Next-Gen Ford Ranger Raptor Elevates Performance and Capability to New Heights
The Next-Generation and next-level Ford Ranger Raptor has arrived. Built to dominate in the desert, master the mountains and rule everywhere in between, the second-generation Ranger Raptor raises the off-road performance bar as a pickup built for true enthusiasts.
Developed by Ford Performance, the Next-Gen Ranger Raptor is the ultimate performance derivative of the Next-Generation Ranger that was launched in South Africa in December 2022. With smarter technology controlling tougher, next-generation hardware, the latest model blends raw power with mechanical and technical precision to create the most advanced Ranger yet.
“The outgoing Ranger Raptor that we launched locally in 2019 created an entirely new segment for performance bakkies. It has been exceptionally popular, maintained strong sales demand through its lifespan and remains without rival four years later. And now, the Next-Gen Ranger Raptor completely rewrites the rulebook yet again, elevating performance and capability to new heights, both on and off-road,” says Doreen Mashinini, General Manager for Marketing at Ford South Africa.
“Ford’s development team raised an already high bar to entirely new heights with the Next-Gen Ranger Raptor by focusing on delivering a vehicle that is significantly more powerful, much faster, designed to conquer even more challenging terrain, tougher than ever and has more aggressive and purposeful looks to match,” Mashinini says.
“Although customers may have expected improved performance from the Next-Gen Ranger Raptor, few would have predicted the enormous leap we’ve made with the introduction of the twin-turbo 3.0L V6 engine, and a raft of changes to the chassis, suspension, steering and drive modes,” Mashinini says.
There’s no doubt that it sets an even more exciting and exhilarating benchmark, and we are confident that the performance of the Next-Gen Ranger Raptor is going to blow people away.”
More power to play
The biggest news for performance fans is the introduction of a new twin-turbocharged 3.0-litre EcoBoost V6 petrol engine, producing 292kW and 583Nm – nearly doubling the power output compared to the previous Ranger Raptor (from 157kW), while adding an extra 83Nm of torque.
The twin-turbo 3.0-litre EcoBoost V6 engine boasts a compacted graphite-iron cylinder block, which is around 75 percent stronger and up to 75 percent stiffer than the iron used in traditional castings. Ford Performance ensured the engine delivers immediate response to throttle inputs, and a race-bred anti-lag system, available in the Baja drive mode, enables rapid delivery of boost on demand by keeping the turbochargers spinning for up to three seconds after the driver backs off the throttle. This enables faster resumption of acceleration out of corners or between gears when the driver gets back on the accelerator.
Mated to a 10-speed automatic transmission – each gear programmed with its own boost profile – Next-Gen Ranger Raptor’s new engine delivers effortless acceleration on tarmac, gravel, dirt, mud and sand. And, with an electronically controlled active exhaust system that amplifies the engine note in four selectable drive modes (Quiet, Normal, Sport and Baja), the Next-Gen Ranger Raptor’s vocal character ranges from mild to wild.
Drivers can choose their preferred engine sound by pressing the exhaust mode button on the steering wheel or by selecting a drive mode that uses one of the following settings:
- Quiet – Designed to prioritise quietness over performance and sound. Great for keeping the peace with neighbours on early mornings
- Normal – Intended for everyday use, this profile offers an exhaust note with presence while not being too loud for street use. This profile is applied by default to Normal, Slippery, Mud/Ruts and Rock Crawl modes
- Sport – Offers a louder and more aggressive note, for when you want to shake things up a little
- Baja – The most aggressive of the exhaust profiles in both volume and note. It behaves more like a straight-through system in this setting and is intended for off-road use only
Hardware for the heavy hitters
The Next-Gen Ranger Raptor has a unique chassis compared to Next-Gen Ranger. A series of unique mounts and reinforcements, for elements including the C-pillar, load box and spare wheel, as well as unique frames for the jounce bumper, shock tower and rear shock bracket all combine to ensure Next-Gen Ranger Raptor can handle punishing off-road conditions.
A high-performance off-roader like the Ranger Raptor needs the running gear to match, and the Next-Gen Ranger Raptor’s suspension is completely redesigned. All-new tough, lightweight aluminium upper and lower control arms, long-travel front and rear suspension and refined Watt’s link rear end have been designed to deliver more control across rough terrain at high speed.
