Comparing The Global Ford Ranger Raptor To The Current Ford Ranger: What We Can Expect From The American Model
Although Americans have been patiently waiting for a Raptor version of the Ford Ranger mid-size pickup for years, the hardcore off-road model has already done a brisk business in markets outside of the United States. On top of that, an updated Ranger has now been unveiled for Europe and Australia, where it previews not just the next generation of the truck but also the future of the Raptor edition, which will finally be coming to this continent (most likely as a 2024 model).
Here's a look at what we can likely expect from an Americanized version of the Ford Ranger Raptor, and how that compares to the Ranger that's currently on sale.
What’s Under The Hood?
Previous versions of the global Ford Ranger Raptor relied on turbodiesel power, a reflection of the popularity of that fuel outside of North America. While that engine remains on the order sheet for its established customer base, this year's redesign normalizes the Ranger's drivetrain across borders by borrowing the same 3.0-liter, twin-turbo EcoBoost V6 found under the hood of the Ford Bronco Raptor.
Tuned to provide 392 hp and 430 lb-ft of torque in Australia (a step up from its 284 hp output in Europe), it seems likely to match the Bronco Raptor's 400 hp / 450 lb-ft programming here in the United States, unless there are packaging issues that affecting cooling or exhaust routing. A 10-speed automatic is the only transmission offered with this engine.
It's a significant upgrade from the Ranger's current EcoBoost engine, a 2.7-liter, four-cylinder unit that's good for more than 120 ponies less than what the Raptor will have on deck. Its transmission stays the same, however, and given the somewhat clunky shifting associated with the 10-speed it will be interesting to see if the additional torque helps past over the problem.
It's also worth noting that the global Ranger Raptor provides four different exhaust modes from an active setup, ranging from 'Quiet' to 'Baja,' with the latter so loud it's reserved for off-road use only. The American Ranger does offer a number of exhaust upgrades through Ford Performance, but it's nice to be able to selectively deafen your passengers rather than have to deal with the drone 24/7.
What's Under The Chassis?
Even bigger upgrades are in store for the redesigned Ranger's suspension. The older truck had seen more than a decade of duty, which means that the redesigned vehicle's platform has undergone a thorough modernization even outside of the Raptor edition.
Its most powerful and capable model, however, gains its own unique strengthening in order to better withstand off-road punishment, as well as upgraded mounting points for some of its suspension hardware to reflect its beefier character.
Long-travel at both ends of the truck, the Raptor Ranger's chassis includes aluminum control arms, a new Watt's link setup at the back, and Fox 'Live Valve' shock absorbers that feature a 2.5-inch internal bypass (with damping controlled by the Raptor's various drive modes). A front skid plate that dwarfs that found in the standard Ranger is also included, as are a new two-speed transfer case, The latter combines with three on-road drive modes and four off-road modes to provide harmony between electronic traction and stability control in order to seek out either the most grip (rock crawling, sand) or maximum momentum (the Baja setting). Rounding out the updates are a pair of locking differentials for each axle and a set of 33-inch all-terrain tires.
You can find some of the Raptor's gear with the current Ranger Tremor, a package that is likely to continue when the updated version of the truck hits the market. That being said, the Tremor isn't exactly set up for high-speed dune-bashing in the same way as the Ranger Raptor, and is better suited to slow-and-steady mud or rock crawling. The Tremor also lacks the Raptor's sophisticated, and battle-hardened chassis (although it does feature a set of Fox shocks of its own), and has a less comprehensive set of driving modes available.
Package Or Model?
It's not know yet whether the upcoming Ford Ranger Raptor will be a distinct model of its own, like it is with the Bronco, or whether it will take the form of a package, as with the existing Ranger Tremor.
One thing is certain: the Ranger Raptor will bring with it a host of welcome updates to the Ranger's cabin, which is currently a drab place to spend any length of time. These will include a massive vertically-oriented touchscreen that dominates the center stack, along with nicer materials for the dash, door panels, and seats. On the outside, look for the same bulging fenders, huge FORD call-out on the grille, and updated lighting that will be familiar to anyone who's seen the F-150 Raptor.
As for pricing? It's reasonable to expect the Ford Ranger Raptor to start above $60,000, which is about $20k less than the Bronco Raptor, but roughly $20k more than the current Ranger Tremor.