Ford has revealed the latest Raptor, its most hardcore version of the all-new second-generation Ranger T6 that’s bound to make it big in pickup loving Southeast Asia, South America, and Australia.
The biggest upgrade here, besides the usual styling alterations and new tech, is the engine - this time it’s actually a brute. Under that bonnet we’ll find a 3.0-litre twin-turbocharged EcoBoost petrol V6 that outputs a staggering 392PS and 583Nm, smashing the previous version’s 210PS and 500Nm from a 2.0-litre EcoBlue four-cylinder turbodiesel.
The motor is essentially the same power plant that was announced for the US-market Bronco Raptor developed by Ford Performance. Both the Ranger and Bronco share the same ladder-frame chassis underpinnings and now Ford’s compacted graphite-iron cylinder block that promises 75% increase in strength and stiffness compared to traditional cast iron blocks, which were originally developed for use in the Mustang NASCAR racer.
Curiously, this buffed up EcoBoost V6 will only see action in certain markets as the European-spec Ranger Raptor produces 288PS and 491Nm - a significant down-tune from the same engine, or 104PS and 92Nm to be exact. Sucks for them, I guess.
That V6 is in there somewhere....
Still, it should sound good regardless. The development team is said to have spent an inordinate amount of time in the sound lab tuning the engine and exhaust note. This alone might be enough of a reason to be excited over the outgoing Raptor.
According to Dave Burn, Ford Performance chief programme engineer for the 2022 Ranger Raptor: “We’ve really focused on delivering a genuine performance truck with the Next-Gen Ranger Raptor. The 3.0-litre engine brings a different dynamic that will satisfy even the most hardcore performance enthusiast. The acceleration and raw performance of the new powertrain will leave you grinning from ear-to-ear.”
To keep power levels at their peak for longer, Ford even fitted the new Ranger Raptor with a race-bred anti-lag system similar to that first seen in the Ford GT. Accessed by its ‘Baja Mode’, it keeps the turbochargers spinning for up to 3 seconds after the driver eases off the throttle pedal to allow for quicker resumed response such as when exiting a corner.
As has become the staple transmission for Ford vehicles, we see the return of the 10-speed automatic, which delivers power to all four wheels via a full-time four-wheel drive system with an electronically‑controlled on-demand two-speed transfer case combined with front and rear locking differentials.
We’ve got no word on acceleration numbers just yet but it should be a pretty substantial increase given how much more power and torque are on offer. On a lap of a 10km test track, Ford say it’s apparently a full minute quicker - pretty insane.
That being said, the EcoBlue 2.0-litre oil burner will still be offered in the Ranger Raptor for who prefer a diesel performance pickup, but starting from 2023. That's weird, because even the standard Ranger has a 3.0-litre V6 diesel.
As is the case before, the performance alterations go well beyond the powertrain. Like before, the chassis has been given a significant overhaul with the standard suspension ripped out in favour of extended-travel suspension with lower-friction 6.35cm live-valve Fox dampers and a 2.3mm-thick steel bash plate that is twice the surface area of the standard Ranger.
Inside, there’s some seriously bolstered sport seats trimmed in black and dark orange accents. That colour scheme is repeated throughout the dashboard and rest of the cabin via trim and ambient lighting, the former boasts a vertical 12-inch infotainment touchscreen running Ford’s SYNC 4A system and paired to a 10-speaker Bang & Olufsen audio system. Alongside this is a 12.4-inch digital instrument cluster.
We’ll hear more about regional and perhaps even a local (if we’re real lucky) launch further into 2022, though there’s no firm indication when on a clear rollout window. However, it is confirmed that the Europe-spec Ranger Raptor (with the nerfed V6) will have deliveries commence in “late summer”.
But given the state of the Ford brand in Malaysia, it might be a bad idea to start getting too hyped.
There's just something about cars. It's a conveyance, it's a liability, it's a tool; but it can also be a source of joy, pride, inspiration and passion. It's much like clothes versus fashion. And like the latter, the pursuit of perfection never ends.