Next-gen Ford Ranger Raptor revealed – Everything you need to know – TopAuto
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Next-gen Ford Ranger Raptor revealed – Everything you need to know

The ultimate version of the next-gen Ford Ranger, the Ranger Raptor, has been revealed.

The Ranger Raptor “rewrites the rulebook for off-road performance” and boasts more power, improved capabilities, and a more aggressive look than the standard bakkie, said Ford.

Standout features on the next-gen Raptor include a powerful new petrol engine, re-engineered Fox suspension, an active exhaust, and permanent all-wheel drive.

Off-road performance

At launch, the new Ford Ranger Raptor will be offered exclusively with a 3.0-litre, V6, twin-turbo petrol engine, while the 2.0-litre, bi-turbo diesel engine from the current Ranger Raptor will also be made available later in 2023, said Ford.

The powerful new petrol motor offers 292kW and 583Nm, and pairs to a 10-speed automatic transmission with real-time adaptive shift scheduling.

The revised drivetrain now offers seven drive modes, compared to six before, with Quiet mode being the newest addition. This sees the noise levels of the active exhaust system toned down to “keep the peace with neighbours on early mornings.”

Additionally, the reworked Baja mode features a new anti-lag programme which keeps the turbos spooled up for up to three seconds after the driver lets go of the accelerator, “allowing for faster resumption of acceleration out of corners or between gears when the driver gets back on the accelerator,” said Ford.

The transmission also offers low-range gear ratios for more technical off-roading.

While the specific performance specifications of the next-gen Ranger Raptor have not yet been revealed, the company did say that it beat the previous Raptor around its 10km test track by a full minute, and that it’s much more capable.

“It’s hot hatch fast… on dirt,” said a Ford spokesperson at the unveiling of the new Raptor.

Alongside the uprated powerplant, the next-gen Ranger Raptor sees a new set of 2.5-inch gold Fox shocks with redesigned aluminium control arms to provide more control at high speeds on rough terrain.

Previously, the bakkie’s suspension used passive damping techniques to bolster its off-road performance, but this ate away at its on-road compliance.

Now, however, Ford has installed Live Valve dampers that adapt in real-time “to enable exceptional on-road body control while absorbing corrugations and bigger ruts off-road with ease.”

To further enhance its off-road prowess, it gets electronically-controlled, shift-on-the-fly front and rear diff-locks; an adaptive, permanent all-wheel-drive system; and a 2.3mm-thick high-strength steel bashplate.

The Ranger Raptor is then the first Ranger to feature an active exhaust system that can be adjusted to the owner’s preferences and provides “mild-to-wild engine sounds,” said Ford.

The company played a short clip of the exhaust note when it unveiled the Raptor, and I can assure you it sounds nothing like any standard bakkie on our roads.

Exclusive design

With all these performance-enhancing additions installed, Ford set out to make the new Ranger Raptor look the part, too.

Up front, you’ll find bolder F-O-R-D lettering, LED C-Clamp headlights, and flared wheel arches.

These are accompanied by boxside flares at the rear, functional aero vents around the sides, Raptor badging, and 17-inch wheels wrapped in BFGoodrich All-Terrain KO2 tyres.

As with the bakkie it is based on, the Ranger Raptor also comes with a wraparound rear bumper with an integrated sidestep.

Inside the cabin, the unique look continues through the use of “jet-fighter inspired” sport seats, Code Orange contrast stitching, ambient lighting, magnesium shifter paddles, and a premium leather upholstery.

Standard equipment includes a 12.4-inch digital instrument cluster, a 12-inch central infotainment display, and a Bang & Olufsen surround sound system.

When you can buy it

The South African order books for the next-gen Ford Ranger Raptor will open in Q3 2022, with local launch timings and deliveries yet to be confirmed, said Ford South Africa.

No pricing for the new Ford Ranger Raptor has been announced yet.

Next-gen Ford Ranger Raptor

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