Since 2010, Ford has been using the Raptor name to denote the performance-focused trims of its flagship trucks and SUVs. Before today, the U.S.-based automotive giant has already had Raptor versions of its F-150, F-150 R, and Bronco available Stateside. And now, it’s added a fourth model: the Ranger Raptor, which was just unveiled for the 2024 model year.
Of course, the Ranger Raptor is not a new vehicle — available overseas since 2018 — but this is the first time the North American market has gotten one of its own. Prior to Ford bringing the Ranger back to the States in 2019, the model saw a nine-year absence as the marque decided to focus more on the F-Series line of pickups in the U.S., thus abandoning compact truck models altogether, such as the Ranger. Now, the mid-size pickup is not only making its return, but aggressively pursuing the crown over competitors’ mid-size options, such as the GMC Canyon and the Chevy Colorado ZR2. And with the Raptor nameplate, the new Ranger stands a pretty good chance.
For starters, the Ranger Raptor is billing itself as the most powerful and high-performance Ranger model ever, with extra focus on off-road capability. Engineered and built to “take on challenging dunes,” it’s been given a long travel suspension, a Watts link rear suspension, and 2.5-inch FOX Live Valve shocks. Getting help from an anti turbo-lag system that enables on-demand boost in Baja Mode for exiting corners with an extra 3 seconds of acceleration, the 3.0L EcoBoost V6 engine boasts 405hp, 430lb.ft of torque, 10-speed SelectShift automatic transmission, four-wheel drive, and a new on-demand electric two-speed transfer case with front- and rear-locking differentials.
A pre-production 2023 model already took home the prize in the stock midclass category at the Baja 1000, and the 2024 version already looks even more impressive. Available starting this summer, the 2024 Ford Ranger Raptor will have a price of $56,960.