The Ranger pickup gets the Baja-inspired capability from its bigger brother, the F-150, because now the Raptor package is available for the midsize truck from Ford.
Before you rush to your nearest Ford dealer, we must make it clear that the Ranger Raptor just launched — in Mexico. Adding to the disappointment for many potential U.S. buyers is the fact that the Ranger Raptor sold in Mexico is a diesel. Specifically, it is a 2.0-liter twin-turbo 4-cylinder diesel engine putting out 210 horsepower and a generous 369 pound-feet of torque. The U.S. version of the Ranger currently enjoys a 2.3-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder gas engine developing 270 hp and 310 lb.-ft.
The transmission is a 10-speed automatic and the 4×4 system features a rear differential lock as well as the Terrain Management System with six different driving modes tailored to diverse terrain types, including the “Baja” program for high-speed, off-road driving.
The country is also going to be getting an F-150 Raptor in the near future, although in Mexico the F-150 is called the Lobo, thusly it will be named the Lobo Raptor. Is the arrival of the Ranger Raptor south of the border a good omen for mavens who’ve called for one since the truck’s return to the line-up a few years go? Perhaps.
Ready for rough roads and speed
The chassis and suspension have been reinforced to withstand the demands of Baja-style driving. The track is 6 inches wider than the regular Ranger and ride height is 2 inches higher. Control arms for the front suspension are made of aluminum; the upper ones are forged while the lower ones are cast.
It features Fox Racing shocks with Position Sensitive Damping which under extreme conditions provide higher damping forces and in more moderate conditions the damping force is lowered for a smoother ride. These Fox Racing shock absorbers provide increased vertical travel which is key to high-speed off-road capability. Front vertical travel is increased by 32%, while rear travel is 18% greater.
The rear suspension has a bespoke coil over design with a Watts linkage, which allows the axle to move up and down with very little lateral movement. This is also key to maintaining control during high-speed off-road driving.
Brakes are improved as well, with bigger pistons for the front and rear calipers as well as ventilated rear discs.
Looking tough while being tough
Ground clearance is a generous 11.1 inches and wading depth is 33.5 inches. Approach angle is 32.5 degrees while the departure angle is 24 degrees. The Ranger Raptor has front composite fenders that are flared to accommodate the bigger tires and to allow greater vertical travel.
The Raptor has a unique look, because in addition to the bigger tires and higher suspension it features a unique front grille that has been inspired by the F-150 Raptor, including the oversized “Ford” lettering.
The headlamps have xenon lighting and the front bumper has tow hooks as well as a shorter design that improves the approach angle.
Impressive on the inside
Unique interior features include sport front seats with higher bolsters to provide greater lateral support and magnesium paddle shifters for manual control of the 10-speed transmission. Also, the bespoke steering wheel has an on-center marker on top of the rim to help drivers keep track of wheel position off road.
The Ford Ranger Raptor sells in Mexico for 989,000 pesos, or about $49,900, which is on par with the current Ranger Tremor package. However, those hoping the Ranger Raptor south of the border may accelerate development of a U.S. version are likely to be disappointed,
First, as most know, it’s not as simple selling Mexican version in the U.S. The first issue is the twin-turbo diesel engine. Diesels have never been popular in the U.S., and recent events by other automakers have doomed them in the U.S. Also, it is very unlikely that Ford would import the Ranger Raptor from South Africa, since the Ranger is being built in Wayne Michigan for the U.S. market. However, an updated of the Ranger is expected in 2022, and a Raptor was coming, that would be the time. The hopeful should keep their fingers crossed.