The Australians love a good “ute” and there’s nothing more interesting on the market right now than the 2023 Ford Ranger Raptor. This is an all-new generation that has a lot in common with the Bronco Raptor, including the engine, and the good news is the US debut is scheduled for 2023.
Ahead of that, we decided to sample some serious off-road and performance tests from Australia, filmed during the launch event earlier this week. The mini Raptor truck is quite capable in all kinds of conditions, from mud to gravel and good ol’ pavement.
Ford didn’t release the old Ranger Raptor in America because it had a small diesel engine. But the 2023 model ditches this in favor of the coolest V6 in the midsize segment. It’s an all-new twin-turbo 3.0-liter EcoBoost which in Australia is rated at 392 horsepower and 430 pound-feet of torque.
The company will not say how much power the American mini Raptor will have, but the Bronco Raptor uses the same engine and offers 418 horsepower and 415 pound-feet of torque. The V6 is advanced, with a graphite-iron cylinder block, which is around 75 percent stronger and an anti-lag system for the turbo. From what we understand, it’s only active in Baja mode, and in the video below, you’ll see how the exhaust sounds different depending on which mode you’re in.
How fast is the Ranger Raptor?
The independent test shot by PDriveTV shows a 0 to 62 mph (100 km/h) time of 5.73 seconds in Sport mode and 5.99 seconds in Baja mode. Officially, Ford quoted a time of 5.5 seconds, but all this is still in line with the Bronco Raptor.
Not only is the Raptor more powerful, but it’s also more tech-heavy than rivals like the Toyota Tacoma and Chevy Colorado ZR2. It comes with both front and rear locking differentials. And although it’s built for Baja-style off-roading, it can also crawl well.
FOX Live Valve internal bypass shock absorbers are used at all corners. They’re just as adjustable as the ones on the F-150 and Bronco, but they’re a little smaller with a 2.5-inch diameter (versus 3.1-inch). 33-inch BF Goodrich K02 all-terrain tires are fitted on 17-inch wheels which can be optionally bead-lock-capable.
Above all, this Ranger Raptor is as good-looking as any other Ford, unlike the dated generation that came before. The track is visibly wider, with fender flares and “FORD” script adding that familiar Raptor look.