Trucks

Here’s What It’s Like to Drive the Hennessey Ranger Velociraptor

Although Ford’s Ranger Raptor pickup truck is currently not available in the U.S., Hennessey Performance is giving Americans the opportunity to drive a similar truck. Hennessey has decked out the newest Ranger with what it’s calling the Velociraptor package. This will upgrade the Ranger into a truck that’s similar to the Raptor.

In particular, it upgrades the Ranger’s engine to a 2.3-liter four-cylinder 360-hp engine. This upgraded engine allows the Velociraptor to accelerate from 0 to 60 mph in just 4.9 seconds, which is a great time for a pickup truck. The Smoking Tire recently had a chance to drive the Velociraptor around in the desert and here’s what it had to say about the Velociraptor.

Speed

Unlike the Raptor, the Velociraptor is a smaller truck, much like its namesake. The smaller size of the Ranger combined with that powerful engine allows the Velociraptor to not only be fast but also feel lighter when being driven. This additional power makes the truck more fun to drive according to the video, but unfortunately, the sounds that the engine makes aren’t that great.

Suspension

During the desert test drive, even though there were plenty of twists and turns on the trail, The Smoking Tire commented that the suspension made the ride feel smooth and comfortable. This is likely the result of the re-tuning of the suspension system that was necessary in order to upgrade the engine of the Ranger.

Handling

The Smoking Tire did criticize the turbo lag of the engine, which made the Velociraptor not handle well in certain situations. The video said that if the truck had better manual controls, then it would help in driving with that turbo lag, but unfortunately, the Velociraptor has poor manual controls. Furthermore, the video also critiqued the handling of the truck while it was on paved roads.

The Smoking Tire had driven the Velociraptor from Los Angeles all the way to the desert that the driving test was taking place at and found it to be lacking on the highways. But, The Smoking Tire did put the blame on the particular wheels that were on the Velociraptor. 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 and that 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 and it allows drivers to get the most out of those 360 horses when the truck was in the correct gear.

Tech

The Velociraptor does come with a full suite of modern advanced driver assist systems, such as anti-lock brakes or adaptive cruise control systems. The Smoking Tire doesn’t love those types of systems, but as the video shows, those systems do their jobs just fine.

Conclusion

Finally, The Smoking Tire ended the video by saying 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 all the way 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 that’s similar to the Velociraptor. 

Nonetheless, it’s still a new upgrade to the Ranger that American truck owners can buy 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 the Velociraptor yourself, the base Ranger truck starts at about $25,000 and the Velociraptor package will cost you another $20,000.