When Ford launched the first Ranger Raptor pickup a few years ago, we loved everything about it. Well, almost everything. The one component that didn’t seem to fit with the Baja-bashing nature was the 210hp 2.0-liter diesel engine. Sure, it had 500Nm of torque and we were never expecting an F-150 Raptor-syle V8, but it lacked soul and drama.
Luckily, it seems Ford Performance was listening because the new Raptor (based on the next-generation Ranger unveiled late last year) will have a twin-turbo 3.0-liter EcoBoost V6 at its heart. Hurrah!
The gasoline V6 will produce 392hp and 583Nm of torque. In Europe, the same engine will be capable of 284hp and 491Nm of torque. It’ll shout about it, too, with a new active exhaust that gets Quiet, Normal, Sport and Baja modes. The official press release does also mention that the 2.0-liter bi-turbo diesel will still be available for select markets.
Ford hasn’t released any acceleration or top speed figures just yet, but the Raptor’s program supervisor Justin Capicchiano did let slip that it’d be “hot hatch-fast on dirt.” Mega. The 10-speed auto gearbox remains.
Developed by Ford Performance in Australia, the new Ranger Raptor will get re-engineered suspension to cope with the extra power. There’s more travel, as well as Fox 2.5-inch Live Valve dampers plus underbody protection that’s almost double the size of the standard Ranger’s and made from 2.3mm-thick steel.
The chassis has also been beefed up, and there are now seven different drive modes along with a new full-time four-wheel-drive system with an electronically controlled two-speed transfer case and front and rear locking diffs. Oh, and the engine gets a new anti-lag system that keeps the turbos spinning for up to three seconds after you back off the throttle.
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The looks are all about width. With ‘FORD’ lettering across the giant grille, bigger arches to cope with the wider track, and the C-clamp daytime running lights that appear on the standard Ranger. Those wheels are bespoke 17-inch Raptor units.
Inside, there are new “jet fighter-inspired” sports seats and plenty of orange accents, as well as magnesium paddle shifters and that giant 12-inch touchscreen in the middle of the dash. The Raptor also gets a 12.4-inch digital instrument display.
What do we reckon then readers? Does this make up for us missing out on the Bronco Raptor?
More photos of the 2023 Ford Ranger Raptor: