The second-generation Ranger Raptor will arrive this summer with a twin-turbo V6 petrol engine for the very first time as it looks to “raise the off-road performance bar”.
The sporting version of Ford’s hugely successful Ranger pick-up has 248bhp and 363lb ft of torque thanks to the 3-litre twin-turbocharged unit, which replaces the previous 2-litre diesel as the flagship motor.
Featuring an anti-lag system similar to that found on the Ford GT supercar and Focus ST hatchback, this is said to keep the turbochargers spinning for up to three seconds after the driver has lifted off the throttle.
When they step back on the accelerator again, such as exiting a bend or an acute corner, “immediate responses” are promised. What’s more, the EcoBoost petrol comes programmed with an individual turbocharging boost profile for the automatic transmission’s 10 gears for “optimised performance”.
The four-cylinder turbo diesel is being retained by Ford, although buyers wanting to stick with the heavy fuel option are going to have to wait until next year at the earliest before they can get their hands on one.
Other technical highlights for a vehicle that draws styling inspiration from the American-only F-150 pick-up include a heavily reengineered suspension incorporating competition-grade shocks.
Built by Fox, these are said to provide maximum damping force in the last 25% of the shock’s travel and dial out rear end squat during hard acceleration and heavy compressions.
A full-time four-wheel drive system that includes an electronically‑controlled on‑demand two-speed transfer case, on top of locking front and rear differentials, also form part of the vehicle’s hardware. To increase the fun factor, drivers can toggle between three on-road and four all-terrain selectable modes.
Each mode affects the engine, transmission, braking and traction control systems while a valve actuation allows the exhause to produce one of four specific notes.
Raptor models are distinguished by flared wheel arches, 17-inch alloy wheels wrapped in knobbly off-road tyres, cast-aluminium side steps and ‘Raptor’ badging on the rear wings.
‘Predictive curve’ LED headlights that encompass a glare-free high beam and auto dynamic levelling function to deliver better visibility, are standard. At the rear, LED taillights are joined by a rear bumper that incorporates an integrated step pad and towbar.
Inside, the cabin features a leather heated steering wheel with thumb swells, centre marker and cast-magnesium paddle shifters, and all-new jet fighter-inspired sports seats. ‘Code Orange’ accents on the instrument panel, trim and seats lift the ambience in tandem with mood lighting.
Technology-wise, the Ranger Raptor gets a 12.4‑inch digital instrument cluster and a 12-inch centre touchscreen featuring Ford’s new ‘SYNC 4A’ entertainment system. Capable of wirelessly streaming content on Apple and Android devices, it is backed up by a 10 speaker Bang and Olufsen sound system.
“We have really focused on delivering a genuine performance truck with the Next-Gen Ranger Raptor,” explained Dave Burn, Ford Performance chief programme engineer. “It’s significantly faster, looks incredible, is packed with new features and is the toughest Ranger we’ve ever made.”
Click on the video below to see the new Ranger Raptor being put through its paces.