Ford knows that SUVs and pickups are the keys to its future, and the company has used the past few years to greatly enhance its profits from these two segments. That includes performance niches with the F-150 Raptor and the recently unveiled Bronco Raptor. But the Ranger Raptor has so far proven to be elusive, with this third dino being an international market-only exclusive. Enthusiasts have clamored for the U.S. version for years and Ford has even subtly hinted that it was considering it, but the company has transformed sly replies into action with the 2023 Ranger Raptor.
Exterior Styling Based On New Ranger
Are we getting a US version???
— LAC Pitino (@Laclanta) February 21, 2022
A big development was Jim Farley himself confirming that this iteration of the Ranger Raptor would be coming to the U.S. and Canada via Twitter, ending the last generation’s global market exclusivity. Unlike the current generation Raptor which was based on the microwaved leftovers of the first-gen global Ranger, this Raptor model is based on the truck that was introduced last year, and it brings a number of revisions to the mid-size pickup.
The front fascia features the signature Raptor grille with large Ford script boldly advertising its identity. A shorter front bumper and flared wheel arches further enhance the look while the rear features Raptor graphics, a sport bar, and a dual exhaust system. It’s important to note that the truck pictured is for the international market, so look for the styling to perhaps be revised slightly to help it comply with tighter safety regulations here in North America. These revisions played a prominent role in keeping the first-gen Raptor out of our country but it appears that Ford designers opted for a more global approach this time around.
Ranger Raptor Interior Is Bolder And Tech Filled
Slip inside a current-generation Ranger and you’ll quickly get a sense of just how drab the interior is due to its abundance of cheap materials as well as an overall lack of personality. The Raptor takes those pre-conceived notions and boldly punts them to the curb with the cabin being one of the most dynamic Ranger cabins that we have ever seen.
Ford designers claim that the seats are inspired by jet fighters and the slick Code Orange accents and the thicker bolsters lend credence to this proclamation. A 12.4-inch digital instrument cluster is joined by a 12-inch touchscreen infotainment screen and a B&O sourced 10-speaker audio system which will be promptly upstaged by some of the Raptor’s exhaust note when going through trails.
While the press truck pictured still has a Teutonic personality, the splashes of color and the colorful screen is everything that the current truck is missing in this regard, and look for it to make a potent statement when compared to rivals like the Chevrolet Colorado ZR2, and the best-selling Toyota Tacoma TRD Pro.
Unlike the turbocharged four-cylinder diesel that powered the old model, Ford revealed that the 2023 version will be powered by the same 3.0 liter twin-turbocharged V6 that also sees duty in the Bronco Raptor which will also be sold alongside the existing diesel engine. However, the V6 will undoubtedly be the focus of attention here in the U.S. and while it makes a mere 284 hp in European form, look for the U.S. version to make more power if rumors on the matter are proven to be accurate.
The Ranger Raptor will also come with other goodies seen in its bigger cousin including an anti-lag system, a four-mode active exhaust system, and the familiar 10-speed automatic. Ford reps claim that this beast is largely meant for high-speed trail running like its other cousins, but did let it slip that the truck is also capable of slower-paced overlanding adventures. The chassis has been beefed up for trail running and the truck will come equipped with Fox sourced 2.5-inch Live Valve shocks with internal bypass technology.
When Will We See The Ranger Raptor?
In the fore-mentioned Tweet, Ford CEO Jim Farley revealed that the U.S. and Canada will get their trucks sometime next year but stopped short of offering a more concrete timeline for when they will begin rolling into dealerships. That would make the truck appear in 2024 if the current timeline holds and while it will have alot of ground to make up in the face of rivals, the Ranger Raptor aims to make up some of the time lost by wowing customers with tech and personality.
Carl Malek has been an automotive journalist for over 10 years. First starting out as a freelance photographer before making the transition to writing during college, his work has appeared on numerous automotive forums as well as websites such as Autoshopper.com.
Carl is also a big fan of British vehicles with the bulk of his devotion going to the Morgan Motor Company as well as offerings from Lotus, MG, and Caterham. When he is not writing about automobiles, Carl enjoys spending time with his family and friends in the Metro Detroit area, as well as spending time with his adorable pets.