Ford has good news for compact truck buyers. Besides offering the smaller Maverick, the American automaker recently unveiled the much-awaited 2024 Ford Ranger Raptor. As expected, the Raptor name makes the Ranger Raptor the most off-road capable in its lineage with its proven mix of rugged styling, stout performance, and factory-installed off-road hardware.
“This is the baddest Ranger we’ve ever made,” said Carl Widmann, Chief Engineer of Ford Performance. “Ranger Raptor is fast, comfortable, and packed with top-shelf, purposeful technology that’s designed to perform.”
Setting The Stage
We’re uncertain why Ford took its sweet time reintroducing the Ranger pickup to American buyers in 2018, especially after the Tacoma, Colorado, and Canyon had already returned to the market. Similarly, Ford debuted the next-gen Ranger in 2021, and it only recently announced that the newest version would arrive at U.S. dealerships in the summer of 2023. Now Ford has (finally) brought along the Ranger Raptor, taking it from rumor to reality, with an engine that packs a boatload of power.
The Ranger Raptor won the stock midclass category of the Baja 1000, proof that Ford’s pickup is not merely for show. It completed the race in 26 hours and 21 minutes. Then, it drove 200 miles to California after the race. If there’s such a thing as an off-road toy that won’t shatter your teeth on the tarmac, the Ranger Raptor is one of those.
Performance-Tuned V6 Engine
Ford Performance did its homework for the 2024 Ranger Raptor. Whereas other global markets have different powertrains, the American Ranger Raptor has a burly 3.0-liter twin-turbo V6 gas engine with 405 horsepower and 430 lb-ft. of torque. That’s a massive jump from the 2.3-liter EcoBoost, the 2024 Ranger’s standard engine, with 270 horsepower and 310 lb.-ft. of torque.
Moreover, the V6 has a graphite-iron cylinder block and a race-bred, anti-turbo-lag system in Baja mode. The latter keeps the turbochargers spinning for up to three seconds after releasing the throttle, ensuring potent acceleration when rocketing across the horizon. Power goes to all four wheels using a 10-speed SelectShift automatic and an updated four-wheel drivetrain with an electronic transfer case and locking front and rear differentials.
If the heart of every Raptor is the engine, the suspension serves as the bone structure. Underneath the 2024 Ford Ranger Raptor is a purpose-built long-travel rear suspension with trailing arms and a Watts linkage, while the front has aluminum upper and lower control arms. Meanwhile, the dampers are Fox 2.5-inch Live Valve Internal Bypass coilovers in the front with piggyback reservoirs in the back.
Everything anchors to a fully-boxed frame with strengthened frame rails, shock towers, suspension mounting points, and rear shock brackets. Combined with no less than seven bespoke driving modes, the 2024 Ford Ranger Raptor is ready to play. It offers 10.7 inches of ground clearance and decent approach (33 degrees), departure (26.4 degrees), and breakover (24.2 degrees) angles. The max towing capacity of the 2024 Ford Ranger Raptor is 5,510 lbs. with a 1,411 lbs. payload.
The 2024 Ford Ranger Raptor is hard to miss with its steel front bumper, standard 17-inch wheels, 33-inch BFGoodrich KO3 all-terrain tires, C-clamp driving lights, bulbous fenders, and protective steel skid plates. Meanwhile, the cabin includes a sporty steering wheel, magnesium paddle shifters, Ford Performance front seats, and code orange trim. Furthermore, the Ranger Raptor has overhead console switches to enhance the big rig experience.
Modern touches include a 12.4-inch digital instrument cluster, a 12-inch infotainment touchscreen governed by the latest Ford SYNC 4A operating system, wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, and a Bang & Olufsen audio system. Finally, it comes standard with great hi-tech features like a 360-degree camera, front-view camera, zone lighting system (helpful when navigating in the dark), and Ford’s Pro Trailer Backup Assist for easier towing.
2024 Ford Ranger Raptor: Pricing & Availability
The 2024 Ford Ranger Raptor is only available in a SuperCrew configuration with a five-foot bed. The base price is $56,960, including the $1,595 destination charge. Ford will open the order books near the end of May 2023, and the first deliveries will commence in the summer.
Alvin Reyes is an Automoblog feature columnist and an expert in sports and performance cars. He studied civil aviation, aeronautics, and accountancy in his younger years and is still very much smitten to his former Lancer GSR and Galant SS. He also likes fried chicken, music, and herbal medicine.
Photos & Source: Ford Motor Company.