After a lengthy teaser campaign, Ford has officially unleashed its latest beast of a pick-up truck. Say hello to the 2023 Ranger Raptor, and it’s set to rewrite the rulebook when it comes to delivering the ultimate in off-road performance.
Now on its second generation, the all-new high-performance 4x4 pick-up features a stylish new look as the latest Ranger, an all-new engine under the hood, improved 4x4 systems, and an upgraded suspension.
Starting with the most obvious, the Ranger Raptor gets a new 3.0-liter twin-turbo EcoBoost V6 that cranks out either 288 PS and 491 Nm of torque (Europe) or 392 PS and 583 Nm of torque (Australia and seelct markets). Unlike regular engines, the Ranger Raptor’s V6 is better thanks to a graphite-iron cylinder block. This makes the engine 75% stiffer than regular iron castings and is more fatigue resistant at elevated temperatures compared to aluminum and cast iron.
Not only that, but Ford Performance also installed a race-bred anti-lag system similar to the Ford GT road car and Focus ST. This enables rapid delivery of boost on-demand, as well as an immediate response to throttle inputs.
The anti-lag feature is only available in Baja Mode and works by keeping the turbochargers spinning for up to 3 seconds after the driver backs off the accelerator. This allows for faster acceleration out of corners or through the gears when the driver steps back on the throttle. The engine is also programmed with an individual turbocharging boost profile for each of the advanced gears of its 10-speed automatic transmission for optimized performance.
Complementing the V6 engine is a new electronically-controlled active exhaust system. It amplifies the engine note in four distinct modes. With a press of a button on the steering wheel or by selecting a drive mode, the exhaust can be set to Quiet, Normal, Sport, and Baja.
Besides giving the Ranger Raptor a new heart, Ford also completely redesigned its suspension. It gets new, tough, yet lightweight aluminum upper and lower control arms, long-travel front and rear suspension, and a refined Watt’s Link rear end. Ford says these will allow the driver to deliver more control across rough terrain at high speeds.
There are also new Fox 2.5-inch Live Valve internal bypass dampers. It features cutting-edge control technology and offers position-sensitive damping capability. Ford claims these are the most sophisticated dampers ever fitted to a Ranger Raptor and are filled with Teflon-infused oil that reduces friction by around 50% compared to the outgoing model. The new shocks also work in tandem with the selectable driving modes for better riding comfort or a stiffer setup.
Providing extra protection when going over rough terrain comes courtesy of upgraded underbody protection. The front bash plate is almost double the size of the standard next-gen Ranger and is made from 2.3mm-thick high-strength steel. Combined with the engine under shield and transfer case shield, these are designed to protect important components from debris.
For the first time, the Ranger Raptor gets an advanced full-time 4WD system with an all-new, electronically-controlled, on-demand two-speed transfer case. It also comes with front and rear locking differentials for extra traction on the toughest of terrains.
Helping the high-performance pick-up handle any terrain are 7 selectable driving modes. On-road, there are three to choose from; Normal, Sport, and Slippery. For off-road conditions, there are four in total; Rock Crawl, Sand, Mud/Ruts, and Baja. It also gets a unique system called Trail Control which serves as cruise control for off-roading.
When it comes to design, the Ranger Raptor builds on the next-generation Ranger’s looks, and then some. It gets flared wheel arches, the new C-shaped headlight clusters, and bold F-O-R-D lettering on the grille. It even gets matrix LED headlights and LED daytime running lights for better nighttime visibility on- or off-road.
Other exterior highlights on the Ranger Raptor include new 17-inch alloy wheels wrapped in Raptor-exclusive all-terrain tires, cast-aluminum side steps, LED taillights, and a rear bumper painted in Precision Gray that comes with an integrated step and tow bar.
Inside, the cabin has all-new, jet fighter-inspired sports seats in the front and rear to increase comfort and offer more support during high-speed cornering. The Code Orange accents on the instrument panel, trim, and seats are mirrored by Ranger Raptor’s ambient lighting, which bathes the interior in an amber glow. A premium leather sports heated steering wheel with on-center marking and cast-magnesium paddle shifters completes the sporty feel.
The all-new Ford Ranger Raptor will be first arriving in European markets, with deliveries set to begin in Q4 of 2022. Afterward, other global markets will follow suit. Hopefully, countries like the Philippines will also get the new EcoBoost twin-turbo V6 engine.