What would the Ranger Raptor be like with a V6? To ask that question is to miss the point – at least according to Ford.
The Ranger Raptor will arrive with a 2.0-litre twin-turbo diesel under the bonnet, mated with a 10-speed automatic. With the boost from sequential turbos, the Raptor makes 157kW and 500Nm of torque. According to many of our readers, that’s not nearly enough.
Jamal Hameedi, global performance chief engineer, is adamant the smaller powertrain is perfect for all markets except the United States, where petrol engines are overwhelmingly preferred by off-roaders.
“Honestly, right from the start of this project we never considered any other powertrain solution for Ranger Raptor; there was only ever the bi-turbo 10-speed and the bi-turbo 10-speed, and that’s it. We simply wanted the best diesel available that we could get our hands on.
“The Raptor is about the suspension, it’s about the chassis and it’s about breaking the bank on the entire architecture and platform that this vehicle is built on.
“Quite literally, those four shock absorbers from Fox Racing Shox cost as much as a small engine, and that’s not an exaggeration, either.
"That’s just how much money we have put into this vehicle. And that’s what the Raptor is all about. It’s not about horsepower, it’s not about torque, it’s having enough horsepower and enough torque to do the job, but it’s not the focal point.”
Much of the Raptor’s styling has trickled down from Ford’s full-strength F-150, like trademark block FORD lettering within the grille. But, according to Hameedi, most components and materials on the baby Raptor are fully functional as well.
“The Ranger Raptor isn’t the sort of vehicle you can just go out and create using aftermarket parts, either, it’s a complete system.
"To duplicate the content that is in this truck in the aftermarket would cost you a fortune.
"I mean, if you’re talking about offering the Ranger Raptor parts to standard Ranger customers, there’s really no point to that because you would then need to upgrade everything else like the control arms, the axles and even the tyres would need to be upgraded to handle high-speed off-road conditions, which is exactly why we have created this smaller Raptor.”
Hameedi isn't just talking about the big-ticket items, he's also talking about things like the frame-mounted bumper system – designed to be durable in the desert. There are also new LED fog-lamps with functional ducts to reduce air resistance, as well as composite fabricated front bumpers specially shaped to allow long-travel suspension and oversized tyres.
“Don’t get me wrong, we like the fact that customers use various tuners to enhance our cars, albeit lower spec versions.
"It’s the same thing with a Mustang, we love Mustang tuners, because even if they don’t buy a Shelby or GT, they’re getting in the game. And, if we do our job right, one day they’ll be walking through the door to buy something from Ford Performance."