At Long Last, Ford Plans To Bring Ranger Raptor To The U.S. Market
For the longest time, Ford Ranger Raptor fans have hoped that the automaker would bring the version of the pickup offered for the last several years to the United States. The reason is that the overseas version shares very little with the U.S. version.
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Indeed, the only thing that the domestic and overseas versions of the pickup have been the basic outline. However, this has now changed. The all-new 2024 Ford Ranger Raptor is coming to North America. Raptor is based on a proven legacy of performance anis d built with uncompromised suspension design, power, purposeful technology, and rugged styling. Ranger Raptor is fully prepared to take on the most demanding terrain its extreme adventure-seeking customers can find.
“Ranger Raptor is the high-performance off-road truck many customers have been begging for. It’s right-sized for tight trails and daily life, can carry lots of gear, and is a blast to drive. Ranger Raptor is fast, comfortable, and packed with top-shelf, purposeful technology designed to perform. This is the ‘baddest’ Ranger we’ve ever made,” said Carl Widmann, Ford Performance chief engineer.
Confident Suspension, Purposeful Tech
The heart of every Raptor is its suspension. Ranger Raptor starts with a purpose-built suspension with lightweight aluminum upper and lower control arms and a long-travel rear suspension with a Watts linkage and trailing arms for control and confidence in off-road conditions.
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Ranger Raptor’s next-generation Fox 2.5-inch Live Valve Internal Bypass shocks are coil-overs at the front and piggyback reservoirs at the rear to reduce heat build-up for uninterrupted performance all day long.
Ranger Raptor is built on a beefy foundation, taking Ranger’s fully boxed frame up a notch by reinforcing the front frame rails, shock towers, rear shock brackets, suspension mounting points, and other key areas so Ranger Raptor can handle more punishing off-road conditions.
The Fox Live Valve Internal Bypass system changes damping performance based on Ranger Raptor’s Drive Modes. The modes include Normal, Tow/Haul, Sport, Slippery, Off-Road, Rock Crawl, and Baja, all developed to provide better on-road comfort, off-road control, capability, and ride quality at high and low speeds.
Each selectable drive mode appropriately adjusts the tuning of the engine, transmission, ABS calibration, traction control, steering, throttle response, and even the instrument cluster and touchscreen look and information. The active valve exhaust system can also be tuned to several modes, including Quiet, Normal, Sport, and Baja settings. Ranger Raptor also comes with Trail Control, so drivers can navigate tricky spots while the truck manages the throttle and brakes.
Powertrain Fit for a Class of One
A unique suspension deserves to be backed by a matching level of power. The Ford Performance tuned twin-turbo 3.0-liter EcoBoost V-6 produces 430 pounds-feet. of torque and best-in-class maximum available 405 horsepower, the most powerful Ranger ever built for increased performance on gravel, dirt, mud, and sand.
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Beginning with a compacted graphite-iron cylinder block, the engine utilizes a race-bred anti-turbo-lag system to enable boost on demand in Baja mode. It keeps the turbochargers spinning for up to three seconds after the driver backs off the throttle, so acceleration occurs while exiting corners. Bolted to the EcoBoost engine is a class-exclusive 10-speed SelectShift automatic transmission, mated to an advanced four-wheel drive system with a new electronically controlled on-demand two-speed transfer case combined with front and rear locking differentials.
Designed for Purpose
Each Ranger Raptor design element has a purpose. Confident, modern styling starts with LED projector headlights to light up the night flanked by C-clamp signature lighting. Bold F-O-R-D lettering on the grille sits above an all-steel bumper with integrated, frame-mounted front and rear tow hooks and LED taillights that provide a signature C-clamp link to the front.
Flared fenders with functional fender vents house aggressive 33-inch BF Goodrich all-terrain KO3 tires on 17-inch wheels that can be mounted to optional beadlock-capable wheels with available bead locks for running extra low tire pressures in the sand and rocky conditions. Ranger Raptor also sports serious underbody protection. The thick front bash plate is made of high-strength steel and is complemented by the dedicated engine, transfer case, and fuel tank shields.
The Raptor’s cab is built for performance, with a sport steering wheel including cast magnesium alloy paddle shifters for quick transmission control and a signature Raptor centering mark in a Code Orange color. Six overhead upfitter switches mounted in the overhead console simplify powering off-road hardware. Unique Ford Performance front seats are supportive, with extra bolstering to hold drivers in place during high-speed cornering. The rest of the cab includes premium materials trimmed in Code Orange.
Ranger Raptor Features Connectivity
Ranger Raptor connects the driver to adventure with features like a 360-Degree Camera and Front View Camera to assist in off-roading, Zone Lighting to light up the night in remote locations, and class-exclusive Pro Trailer Backup Assist to help back up boats and campers at the kinds of remote locations Raptors are built to reach.
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Even way off-road, drivers want to be informed and connected, so Raptor has a high-resolution 12.4-inch digital instrument cluster and 12-inch center touchscreen running SYNC4A, Apple CarPlay, and Android Auto wireless smartphone connectivity.
Finally, if the active exhaust doesn’t provide enough auditory stimulation, there’s a Bang & Olufsen sound system to pump out your favorite soundtracks.
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The Ford Raptor family spans the automaker’s truck and SUV portfolio. F-150 Raptor, F-150 Raptor R, Bronco Raptor, and now Ranger Raptor are all built for performance enthusiasts who want a truck to tackle their most significant adventures. A pre-production 2023 Ranger Raptor even proved its mettle by winning the stock midclass category of the Baja 1000, completing the course in 26 hours and 21 minutes. And then it drove home, almost 200 miles from the finish line to California.
The 2024 Ford Ranger Raptor will be assembled at the Michigan Assembly Plant in Wayne, Mich., with orders beginning later this month and availability later this summer. For more details, visit the Ford Ranger website..
Marc Stern has been an automotive writer since 1971 when an otherwise normal news editor said, “You're our new car editor," and dumped about 27 pounds of auto stuff on my desk. I was in heaven as I have been a gearhead from my early days. As a teen, I spent many misspent hours hanging out at gas stations (a big thing in my youth) and working on cars. From there on, it was a straight line to my first column for the paper "You Auto Know," an enterprise I handled faithfully for 32 years. Only a few people know that I also handled computer documentation for most of my earnings while writing YAN. My best writing, though, was always in cars. My work has appeared in Popular Mechanics, Mechanix Illustrated, AutoWeek, SuperStock, Trailer Life, Old Cars Weekly, Special Interest Autos, etc. You can follow me on: Twitter or Facebook.