0-100: Ford Ranger Raptor
Ford’s high-riding, hard-charging race truck for the road adopts V6 power to match bark with bite.
Every now and again, a car company product planner gets it so right that we sit back and wonder, ‘why didn’t anyone think of that before?’ That was very much the case with the first-generation Ford Ranger Raptor, a modified dual-cab 4x4 ute released in 2018 that channelled the spirit of the USA’s famous Baja desert racing series with its high-riding, wide-track stance and awesome off-road capability, courtesy of its specialised suspension.
Already madly in love with the dual-cab ute as our preferred tool of work and play, Aussies’ enthusiasm for the format went next level with the Raptor, its customised looks backed by seriously enhanced underpinnings.
But if there was one area where the original Raptor underwhelmed, it was in the horsepower department, thanks to its 2.0-litre four cylinder bi-turbo diesel. Any wonder then that when it came time to release the new version, based on the Australian designed and engineered T6 platform, engineers chose to plonk a more muscular 3.0-litre twin turbo petrol V6 beneath the bonnet.
The upgrade, along with a raft of other changes, transforms the new Raptor into an off-road beast.
The new engine is good for 292kW/583Nm and drives through a 10-speed automatic with the option to drive the rear wheels only, or all four corners via a selectable drive-mode dial. In total, drivers have the choice of seven drive modes for different conditions, encompassing Normal, Sport, Slippery, Rock, Mud and Ruts, Sand and Baja, which is the most aggressive shift pattern. In addition, electronically controlled active exhaust valves deliver four unique exhaust profiles, from Quiet Mode through to the deep, guttural growl of Baja Mode. But while much of the focus on this Raptor will rightly be on its new powertrain, it’s the Fox 2.5-inch live-valve shock absorbers that are its real secret sauce.
Using conventional coilovers up front, but external reservoirs at the rear, the adaptive dampers rely on sensors that monitor driver and vehicle inputs 500 times a second to adjust damping force in real time to suit the terrain, giving the Raptor incredible cross-country capability. For a big truck – weighing almost 2.5-tonnes – the Raptor feels remarkably light on its feet, with a faster steering ratio than its predecessor, while the long travel suspension – comprising lightweight aluminium upper and lower front control arms and revised Watt’s link coil-spring rear suspension – provides an incredible ability to absorb bumps at speed.
Other off-road inspired additions include front and rear locking differentials, a 2.3mm thick high-strength steel front bash plate, 33-inch BF Goodrich All-Terrain KO2 tyres and unique mounts and reinforcements to ensure this Next-Gen Ranger Raptor can handle the most punishing off-road conditions.
Retail price: $85,490 (MRLP)
Body style: Dual-cab utility
Fuel consumption (Combined): 11.5L/100km (262g/km CO2)
ANCAP safety rating: Not Rated
Engine: 3.0-litre V6 Twin Turbo EcoBoost (292kW/583Nm)
Transmission: 10-speed automatic
Drive type: Permanent four-wheel drive system, electronically controlled two-speed transfer case, front and rear locking differentials
0–100KM/H: 6.0 seconds (estimated)
For more visit ford.com.au.