Since the debut of the first Ranger Raptor in 2019, American buyers have begged Ford to give the U.S.-spec truck the Baja-bashing treatment. Now that the all-new 2024 Ford Ranger lineup has made its official stateside debut, Ford is finally ready to meet those demands. Complete with a new suspension setup and a powertrain borrowed from another Raptor model, this new mid-sizer will shake up the off-roading segment.
Like the lesser variants of the 2024 Ford Ranger, this new Raptor is based on the automaker’s T6.2 platform. The same platform currently underpins the Ford Bronco lineup, which has proven itself quite capable when the pavement ends. Whereas the Ranger picked up two extra inches of width over its predecessor, the Raptor variant adds an additional three inches on top of that. The frame itself has also been bolstered to support abusive treatment in the dirt, with upgraded front rails, shock towers, rear shock brackets, and suspension mounts. Speaking of the suspension, the Ranger Raptor adopts a new long travel setup complete with aluminum upper and lower control arms. Ford also stuck a Watts linkage and trailing arms in the rear of the truck to bring a bit more stability and control off-road. All four corners feature FOX 2.5-inch Live Valve Internal Bypass shocks, with coilovers at the front and piggyback reservoirs at the back. The shocks are filled with a Teflon-infused oil in an attempt to cut back on friction and the heat generated bouncing down rough surfaces. The dampers are also programmed to adjust to Ranger Raptor’s various drive modes. These modes include Normal, Tow/Haul, Sport, Slippery, Off-Road, Rock Crawl, and Baja. Putting that suspension to the ground is a set of available 17-inch beadlock capable wheels, which come wrapped in 33-inch BFGoodrich all-terrain KO3® tires. The setup provides the truck with approach, departure and breakover angles of 33 degrees, 26.4 degrees, and 24.2 degrees, respectively.
Under the hood of the Ranger Raptor sits a 3.0-liter EcoBoost V-6 borrowed directly from the Bronco Raptor. The 3.0-liter provides the mid-size pickup with a best-in-class 405 horsepower and 430 lb-ft of torque, which fall slightly below the Bronco’s ratings of 418 hp and 440 lb-ft. Ford Performance chief engineer Carl Widmann told R&T that drop is the result of the slightly longer exhaust path found on the pickup. For reference, a 2023 Colorado ZR2 provides owners with 310 horsepower and 430 torques. The 3.0-liter EcoBoost in the Ranger Raptor also features the Bronco’s race-derived anti-lag system for the turbos. The engine comes exclusively mated to a 10-speed automatic gearbox, which feeds power into a on-demand two-speed transfer case. Bolstering the 4x4 performance are locking differentials at both the front and rear axle. The powertrain is protected from trail intrusions by way of high-strength steel skids covering the engine, transfer case, and fuel tank. Opt to tow with your Ranger Raptor and you’re covered up to 5510 pounds. Payload capacity clocks in at just 1411 pounds, with both figures trailing the lesser Ranger offerings.
Take a peek inside the off-road Ranger and things will look familiar to any Raptor fan. Gone are the standard seats, now replaced by well-bolstered, Ford Performance units. The steering wheel is swapped for a more appropriate style, complete with paddle shifters and a center marker finished in Code Orange. The truck also adopts Ford’s 12.4-inch digital display and 12-inch central infotainment screen running SYNC 4A software. Wireless Android Auto and Apple Car play are supported, and will play tunes through the truck’s Bang & Olufsen sound system. Other tech highlights include a 360 camera, front and rear cameras for trail work, and Ford’s Pro Trailer Backup Assist system.
Order books for the 2024 Ford Ranger Raptor are slated to open later this month, with the automaker targeting availability for later this summer. That said, this latest Raptor offering isn’t going to come cheap. Ford says the truck will start at $56,960, including $1595 for destination and delivery. For reference, a comparable Colorado ZR2 starts at $48,295. Ford has a lot of pent up demand for its Raptor products, so we won’t be surprised to see this first crop of hardcore Rangers get spoken for in short order.
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