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Ford recently announced the 2023 Ford Ranger Raptor, complete with tons of specs and even rumors about pricing. Rumors aside, the new Ranger seems to be gunning for one thing and one thing only; rewriting the expectations of small pickup trucks in the off-road scene. Look out, big boys, there’s a new off-roader coming for your lunch money. 

2023 Ford Ranger Raptor jumping in the dirt
2023 Ford Ranger Raptor | Ford

What do we know about the 2023 Ford Ranger Raptor? 

The 2023 Ford Ranger Raptor officially dropped yesterday, and people are excited. Before looking at a single spec, the Raptor name tells us much of what we need to know; the Ranger Raptor has one purpose, tearing up the rough track. 

To that end, Ford gave the Ranger Raptor the twin-turbo 3.0-litre EcoBoost V6 making 392 horsepower and 430 pound-feet of torque. With power concerns addressed, Ford would have you look to the advanced four-wheel-drive tech. The Ford Press Release says the new full-time four-wheel-drive system includes an electronically controlled, on-demand two-speed transfer case and locking front and rear differentials. This system is different from just a hotrod truck and a proper off-roader. 

Despite this truck’s impressive spec list so far, the rumored starting price of $52,489. There is no reason to believe this price is correct, but even if it is, it also doesn’t mean it can’t change throughout the road to production. 

What engine comes in the Ford Ranger Raptor? 

2023 Ford Ranger Raptor interior
2023 Ford Ranger Raptor interior | Ford

As we mentioned, the Ranger gets the twin-turbo 3.0-litre EcoBoost V6, the same beating heart powering the Bronco Raptor. In proper Raptor form, the Ranger version will stack up nicely against the bigger Ford F-150 Raptor. The 2022 big Raptor gets a slightly bigger twin-turbocharged 3.5-liter EcoBoost V6 making 450 hp.

The 3.0 EcoBoost V6 features a compacted graphite iron cylinder block, which is around 75 percent stronger and up to 75 percent stiffer than the iron used in traditional castings. Along with the toughness needed for a proper desert runner, the Ranger Raptor also satisfies the racing pedigree of the segment with a racing-inspired anti-lag system similar to the one first seen on the Ford GT road car and the Focus ST. 

All that power isn’t just for desert-ripping fun. Ford claims the hot Ranger can pull up to 8,000 lbs and haul 1,200 lbs in the bed. That aint all that bad for a midsize pickup truck. Lastly, on the engine front, the Ranger will have an electronically adjustable exhaust that lets the driver select the engine note they want. 

What makes the Ford Ranger Raptor desert ready? 

Ford gave the Ranger Raptor a pile of new FOX suspension parts, from Live Valve shock absorbers to aluminum control arms. 

“We’ve really focused on delivering a genuine performance truck with the Next-Gen Ranger Raptor,” said Dave Burn, Ford Performance chief program engineer for Ranger Raptor. “It’s significantly faster, looks incredible, is packed with new features, and it’s the toughest Ranger we’ve ever made.” 

Burn went on to explain how the new suspension helps performance: “The suspension upgrades in the Ranger Raptor make the most of the new FOX Live Valve dampers. The suspension adapts in real-time to enable exceptional on-road body control while absorbing corrugations and bigger ruts off-road with ease, ensuring maximum control and performance.” 

To top off the performance tank, the new Raptor has seven driving modes; three for on-road and four for off-road. 

The on-road settings include “Normal”– designed for comfort and fuel efficiency, “Sport”– more responsive for spirited on-road driving, and “Slippery” – for more confident driving on slippery or uneven surfaces. 

The off-road settings get a little more exciting and are as follows: “Rock crawl” – for optimum control in very low-speed driving over extremely rocky and uneven terrain, “Sand” – optimizes gearchanges and power delivery for progress in the sand and deep snow, “Mud/Ruts” – for maximum grip during launch and maintaining vehicle momentum, and “Baja” – sets all systems to maximum attack for peak high-speed off-road performance.

When will the 2023 Ford Ranger Raptor be available? 

The global release for the Ford Ranger Raptor was February 22, 2022. However, the American version will not likely hit the streets until 2023. While we wait, Ford is sure to slowly release more trims, features, and highlights to satiate our excitement.