Ford’s Hardcore Ranger Raptor Is Finally Official

Ford’s Hardcore Ranger Raptor Is Finally Official
Image: Ford

There’s a new performance Ford for you to lust over. It’s called the Ranger Raptor, it’s made to go off-road, and it looks pretty f**king tough.

No word on specs for the Ranger Raptor, which is still only being teased, but the switched-on blokes over at CarAdvice seem to think it’ll likely be the twin-turbo 3.5-litre EcoBoost V6 that sits in the current F-150 Raptor, which develops a more than healthy 335kW and 690Nm, currently mated to a trick 10-speed auto ‘box. The suspension will likely also get a significant overhaul from the regular workaday Ranger, switching from leaf springs to coils — so likely less load hauling and more corner carving.

The new truck will go on sale in Australia some time in 2018 — but there’s no more info on a concrete time or price than that just yet. The Ranger is one of Australia’s most popular vehicles, and it’s the most popular 4×4 bar none, beating out even Toyota’s Hilux — so maybe we should start to think of the Ranger Raptor as the spiritual successor to the Falcon XR8, the mainstream high-power highway prowler of choice for red-blooded Aussies.

Ford has a sneak peek of some of the Ranger Raptor’s high-speed off-road testing on its website, and the poor prototype clearly goes through hell. One thing’s obvious, though: the Ranger Raptor should be more capable off-road than any other performance Ford — none of the Ford GT, Ford Mustang Shelby, Focus RS or Focus ST are really made for conquering sand dunes and off-road tracks. OK, so the Focus RS might carve up a rally special stage, but it’d have a bit of trouble with the potholes and gullies. [Ford]