Before the new Ford Ranger mid-size pickup has even arrived in the U.S., Ford has unveiled a high-performance desert-shredding Raptor version that's poised to challenge the Chevrolet Colorado ZR2 that we found so impressive in off-road testing. What's different about the hot-rod Raptor compared to the regular Ranger? Almost everything.
It starts with the Raptor's 210-horsepower, 369-lb.-ft. twin-turbocharged 2.0-liter diesel four-cylinder engine. It drives all four wheels through the very same 10-speed automatic transmission used in the full-size F-150 Raptor.
An unusual aspect of the engine is its use of sequential turbochargers, so there is a low-pressure turbo that feeds a high-pressure unit, ensuring the correct boost pressure is always available.
Check out the Ranger Raptor's flared front fenders. They not only provide clearance for the huge BF Goodrich 285/70R17 tires, they're also made of durable plastic so they can take some off-road bashing without denting.
The front suspension behind those tires uses forged aluminum upper control arms and cast aluminum lowers, mounted to shock towers that have been reinforced for strength. Shock absorbers are from Fox Racing Shox with internal bypass for maximum off-road capability.
In place of the Ranger's old-fashioned leaf spring rear suspension, the Raptor has a coil spring setup using a Watt's link for lateral control, just like desert racing trucks.
“We are so excited and proud to unleash this vehicle to the public, driving it really makes you feel like a hero,” said Jamal Hameedi, chief engineer, Ford Performance. “The Ford Performance team is excited to extend the Raptor name from our flagship off-road performance F-150 to Ranger.”
The Raptor is more than just a toy; it can work too, thanks to a 5,500-lb. towing capacity
Of course, there is electronic wizardry in addition to the massive metal hardware underpinning the Ranger Raptor. This includes a Terrain Management System offering six modes for various driving conditions. Settings include Normal, Sport, Grass/Gravel/Snow, Mud/Sand, Rock and Baja modes.
The Ranger Raptor will be available in Lightning Blue, Race Red, Shadow Black, Frozen White, as well as a unique Hero color for the Ranger Raptor, Conquer Grey, each with contrasting Dyno Grey accents.
“It is amazing to enable this level of performance and create a vehicle that can provide off-road enthusiasts such an adrenaline rush,” said Hameedi.
“It really is like a motocross bike, snowmobile and an ATV rolled up into a pickup truck – it’s an incredible, awesome experience!” No official word yet on when American drivers will get to experience this four-wheeled motocross bike.