FORD has unleashed the 2022 Ranger Raptor, with a 292kW 3.0-litre V6 twin turbo EcoBoost powerplant delivering a thumping 583Nm of torque – all of it tuned by the cool kids at Ford Performance.
With a compacted graphite-iron cylinder block, it sports a race-bred anti-lag system that enables rapid delivery of boost on demand. Mated to a 10-speed automatic transmission – each gear is programmed with its own boost profile.
An electronically controlled active valve exhaust system amplifies the engine note in four selectable drive modes (Quiet, Normal, Sport and Baja (off-road)), with the new Raptor now featuring reinforcements across the chassis, and improved suspension.
Tough, lightweight aluminium upper and lower control arms, long-travel front and rear suspension and refined Watt’s link equipped coil-spring rear suspension have been designed to deliver more control across rough terrain.
Soaking up those humps and bumps are next-generation FOX 2.5-inch live valve internal bypass shock absorbers with cutting-edge control technology offering position-sensitive damping capability.
These shock absorbers are the most sophisticated ever on Ranger Raptor and are filled with Teflon-infused oil that reduces friction by around 50 per cent compared to those on the previous Raptor.
Made from 2.3mm-thick high-strength steel, a new front bash plate is almost double the size of the standard Ranger bash plate. This bash plate, combined with the engine under shield and transfer case shield, provides protection for key components.
For the first time, the Ranger Raptor gets an advanced permanent four-wheel drive system with an all-new electronically controlled on-demand two-speed transfer case, combined with front and rear locking differentials, a feature that hardcore off-roaders will appreciate.
Each selectable drive mode adjusts a number of elements from engine and transmission to ABS sensitivity and calibration, traction and stability controls, exhaust valve actuation, steering and throttle response.
Depending on the mode, the colour scheme of the digital displays change to match the mode. On-road modes include Normal, Sport and Slippery, while off-road grabs Rock Crawl, Sand, Mud/Ruts and Baja (as already mentioned).
The next-gen Ranger Raptor also comes with Trail Control which is like cruise control for off-roading. The driver simply selects a set speed (below 32km/h), and the vehicle manages acceleration and braking while the driver concentrates on steering.
Matrix LED headlamps with LED daytime running lamps push lighting performance to new levels too. The headlamps also offer both static and dynamic bending capability, as well as glare-free high-beams that help block light.
The flared fenders accommodate a choice of two muscular 17-inch wheel designs, the optional one with bead-lock capability, and each wrapped in BF Goodrich All-Terrain KO2 tyres.
Functional vents, aero features, and tough, new-design cast aluminium side steps help enhance the look and functionality. At the rear, LED taillamps provide a signature link to the front. The Precision Grey rear bumper features an integrated step pad and tow bar too.
The interior continues to emphasise the off-road performance and high-energy nature of the exterior. The cabin features jet fighter-inspired sports seats – both in the front and rear – that are not only more comfortable but also more supportive during spirited cornering.
Code Orange accents on the instrument panel, trim and seats are enhanced by ambient lighting, which features an amber glow. A leather sports steering wheel with thumb swells, on-centre marking and cast magnesium paddle shifters completes the picture.
The new Ranger Raptor boasts a full digital cabin, with a high resolution 12.4-inch digital cluster and 12-inch centre touchscreen incorporating Ford’s SYNC 4A connectivity and entertainment system, with wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.
Compatible smartphones can be wirelessly charged via a pad at the base of the centre console. A Bang & Olufsen sound system provides the soundtrack to your next adventure. Pricing and availability are yet to be confirmed by Ford Australia.
This story first published on Exhaust Notes Australia.