean? It’s like having an off-road cheat code, allowing you to run super low tire pressures for tackling sand and rocky terrains like a pro.
The Ranger Raptor takes it seriously, starting with a thick front bash plate made of high-strength steel. It’s like a shield for your off-road adventures. And they didn’t stop there – the engine, transfer case, and fuel tank have their own dedicated shields, ensuring you can go wild without any worry about damaging the components below.
Tech & Comfort
Step inside the Raptor’s cab, and you’ll find it built for performance. The sport steering wheel comes with cast magnesium alloy paddle shifters, ready for quick transmission control. And don’t miss the signature Raptor centering mark in a vibrant Code Orange color – it’s a subtle reminder that you’re in for an adrenaline-pumping ride. Plus, those six overhead upfitter switches make it a breeze to add and power up your off-road lights, gear, 12-volt fridge/freezer, etc.
Now let’s get connected. The Ranger Raptor has your back with features like a 360-Degree Camera and Front View Camera, giving you a clear view of your off-roading conquests. And for those remote locations, they’ve got you covered with Zone Lighting, ensuring darkness won’t stand a chance. Also, included is the class-exclusive Pro Trailer Backup Assist, because even when you’re towing boats and campers in those far-off places, the Raptor’s got your back.
Inside, it’s all about being informed and entertained. There is a high-resolution 12.4-inch digital instrument cluster and a 12-inch center touchscreen running SYNC® 4A. It is compatible with Apple CarPlay® and Android Auto™ wireless smartphone connectivity – no cords needed. And if you’re craving an audio experience to match your adventure, the Bang & Olufsen® sound system will rock your world.
Ranger Raptor Suspension – Time for Some Sweet Jumps
The real reason we are interested in the Ranger Raptor. The suspension of this beast is what makes it special. It’s not your average suspension. We’re talking about a purpose-built system, complete with lightweight aluminum upper and lower control arms. The rear suspension takes it up a notch with a long-travel setup featuring a Watts linkage and trailing arms, giving you the control and confidence to dominate off-road challenges.
The Ranger Raptor is equipped with the next generation of FOX™ 2.5-inch Live Valve Internal Bypass shocks. These bad boys are coilovers at the front and have piggyback reservoirs at the rear. What’s the big deal, you ask? Well, they keep the heat in check, ensuring uninterrupted performance all day long. No overheating means more off-road activities.
The Ranger Raptor is built on a beefed-up foundation. They took the already sturdy Ranger’s fully boxed frame and reinforced it to handle the punishing demands of off-road adventures. We’re talking reinforced front frame rails, front shock towers, rear shock brackets, suspension mounting points, and other critical areas.
The FOX™ Live Valve Internal Bypass system works its magic by adjusting damping performance based on the Ranger Raptor’s Drive Modes. There are seven modes. We’ve got Normal, Tow/Haul, Sport, Slippery, Off-Road, Rock Crawl, and Baja modes. Each one is carefully crafted to provide you with the perfect blend of on-road comfort, off-road control, capability, and ride quality. It’s like having a chameleon suspension that adapts to your every whim.
But wait, there’s more! These selectable drive modes don’t just tweak the suspension. They appropriately adjust the tuning of the engine, transmission, ABS calibration, traction control, steering, and throttle response – even the instrument cluster and touch screen get in on the action. And let’s not forget the active valve exhaust system, which can be tuned to several modes including Quiet, Normal, Sport, and Baja settings.
And for those tricky spots on your off-road adventures, fear not! The Ranger Raptor comes equipped with Trail Control™. As a result, it’s like having a trusty co-pilot that manages the throttle and brakes while you navigate those difficult tasks.
Powertrain – Turbo Everything
The Ranger Raptor doesn’t just have an amazing suspension. Additionally, it’s also packing some serious muscle under the hood. We’re talking about a Ford Performance tuned twin-turbo 3.0-liter EcoBoost® V6 engine that’s ready to unleash mayhem on any terrain. Brace yourself for 430 lb.-ft. of torque and a best-in-class 405 horsepower – making it the most powerful Ranger ever built. The engineers designed this beast for performance on gravel, dirt, mud, and sand.
It all starts with a compacted graphite-iron cylinder block. This baby will handle the heat and deliver maximum power. What really sets it apart is the race-bred anti-turbo-lag system. When you’re in Baja mode and want that boost on demand, this system keeps those turbochargers spinning for up to three seconds even after you’ve released the throttle. All things considered, it’s like having a turbocharged adrenaline rush at your command, especially when you’re sliding the truck like a pro.
The mighty EcoBoost engine is bolted to a class-exclusive 10-speed SelectShift® automatic transmission*. Combined with an advanced four-wheel drive system, including a new electronically controlled on-demand two-speed transfer case, and front and rear locking differentials, the Ranger Raptor is unstoppable. It’s like having the ultimate off-road ally that adapts to any terrain and conquers it with ease.
Now, the Raptor family is no joke. We’ve got the F-150 Raptor, F-150 Raptor R, Bronco Raptor (Braptor if you prefer), and now the Ranger Raptor. It’s like a family reunion of performance beasts ready to conquer the toughest challenges. And don’t underestimate the Ranger Raptor – a pre-production model that proved its worth by winning the stock midclass category of the Baja 1000 this year, completing the difficult course in 26 hours and 21 minutes. Afterward, just for kicks, it drove almost 200 miles back home to California. Now, that’s what we call a true adventure!
I want some seat time! Also, I want Braptor seat time. However, this sounds like a sweet, sweet truck. Ford did not release pricing information yet. Which could be its largest negative. Higher car prices have not really stopped most buyers from placing orders for vehicles.
It looks like a decent formula for a great truck. What makes the other Raptors great is the suspension and Ford definitely emphasized that on this truck as well. I haven’t driven the 3.0L EcoBoost. But I did drive a 2.7L EcoBoost Bronco and a 392 Wrangler back to back. I loved the 392 and really enjoyed the 2.7. However, more power and torque from the 3.0 is a welcome party guest. I definitely think there will be some treating the Ranger Raptor as a party in the desert.
Colorado ZR2, Canyon AT4X. Tacoma TRD Pro and Frontier Pro-4X should all be on notice.
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