Ford Ranger Raptor Finally Coming to America: Here’s What We Know So Far

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The popularity and desirability of Ford’s F-150 Raptor in the U.S. has made the existence of the smaller Ranger Raptor in other markets a sore spot. The Ranger Raptor has been around since 2018 but never for North American buyers. Ford recently revealed the updated global Ranger pickup and just dropped a major bombshell: the new Ranger is getting a Raptor version that’s finally — finally — coming to the U.S. in 2023.

Related: 2022 Ford Bronco Raptor: Could This Be the Perfect Raptor?

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We don’t have official North American specs for the Ranger Raptor yet, and what has been publicized varies depending on geography, but it follows the familiar Raptor formula that we’ve seen on the F-150 Raptor and the new Bronco Raptor, with significant off-road upgrades and more power. Here’s what we know so far:

More Power — But How Much?

In the U.S., the Ranger currently has one powertrain: a turbocharged 2.3-liter four-cylinder engine making 270 horsepower and 310 pounds-feet of torque paired with a 10-speed automatic transmission. In global markets, the previous Ranger Raptor had a diesel engine, which is unlikely for our shores, but the big news for the new Ranger Raptor is its turbocharged 3.0-liter V-6.

In European markets where fuel-economy standards are very strict, the V-6 is rated at around 284 hp and 362 pounds-feet, which are improvements over the U.S. four-cylinder’s stats but probably not enough to move the needle. In Australia, however, the turbo V-6 makes around 392 hp and 430 pounds-feet. Those are healthier increases and seem more likely for the U.S., where the turbocharged V-6 in the Bronco Raptor is reportedly “targeting” 400 hp and in the Explorer, where it makes 365 hp and 380 pounds-feet in the Platinum and 400 hp and 415 pounds-feet in the ST.

Ford is giving the V-6 an anti-lag system similar to those on the GT supercar and the Focus ST (rest in peace), which can keep the turbochargers spinning for up to three seconds after the driver lets off the accelerator to allow for more immediate power delivery if the driver needs it again within those three seconds. Like other Raptors, the Ranger Raptor also gets an active exhaust with four varying loudness levels.

The transmission for the Ranger Raptor is still a 10-speed automatic, and it also gets a new full-time four-wheel-drive system with an electronically controlled two-speed transfer case and locking front and rear differentials.

Hardware Upgrades

Befitting a Raptor, the Ranger Raptor gets all sorts of hardware upgrades to tackle off-road obstacles. The headline grabber are the Fox-brand 2.5-inch Live Valve internal bypass shocks with position-sensing dampers that provide real-time damping force adjustments. Ford says the damping adjustments improve ride comfort, can prevent squatting under hard acceleration and maximize damping force during the last 25% of suspension travel. The shocks are also filled with a Teflon-infused fluid Ford says reduces friction compared to the last Ranger Raptor’s shocks.

Ford is also giving the Ranger Raptor a new long-travel suspension, front and rear, and new aluminum upper and lower control arms. Even the Ranger Raptor’s chassis is different from other Rangers, with all sorts of additional reinforcements to better handle the rigors of aggressive off-roading. The Ranger Raptor also gets a thicker front bash plate made of high-strength steel and significant underbody protection.

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Tech Upgrades, Too

Under-the-hood and under-the-skin upgrades aren’t where things stop with the latest Ranger Raptor, however. Ford is giving the pickup a vertical 12-inch touchscreen running Sync 4A, the automaker’s latest infotainment system, with wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.

Aggressive Looks Outside and In

Rounding off the Ranger Raptor are distinct Raptor looks, starting with the trademark Raptor F-O-R-D grille styling. Other exterior Raptor signatures include muscular flared fenders, heat extractors in the hood and the obligatory “Raptor” graphics on the bedsides. Inside, the cabin gets orange accents, sport front seats and a leather-wrapped steering wheel with magnesium shift paddles.

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When Do We Get It?

According to Ford CEO Jim Farley, the Ranger Raptor is coming to the U.S. in 2023, but just when in 2023 isn’t clear yet. The big question for North America is how different — if at all — the Ranger Raptor we get will be from what other markets get. The most significant difference is likely to be the absence of a diesel engine option. As 2023 approaches, stay tuned for more details.

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Road Test Editor Brian Normile joined the automotive industry and Cars.com in 2013, and he became part of the Editorial staff in 2014. Brian spent his childhood devouring every car magazine he got his hands on — not literally, eventually — and now reviews and tests vehicles to help consumers make informed choices. Someday, Brian hopes to learn what to do with his hands when he’s reviewing a car on camera. He would daily-drive an Alfa Romeo 4C if he could. Email Brian Normile

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