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Ranger Raptor: A formidable off-road beast

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The Ranger Raptor stands as a testament to Ford’s pursuit of blending high-performance capabilities with off-road prowess.

Want to know about the various aspects of the Ranger Raptor, its performance capacity and its features? Read this article.

What is Ranger Raptor?

What is Ranger Raptor?

The Ford Ranger Raptor is a robust and specialised variant of the Ford Ranger, designed to excel in off-road environments and deliver a heightened performance experience. Distinctive for its rugged aesthetics, it features a powerful engine, advanced suspension system, and purpose-built off-road enhancements, making it well-suited for navigating challenging terrains with confidence.

The vehicle’s design incorporates unique elements such as flared wheel arches, a commanding front grille and signature Ford badging. The Ranger Raptor represents a fusion of functionality and performance, providing drivers with an exhilarating off-road driving experience while maintaining versatility for everyday use.

The Ranger Raptor showcases Ford’s commitment to delivering high-performance vehicles capable of conquering challenging terrains. Drawing inspiration from the success of its larger sibling, the F-150 Raptor, the Ranger Raptor made its debut in 2018. This marked a pivotal moment in the mid-size pickup truck segment, as the vehicle introduced a new standard for off-road capabilities.

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Ranger Raptor truck

Ranger Raptor truck

One cannot help but be captivated by the Ranger Raptor’s striking design. The front grille, exuding an air of authority, sets the tone for what lies ahead. Flared wheel arches, chunky off-road tyres and signature Ford badging contribute to an aesthetic that balances aggression with functionality. The widened stance and muscular lines are not merely for show, they underscore the Ranger Raptor’s capability to tackle challenging terrains with confidence.

Stepping inside, the interior of the Ranger Raptor mirrors its adventurous spirit. Premium materials, sporty accents and an ergonomic layout create an atmosphere that seamlessly blends comfort with performance. The inclusion of advanced infotainment and connectivity features ensures that it is not just a rugged off-roader but also a well-appointed vehicle for daily use.

The beating heart of the Ranger Raptor lies in its performance specifications. Typically housing a turbocharged diesel engine, the Ranger Raptor delivers a punchy combination of horsepower and torque. This powerplant provides the necessary muscle for conquering a variety of terrains, making it an ideal companion for off-road enthusiasts.

The suspension system is a critical component of the Ranger Raptor’s off-road prowess. Specially tuned for the rigours of off-road driving, the suspension absorbs shocks and undulations, ensuring stability on uneven surfaces. Complemented by purpose-built off-road tyres, the Ranger Raptor’s grip on various terrains is unwavering.

Where the Ranger Raptor truly shines is when it ventures off the asphalt. Engineered for extreme off-road use, it boasts a suite of features that make it a force to be reckoned with. The Terrain Management System allows drivers to tailor the vehicle’s settings to suit specific off-road conditions. Be it sand, rocks, or mud, the Ranger Raptor adapts to provide optimal performance.

Underneath, robust underbody protection and a durable chassis contribute to the vehicle’s resilience in off-road scenarios. Skid plates shield vital components, allowing drivers to push the limits without fearing damage. Electronic aids like hill descent control and locking differentials enhance the Ranger Raptor’s capability to navigate challenging landscapes.

Behind the wheel, the Ranger Raptor delivers an exhilarating experience that balances power with precision. The responsive steering and off-road-tuned suspension create a dynamic driving feel, whether navigating urban streets or tackling rugged trails. Advanced technologies such as hill descent control and a terrain response system add an extra layer of confidence and control to the driving experience.

Since its introduction, the Ranger Raptor has garnered widespread acclaim, resonating with automotive enthusiasts and critics alike. Its unique positioning in the midsize pickup segment, coupled with its uncompromising off-road capabilities, has carved a distinct identity. The success of the Ranger Raptor has prompted other automakers to explore similar offerings, leading to a surge in the development of off-road-focused midsize trucks.

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Ranger Raptor release

Ranger Raptor release

In 2019, Ford unveiled the Ranger Raptor for the model year, a distinctive iteration derived from the global Ranger T6 mid-size pickup truck. Positioned above the Wildtrak appearance package, the Raptor received substantial upgrades to its suspension and chassis, enhancing its off-road capabilities. Drawing inspiration from its F-150 namesake, the Ranger Raptor featured a widened track and an elevated ride height.

