Next Gen Ranger Raptor First Drive

August 11, 2022


Two removable covers in the lower bumper of the Ford Next Gen Ranger Raptor give an insight into the tough truck’s capability. Stamped with “remove before flight”, they’re proof the pinnacle of the new Ranger line-up is designed to make you smile – and that it may not always have its wheels on the ground.

Australia is the global design and engineering hub for the new Ranger and its vast selection of harsh roads makes it the ideal test bed for a truck that will be sold across the globe. The all-new Raptor builds on a successful formula but its heart has been seriously boosted. Rather than a fuel-sipping diesel, the new Raptor has a 3.0-litre twin-turbo petrol V6.

Its 292kW and 583Nm outputs are akin to a V8 – and there’s a thirst to match. It slurps a claimed 11.5 litres per 100km but expect real-world use to be higher.Teamed with a 10-speed automatic, the engine can blast the Raptor to 100km/h in about six seconds – over just about any terrain, courtesy of a permanent four-wheel drive system.

The black twin exhaust tips of these development vehicles have been sandblasted from gravel spewing out from the broad off-road tyres, but production versions have a hardier, shiny stainless steel finish.

Next Gen Ranger Raptor first look

The Raptor does without the Eco or Tow drive modes in the regular Ranger, replacing them with Sport and Baja settings.

Baja mode keeps the turbo spinning between stabs of the throttle to reduce lag and improve response when darting between corners. It also adds a rortier snarl to the exhaust and preps the suspension for high-speed attacks.

The brakes – discs all around, now with an electronic booster – are primed for gravel, allowing some skidding for added bite on dirt.

The Raptor’s secret sauce is suspension that bears little resemblance to the rugged setup in garden variety Rangers. Left- and right-hand wheels are 60mm further apart, there are bulging wheel arches (the Raptor is 110mm wider than regular Rangers) and there’s a more sophisticated coil-spring system replacing leafs at the back.

It’s an impressive effort for a ute that also tows 2500kg and carries 717 kilograms in a tray that accommodates a pallet.

The new Raptor doesn’t come cheap, although against other muscle machines it’s arguably a bargain, starting at about $92,000 drive-away. “Code Orange” highlights – including a rally-like centre marker on the steering wheel – and heavily bolstered seats with Raptor badging reinforce the image.

Ford Ranger Raptor First Look

It gets most of the equipment on the Ranger Wildtrak, including ambient lighting, a 360-degree camera, 12-inch touchscreen, over-the-air software updates and a range of active safety systems.

To that it adds a broader 12.4-inch digital instrument cluster and a Premium Pack with 10-speaker Bang & Olufsen audio, overhead auxiliary switches and matrix LED headlights.

But it’s the added V6 muscle and impressive dynamic nous that transforms this ute from a workhorse into a roadgoing off-road racer with genuine pace. The original Raptor was proof of concept, the new one has added pace to match its muscles.


The ute equivalent of a GT3 racer covers rough ground ludicrously quickly.

  • Safety: Nine airbags, autonomous emergency braking, lane-keep assist, speed-sign recognition, 360-degree camera, driver monitor, blind-spot warning
  • Engine: 3.0-litre V6 twin-turbo, 292kW/583Nm
  • Thirst: 11.5L/100km
  • Spare Full-size
  • Towing/Payload 2500kg and 717kg

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