The suspension upgrades in the Next-Gen Ranger Raptor make the most of the new FOX Live Valve dampers. The next-generation FOX 2.5-inch Live Valve Internal Bypass shock absorbers with cutting-edge control technology offer position-sensitive damping capability. These shock absorbers are the most sophisticated yet on Ranger Raptor and are filled with Teflon™ infused oil that reduces friction by around 50 percent compared to those on the current Ranger Raptor. This allows the suspension to adapt in real time to the driving conditions, providing exceptional on-road body control while absorbing corrugations and bigger ruts off-road with ease, ensuring maximum control and performance.
While the hardware is FOX, the tuning and development work was carried out by Ford Performance using a mixture of computer-aided engineering (CAE) and real-world testing. Everything from adjusting the spring rates to setting the ride height, valve tuning and honing the ride zones was performed to create the perfect balance between comfort, control, stability and traction on and off-road, with three settings available to the driver: Normal, Sport and Off Road. Linked to the revised selectable drive modes, the Live Valve Internal Bypass system has been developed to provide better on-road comfort and off-road ride quality both at high and low speed.
In addition to the suspension and exhaust modes, drivers can select from four steering modes from the specially tuned electronic power-assisted steering (EPAS): Normal, Sport, Comfort and Off-Road – the latter only available when Baja Drive Mode is selected. The system uses a larger EPAS motor with a faster steering ratio, and delivers improvements in steering effort, response and precision. In Baja mode the steering is specially tuned to sharpen response and precision, assisting the driver to position and control the vehicle with even greater accuracy.
Next-Gen Ranger Raptor’s ability to tackle rough terrain is further enhanced with some serious underbody protection. The front bash plate is almost double the size of the standard Ranger bash plate and made from 2.3mm-thick high-strength steel. This bash plate, combined with the engine under shield and transfer case shield, provides protection for key components like the radiator, steering system, front cross member, engine sump and front differential.
Twin rated tow hooks at the front and rear provide flexible recovery options while driving off-road, with the added benefit of always being able to access one of the tow hooks (if the other is buried), as well as being able to use balance straps during snatch recoveries in deep sand or thick mud.
All terrain control
For the first time, Next-Gen Ranger Raptor gets an advanced permanent four-wheel drive system with an all-new electronically controlled on-demand two-speed transfer case. This is combined with the standard rear locking differential, as well as a new front locking differential that takes the vehicle’s off-road capability to new heights.
Replacing the part-time four-wheel drive system in the previous model, the Next-Gen Ranger Raptor’s permanent 4WD system’s default driving mode is 4A (Automatic) which can be used on and off-road as it constantly adjusts the flow of drive between the front and rear axles for enhanced traction in all conditions. The driver can easily select 2H mode via the push-button controls to engage rear-wheel drive only, or 4H to lock it into four-wheel drive for improved grip and control on loose surfaces. Selecting 4L switches to low-range for more arduous off-road terrain.
Helping Next-Gen Ranger Raptor handle anything from smooth tar roads to mud, ruts, rocks and desert sand – and everything in between – are seven selectable drive modes, including the off-road oriented ‘Baja’ mode for extreme high-speed off-roading. In Baja mode, electronic systems are configured for ultimate performance.
“Our vehicle dynamics team really set out to make Baja mode the ultimate expression of the Next-Gen Ranger Raptor’s astonishing off-road high-speed capability,” Mashinini says. “It’s a feature at the core of what the Ranger Raptor customer expects.”
Each selectable drive mode adjusts a wide range of vehicle parameters, from engine and transmission to ABS sensitivity and calibration, traction and stability controls, exhaust valve actuation, steering, throttle response and even the instrument cluster and centre touchscreen. And, depending on the mode, the graphics and colour scheme of the digital displays changes to match the mode.
- Normal – designed for comfort, fuel efficiency and drivability
- Sport – more responsive for spirited on-road driving
- Slippery – for more confident driving on slippery or uneven surfaces
- Rock Crawl – providing optimum traction and momentum on loose surfaces
- Sand – for use in soft sand and deep snow conditions, optimising power delivery and transmission shifts
- Mud/Ruts – for maximum grip off-road during launch and maintaining vehicle momentum
- Baja – tuned for high-speed off-road performance with all systems set for maximum attack
Next-Gen Ranger Raptor also comes with Trail Control™, which is like cruise control for off-roading. The driver simply selects a set speed (less than 32km/h), and the vehicle manages acceleration and braking while the driver concentrates on steering through difficult terrain.