Under the bonnet, the Ranger Raptor housed a robust 2.0L EcoBlue bi-turbo diesel engine, generating an impressive 210 brake horsepower. Paired with a 10-speed automatic transmission shared with the F-150 Raptor, the powertrain was akin to those found in globally-marketed versions of the Ford Transit and Ford Everest. Notably, the four-wheel-drive system exhibited adaptability to diverse terrains, aligning with the Raptor’s off-road focus.

Design-wise, the Ranger Raptor borrowed several aesthetic elements from its F-150 counterpart, including grey six-spoke wheels, a distinctive FORD-lettered grille, and prominent Raptor decals adorning the sides of the cargo bed. While not necessitating clearance lights, these design cues showcased the Raptor’s visual alignment with its larger sibling.

However, in a surprising move, Ford decided not to market the Ranger Raptor in the United States for the first generation, with plans to introduce it in the second generation. This decision was attributed to concerns about potential model overlap with the F-150 Raptor, coupled with challenges related to the powertrain design. The 2.0L EcoBlue diesel engine, not yet approved for US emissions standards, shared similar output figures with the regular Ranger’s 2.3-litre EcoBoost petrol engine, making a redesign for a more potent engine economically impractical.

Despite its absence in North America initially, the Ranger Raptor found a market in regions where the larger F-Series Raptor faced limited appeal due to its size. Noteworthy instances include its availability in markets like Argentina and Mexico, where it was sold alongside the F-150 Raptor.

Fast forward to February 2022 and the second-generation Ranger Raptor was unveiled. This iteration boasted a twin-turbo 3.0-litre EcoBoost V6 petrol engine, delivering an impressive 392 brake horsepower for the Australian market and a slightly toned-down 282 brake horsepower for the European market to comply with EU emissions standards. Paired with a 10-speed automatic transmission, this powertrain marked a significant leap in performance.

Excitingly, the second-generation Ranger Raptor was slated to make its debut in the United States and Canada starting in 2023. The American-spec Ranger Raptor was officially introduced in May 2023, flaunting a formidable power output of 405 brake horsepower. Set to launch concurrently with the standard Ranger trims in late summer 2023, the American audience was finally welcomed into the thrilling world of the Ranger Raptor.

The 2024 Ford Ranger Raptor emerges as a scaled-down rendition of its adrenaline-fueled counterpart, the F-150 Raptor. Echoing the robust aesthetics of its larger sibling, this off-road-ready Ranger showcases flared fenders, rugged tires, increased ground clearance, and an unmistakable grille. Its standard twin-turbo 3.0-litre V-6 engine commands attention, boasting an impressive output of 405 horsepower and 430 pound-feet of torque.

Built on the same fully boxed ladder frame as the regular Ranger, the Raptor takes a leap into off-road prowess with a long-travel suspension, enabling it to effortlessly soar over jumps. Multiple drive modes further enhance its adaptability, allowing the Raptor to conquer diverse and challenging terrains with finesse. The Ford Ranger Raptor is exclusively offered in a crew cab configuration, seamlessly connected to a five-foot cargo box, ensuring practicality without compromising its off-road prowess.

Step inside and the Raptor Ranger reveals its distinctive interior. While maintaining the practicality of the regular model, Ford elevates the cabin experience with exclusive content. Heavily bolstered front seats, orange trim pieces, and a sportier-looking steering wheel contribute to the Raptor’s performance-oriented aesthetic.

Notably, the steering wheel, adorned with an orange band at the midnight mark, signifies its commitment to performance excellence. The interior is equipped with a feature-laden infotainment system, anchored by a generous 12.4-inch center screen, providing both utility and entertainment.

Despite retaining an abundance of hard plastics and some rubberized materials, the Ranger Raptor ensures comfort and style. Aluminium paddle shifters add a touch of sportiness to the driving experience, enhancing the Raptor’s dynamic appeal. The interior configuration remains consistent with a crew cab and a five-foot cargo box, delivering a harmonious blend of utility and performance.

In terms of features, the vehicle mirrors its standard counterpart, offering dual-zone automatic climate control, heated front seats, remote start and more. The focus on a singular configuration — a crew cab with a five-foot cargo box — underscores the Ranger Raptor’s commitment to delivering a cohesive and purpose-built off-road package.

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