It was an anticlimax when we found out the last Ford Ranger Raptor would only come with a 2.0-litre diesel engine. Oh, sure, it could dominate rough terrain, but it got an engine from a Focus (albeit with an extra turbo) and was out-dragged by a hybrid S-Max. Everything about the Raptor was overkill - most UK customers won’t explore its Baja talents on their morning commute - except its very sensible engine.
Now though, Ford has plumbed in an un-sensible twin-turbo 3.0-litre petrol V6 with 284bhp - quite the rise over the old one’s 210bhp, even if it’s some way short of the 400bhp version you get in the Bronco Raptor. Torque stands at 491Nm. No performance figures are available just yet, but we’re told it went round Ford’s (unspecified) test track a whole minute quicker than the first-gen Ranger Raptor. Yikes.
First developed for the Ford GT, the Raptor gets anti-lag technology that keeps the turbos spinning for three seconds after you lift off. There are four settings for the exhaust, including one that’ll stop your neighbours from calling the cops every time you leave for work, and another that is as loud as a straight-pipe system. The 10-speed auto is carried over, but with new profiles to improve performance.
As before, the chassis has been beefed up to ensure the Raptor doesn’t fall apart if you jump it. Measures include extra reinforcement and new aluminium control arms, plus uprated Fox dampers. The Raptor gets a ‘Baja’ mode, a shortcut to the best settings for high speeds over rough ground, and a Trail Control system that provides off-road cruise control at speeds under 20mph.
The outside is typical beefy pickup fare, with flared wheel arches, an in-yer-face grille and knobbly tyres. In total, each wheel has a 33-inch diameter. Matrix headlights and a towbar are standard, although, like the old version, the Raptor can’t carry as much as a normal pickup and so doesn’t qualify for the same tax breaks.
Ford says the seats are inspired by the F-22 Raptor plane, and that the orange stitching matches the Raptor-exclusive paint shade. Front and centre is a 12-inch portrait touchscreen like the one in the Mustang Mach-E, running Ford’s newest SYNC 4 infotainment system.
Unusually, the Raptor will go on sale before the rest of the Ranger, er, range. The new Ranger has been jointly developed with the Volkswagen Amarok, so maybe there’s a hot ‘Amarok R’ coming too.