Providing further customisability is the new ‘R’ button located on the steering wheel which activates MyMode settings and is exclusive to Next-Gen Ranger Raptor. This allows the driver to pre-program every aspect of the vehicle’s performance according to their unique preferences, making these available at the push of a single button. MyMode parameters determine the selected drive mode, along with the steering, suspension and exhaust settings, stability and traction control status, as well as Trail Control.
Matching the enhanced capability is an all-new design that takes the Next-Gen Ranger Raptor to the next level. Emphasising the width of the vehicle are flared wheel arches, Ford truck DNA C-clamp headlights derived from the Next-Gen Ranger, bold F-O-R-D lettering on the grille, and the bumper that’s separated from the grille.
“The design of the Next-Gen Ranger Raptor reflects its exceptional performance characteristics, and each element is there for a reason,” Mashinini says. “There’s no doubt that the Next-Gen Ranger Raptor communicates exactly what it can do just by the way it looks.”
Matrix LED headlights with LED daytime running lights make their debut on the Next-Gen Ranger Raptor, pushing lighting performance to new levels. Featuring dynamic bending lights, glare-free high beam and auto dynamic levelling, the Matrix LEDs deliver safer lighting for Next-Gen Ranger Raptor drivers as well as oncoming traffic.
The flared fenders accommodate a muscular 17-inch wheel design wrapped in 285/70 R17 BF Goodrich® all-terrain KO2® tyres. Functional vents, aero features, and tough, new-design cast aluminium side steps help enhance the look and functionality of the vehicle. At the rear, LED taillights provide a signature link to the front, while the precision grey rear bumper features an integrated step pad and towbar that is tucked up high to increase the departure angle from 24 to 25 degrees.
The selection of colours available for the Next-Gen Ranger Raptor reinforces its muscular design, headlined by the attention-grabbing new Code Orange, along with the distinctive Conquer Grey – both non-metallic and exclusive to this high-performance model. Other colour options comprise solid Arctic White and five metallic paints: Absolute Black, Blue Lightning, Aluminium Metallic, Meteor Grey and Sedona Orange.
Inside, the design theme further emphasises the performance-oriented, high-energy nature of the exterior. The cabin features all-new jet fighter-inspired sports seats – both in the front and rear – that are not only more comfortable but more supportive during high-speed cornering.
The Code Orange accents on the instrument panel, trim and seats are enhanced by the Next-Gen Ranger Raptor’s ambient lighting, which bathes the interior in an amber glow. A premium grade leather sports steering wheel with thumb swells, on-centre marking and cast magnesium paddle shifters add to the dynamic character of this model.
Next-Gen Ranger Raptor boasts a fully digital cabin, with a high resolution 12.4-inch digital cluster – the largest yet on Ranger – and a 12-inch centre touchscreen boasting Ford’s new-generation SYNC® 4A connectivity and entertainment system, which offers both Apple and Android wireless smartphone connectivity, along with wireless charging. Type A and Type C USB charging and data ports are provided in the front centre console, with a useful USB charging port located alongside the rear-view mirror to power a dashcam or GPS device.
Rear passengers have access to their own USB-A and USB-C charging ports, complemented by a built-in 400-Watt inverter that also provides convenient 240V power to the load box in conjunction with a 12V socket. A premium 10-speaker 660W Bang & Olufsen® sound system provides exceptional acoustics that will certainly please music lovers.
Integrated into the 12-inch centre touchscreen is a superb 360-degree camera system with split-view display. The system uses cameras mounted in the front grille, under the tailgate badge and in the sideview mirrors, giving the driver a live top-down view of everything around the vehicle, as well as cross-traffic views in front of and behind the vehicle.
There is also a dedicated Off-road SYNC screen that allows the driver to easily toggle selected 4×4 features on or off, including the electronic front and rear differential locks, Hill Descent Control and parking sensors. It also displays a wide range of off-road driving information such as predictive overlay guidelines for the 360-degree camera system, along with steering angle, vehicle pitch and roll angles, which are particularly useful when driving in challenging off-road terrain.
