Although Ford’s Ranger Raptor pickup truck is currently unavailable in the U.S., Hennessey Performance is giving Americans the chance to drive a similar vehicle. Hennessey decked out the newest Ranger with “the Velociraptor package,” which upgrades the Ranger to a truck that’s similar to the Raptor.
In particular, Hennessey elevates the Ranger’s engine to a 2.3-liter four-cylinder 360-hp engine. This allows the Velociraptor to accelerate from 0 to 60 miles per hour in just 4.9 seconds — a great time for a pickup truck. The Smoking Tire had a chance to drive the Velociraptor in the desert. Here’s what their team had to say about this specialized vehicle.
Unlike the Raptor, the Velociraptor is a smaller truck, much like its namesake. The smaller size of the Ranger combined with the powerful engine allows the Velociraptor to feel lighter when driven. This additional power makes the truck more fun to drive, according to The Smoking Tire. Unfortunately, the engine’s sounds aren’t great.
During the desert test drive, the suspension made the ride feel smooth and comfortable despite plenty of twists and turns on the trail. This is likely the result of a re-tuning of the suspension system, which was necessary in order to upgrade the Ranger’s engine.
The Smoking Tire did criticize the turbo lag of the engine, which made the Velociraptor not handle well in certain situations. Better manual control would help. Unfortunately, the Velociraptor has poor manual controls. Furthermore, the video critiqued the truck’s handling while on paved roads.
The Smoking Tire drove the Velociraptor from Los Angeles all the way to the desert, and they found it lacking on the highways. But the truck in the video had mud tires, which were ideal for the desert but not for highway driving.
On top of that, The Smoking Tire commented that the steering wheel had zero feel. Drivers would have to rely on how the suspension made the truck feel to get a sense of what the steering wheel was doing. But the 10-speed gearbox that comes with the Ranger was a game-changer. It allows drivers to get the most out of those 360 horses when in the correct gear.
The Velociraptor does come with a full suite of modern advanced driver-assist systems, such as anti-lock brakes and adaptive cruise control systems. As the video shows, those systems do their jobs just fine.
Finally, The Smoking Tire ended the video by explaining that it’s actually an old truck despite being a new truck since tuners in countries like Brazil have created cars much like the Velociraptor dating back in 2010. That’s not Hennessey’s fault, but if you’re not in the U.S., then you may have already driven or experienced a truck similar to the Velociraptor.
Nonetheless, it’s still a new upgrade to the Ranger, and for what it sets out to do, it does do quite well. Overall, as The Smoking Tire summarized, the Velociraptor does Raptor things. If you want to drive it yourself, the base Ranger truck starts at about $25,000, and the Velociraptor package will cost another $20,000.