Like many other car brands, Ford must also ensure the survival of its Ranger. That is why the current range is not only being expanded with a petrol engine, but options are even disappearing from the possible diesel list. For example, from a choice of three, only a 2.0 biturbo EcoBlue remains for this Raptor version, and you cannot even choose it for the time being. So currently only the 3.0 EcoBoost V6 petrol can be clicked on the configuration page, while there was not even a petrol model before. Everything towards a world without diesel, although an EV variant will not be available for the time being.
How much smaller?
A while ago we could already taste the performance of its bigger brother, the F150 Lightning, which was fully electric. And while the purists still argue against this, it’s a real powerhouse both off-road and on the track. Apart from that, our opinion turned out that this lightning bolt belongs more to the American continent because of its size, and the brand itself apparently thinks the same way. We have to make do with this Ranger for our European market as the largest in its line.
At first glance, however, this pick-up also has difficulty fitting into a parking space and is difficult to keep within the lines on an average Belgian track. It is therefore still large enough to be called with its 5.38 meters in length and 2.21 meters in width including the mirrors. In terms of height, it is certainly not inferior to almost 2 meters, and that is of course partly due to large slippers in the form of 17-inch rims with 285/70 all-terrain rubber on them. So wherever you go, you will be seen in this Raptor, although the orange color of our test sample does not help to go unnoticed either.
The snout had to endure a serious botox injection in the transition to the new generation. The grille and the checkered logo received a growth spurt compared to the previous model and therefore look even more aggressive. The front lights have been given a slightly squarer shape with a C-shaped light signature, which seems to be the trend as we see this on many new designs. The difference is smaller on the side, although it also looks a bit tougher here due to some small details such as a firmer fracture line in the door panels and a slightly more angular finish. The bonnet falls between the side panels instead of on top of them compared to the previous model, enhancing the sharper look.
This story also continues at the back. Some extra relief in the tailgate and a renewed batch of taillights are the biggest differences. The cargo box is equipped with an electronically operated roller shutter, which is also very handy. Most pick-ups use a hydraulic lid on top of the cargo box, but this often creates a lot of load height restriction. We would like to point out that this roller system was not completely waterproof, so it is best to place your dry clothing on the back seat.
Sophisticated and maintenance-friendly
Inside, the difference with its predecessor seems the greatest. For example, the instrumentation has become a fully digital screen. The infotainment in the center of the dash has also been put on steroids and now measures a grown-up 12 inches in diameter. It looks much fresher and more modern than that of the previous version. In addition, the finish in the door panels is a mix of maintenance-friendly materials. That’s important in these kinds of cars, because you don’t always crawl in here with your Sunday suit. You will also find beautifully finished details, such as a high-quality center console with a modest automatic gear lever instead of that big bat as in the previous model. There you will also find the drive options where you can switch between 2WD or 4WD and the program button for the different terrain options.
With this system, Ford maximizes traction depending on what surface you are driving on or what assignment you have to perform. A nice extra comes in the form of the Baha profile, a kind of fun package with more roar and real rally sensations on a pick-up. But don’t panic: you can largely tune these things to your taste via controls on the steering wheel and in menus on the screen. You sit in the front in sporty seats that provide good support in the sides, but that feel hard for the buttocks and back. At the back you are also spacious but quite upright in terms of sitting position, which is not unusual in a pick-up with a double cabin.
So you immediately feel that this Ford Ranger Raptor prefers to move far away from the tarmac. You also notice that in the driving behavior, where the tires offer too little grip and everything feels too unwieldy to just stay within built-up areas. Of course, he owes that largely to the tires, so another set of rubber probably offers redemption if you mainly buy the Ford for its towing capabilities. Some more enthusiastic cornering quickly sets the derrière in motion a little too cheerfully, especially in wet weather. But of course you would have expected that, with a 3.0-litre V6 petrol engine producing 288 hp and 491 Nm of torque. Even with a dry weight of almost 2.5 tons, this device accelerates to 100 km/h in 7.9 seconds. Do take into account a consumption of at least 15 l/100km and you will also feel the CO2 emissions of 310g/km in your wallet if you register the Ranger Raptor privately.
The suspension is also solidly put together, because you don’t feel that typical swing with this off-roader thanks to well thought-out FOX dampers. They offer quite refined comfort on the track, while you get a well-kept soft cushioning during the deeper pit work. Although those thick top straps also help a lot there, of course. In terms of off-road capabilities, it is certainly good: traction is perfectly fine here and because it is slightly higher on its legs than the average pick-up, you get just a little more confidence on the unpaved terrain.
What may that cost
What should this tough chunk of rascality cost? The answer is 72,055 euros (including VAT), but that is not entirely surprising. You get a lot: a brand new packaging with all modern infotainment inside, an even tougher design than the previous Ranger Raptor with enough armor all around, and a powerful V6 engine under the hood.
If you want the electric roller shutter on top of that, this will cost you an extra 2,178 euros. For a color of your choice instead of the standard white you can count on 665 euros to 907 euros. But apart from these two options, the Raptor comes standard with all the trimmings. Even a B&O sound system that thumps through the speakers excellently is immediately present. Window down, arm through and on his ‘hillbilly’ carts but with Dolly Parton through the speakers.
The American roots drip from this Ford Raptor, and that is of course fantastic for the enthusiast. However, whether it is something that belongs on our European market is of course entirely dependent on the use. Scrapping the bulk of the diesel engine range may not really be in his favor, because the alternative with this 3.0 EcoBoost V6 engine does not seem to be a solution for a better environment. Apart from that, it is a very powerful workhorse with a feast of driving modes. If you don’t have to do the latter, you will get just as far with a standard Ranger.
3.0 V6 biturbo petrol
10-step automatic machine
Price base model
€ 72 055.00
Average test consumption
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