Driver assist technologies
In line with its range-topping status, Next-Gen Ranger Raptor comes loaded to the hilt with Ford’s most advanced driver assist technologies and safety features to date. In addition to the regular suite of driving aids such as Electronic Stability Control (ESC) with Traction Control, Hill Launch Assist and Hill Descent Control, the standard features include Lane Keeping System with Lane Keeping Alert, Lane Keeping Aid and Road Edge Detection.
Adaptive Cruise Control with Stop & Go and Lane Centring allows drivers to maintain a pre-set speed and distance from the car ahead and will even bring the vehicle to a complete stop if required. It is able to detect lane markings and help keep the vehicle centred in the lane. Evasive Steer Assist uses radar and a camera to detect slower-moving and stationary vehicles ahead and provides steering support to enable drivers to manoeuvre around a vehicle if a collision is imminent.
The Blind Spot Information System with Trailer Coverage monitors blind spots around the vehicle and trailer and alerts the driver of any perceived hazards. The system supports trailers up to 2.4 metres wide and 10 metres long.
To make parking manoeuvres a breeze, Next-Gen Ranger Raptor is equipped with the fully automated Active Park Assist 2.0 which helps the driver fit safely in tight spaces at the press of a button. It is integrated with the electronic E-Shifter and electronic parking brake, and takes care of the steering, gearshifts, acceleration and braking to navigate into parallel or perpendicular parking spaces with ease. It will also steer the vehicle out of a parallel parking spot when prompted.
Pre-Collision Assist with Dynamic Brake Support, Forward Collision Warning and Automated Emergency Braking can automatically apply the brakes to avoid or mitigate the effects of accidents if the driver is turning across the path of oncoming traffic. Reverse Brake Assist helps drivers reverse into parking spots and other tight spaces by providing audible and visual warnings. It is able to detect a vehicle crossing, or a cyclist or pedestrian behind the vehicle too. The system can even bring the vehicle to a complete stop if the driver doesn’t react in time.
In the event of a collision, Post-Collision Braking applies moderate brake pressure to slow the vehicle, potentially reducing injury, damage and the risk of a secondary collision.
Part of the Ford Performance family
The roots of the Raptor name lie in North America, where Ford engineers used it on high-performance pickup trucks. It started with the first-generation F-150 SVT Raptor in 2010, which was optimised for high-speed off-road performance. Ford focused on detailed engineering upgrades around suspension, all-terrain tyres and four-wheel drive
In 2018 a new member of the Ford Performance family was launched internationally in the form of the first-ever Ranger Raptor. It debuted in South Africa in 2019 as a locally produced model, assembled alongside the rest of the Ranger line-up at Ford’s Silverton Assembly Plant in Pretoria. The Next-Gen Ranger Raptor is now fully imported from Thailand, with the Silverton assembly operations focusing on expanded production of the Next-Gen Ranger for domestic sales and exports to more than 100 global markets.
The original Ford Ranger Raptor spread the Ford Performance brand to a whole new audience of hardcore pickup owners around the world, introducing the Raptor name into dozens of new markets. The Next-Gen Ranger Raptor continues this legacy, with a purpose-built vehicle that balances daily duties with the sort of performance never seen in a mid-size pickup.
Ranger Raptor conquers Baja 1000
Underscoring the exceptional capabilities of Ford’s latest high-performance mid-size pickup, in November 2022 a Next-Gen Ranger Raptor, race-prepped but remaining stock and street legal, finished the SCORE-International Baja 1000 in Mexico – one of the world’s toughest and most prestigious off-road races. It didn’t just complete the gruelling 1 000-mile (1 600km) round-the-clock event, but also claimed first place in the stock vehicle classes.
The Next-Gen Ranger Raptor finished without any major incidents or repairs and took the chequered flag in such good condition that the Ford Performance team decided to drive the vehicle back to its base following the event.
Pricing (includes VAT)
Ranger Raptor 3.0L V6 EcoBoost 4WD 10AT R1 094 900
Included as standard is a four-year/120 000km warranty, four-year/unlimited distance Roadside Assistance and five-year/unlimited distance corrosion warranty. The recommended service interval is 15 000km or annually, whichever occurs first.
Customers have the option of purchasing a Ford Protect service or maintenance plans up to eight years or 165 000km. The warranty can be extended up to seven years or 200 000km, while the Roadside Assistance can be extended for an additional one or two years.
Post a comment