2023 Ford Ranger Raptor

(photo credit: KBB)

If you love fast trucks, then you should be excited about what Ford has been doing lately. Right now, they are taking the Raptor name and bringing it to more and more trucks and SUVs. In 2023, we will see the debut of the second generation of the Ford Ranger Raptor, and it will be offered in the United States market for the first time. It looks like a real monster. Here, we are going to take a look at what exactly the Ford Ranger Raptor is, its specs, and its place in the truck world.

What is the Ford Ranger Raptor?

The Ford Ranger Raptor is the most powerful iteration of the mid-size pick-up truck from Ford. This performance truck is designed to provide sports car-like performance while also providing its own unique design inside and out. Produced in limited numbers, the Ford Ranger Raptor is designed to be among the fastest mid-sized trucks on the road.

A Look at the Specs

Right now, we don’t have solid horsepower numbers for the Ranger Raptor yet for the U.S. market. However, we can take a look at the engine and take an educated guess as to how much power we will get. The Ford Ranger Raptor will come with a twin-turbo 3.0-liter V-6 engine that will be tuned by Ford Performance. In the Australian market, this engine put out 396 horsepower. Therefore, we can expect to get somewhere in the neighborhood of 400 horsepower for the mid-size truck.

However, straight-ahead road performance is only a part of the Ranger Raptor story. This mid-size truck is also designed to be one heck of an off-road performer. Looking at the standard equipment, the Ranger Raptor comes with front and rear diff lockers as well s a full complement of terrain modes. One of the most popular modes will be the Baja high-speed desert mode which should show off both the Ranger Raptors off-road and acceleration prowess.

Another big part of the Ranger Raptor's engineering is the suspension. Of course, this truck needs to be designed to take lots of punishment. That’s why the Ranger Raptor comes with Fox 2.5" Line Valve internal bypass shock absorbers. According to Ford, the shocks will have Teflon-infused oil to help reduce friction.

Finally, let’s talk about under armor protection. Ranger Raptor drivers will want to put this truck to the test in all types of terrain. In order to keep the repair bills from adding up, this truck will have 2.3mm steel plates underneath the front of the truck to help protect the radiator, steering, engine sump, and differential.

The Sporty & Imposing Ford Ranger Raptor Design

Besides the performance, the other thing that stands out about the Ford Ranger Raptor is its one-of-a-kind design. The first thing that you will notice about this Raptor-infused Ranger is its flared fenders with black extension and its bold black grille with the Ford name emblazed across the front. At the rear, you will find twin dual exhausts to let everyone behind it know that this truck has some serious firepower.

Step inside the Ranger Raptor and you will notice a more sporty feel. A sports car-inspired steering wheel and bolstered seats let you know that this truck is built for performance. Also, the accented colors on the seats add a unique touch.

Who is this Truck For?

So who would want a 400ish horsepower mid-sized truck? Well, the answer is, who wouldn’t want a 400ish horsepower mid-size truck? The Ford Ranger Raptor is designed for the serious adrenaline junkie who wants to have a sports-car-like performance on the road with some serious off-road fun. Also, the fact that this is a pick-up lets you use it for light work duties. This may be one of the most versatile vehicles on the market.

Of course, this type of power and performance doesn’t come cheap. Therefore, you are looking at someone who has the discretionary cash in order to spend full-size truck money for this mid-size truck performance. When you think about it, you are getting a sports car and an off-roader for one price. Therefore, it can kind of be thought of as a bargain.

A History of the Ford Ranger Raptor

The Ford Ranger Raptor is a newer edition to the Raptor family. The first generation of the Ford Ranger Raptor debuted in 2019. That first iteration of the mid-size performance truck came with a 2.0 EcoBoost inline four-cylinder engine that provided up to 210 horsepower. Other modifications to the first-generation Ranger Raptor included widened track and raised ride height.

If you live in the U.S. and never saw a first-generation Ranger Raptor, that shouldn’t be surprising. The first-gen Ranger Raptor was excluded from the North American market due to possible model overlap with the Ford F-150 Raptor.

First generation Ranger Raptor:

Ford Ranger Raptor

Inspired by Its Bigger Brother: Ford F-150 Raptor

Of course, if you have seen a Raptor on the road, then it is likely the monstrous Ford F-150 Raptor. This is basically the performance truck in the Ford model line. Now in its third generation, the Ford F-150 Raptor belts out 450 horsepower from a 3.5-liter V-6 engine. However, there is a V-8 engine that’s coming in the Ford F-150 Raptor R nicknamed the “Predator.” This top-of-the-food chain engine will come with up to 760 horsepower and compete directly with the RAM 1500 TRX.

With the Ford Ranger Raptor, you are getting a smaller version of its big brother. However, this may actually be an advantage. With the smaller size, you will be able to drive this mid-size truck more like a sports car. That can come in handy when dealing with tight curves. Also, the smaller size can make the Ranger Raptor easier to navigate through tight off-road trails.

The Bottom Line

The 2023 Ford Ranger Raptor will likely be one of the most coveted trucks on the road. With its big performance and capable off-road design, it will provide lots of opportunities for fun.