The 2022 Ford Ranger Raptor is expected to adopt twin turbo V6 petrol power – and arrive hot on the heels of the regular Ranger line-up.
While this is an artist impression of the 2022 Ford Ranger Raptor – and the real deal could look substantially different – the good news is we won't need to wait too long to see the production version.
Today’s Ford Ranger Raptor performance pick-up arrived in 2018, seven years after the regular versions of this generation Ranger went on sale.
But the next Ford Ranger Raptor could arrive within a year of the regular Ford Ranger line-up, pending any unforeseen delays during development.
The original Ford Ranger Raptor has been a hero model for the brand, and sales have exceeded expectations despite being powered by a 2.0-litre bi-turbo diesel four-cylinder, and having a limited towing capacity of 2500kg rather than 3500kg.
However, CarAdvice understands Ford is going to answer the call for more grunt with a twin turbo 3.0-litre V6 petrol engine and 10-speed automatic borrowed from the Ford Explorer ST in the US (pictured below).
In that vehicle, the twin turbo 3.0-litre V6 petrol engine pumps out approximately 300kW and 560Nm, which would leave a gap to the Ford F-150 Raptor twin turbo 3.5-litre V6 petrol engine with 335kW and 690Nm.
Although not as powerful as the Ford F-150 Raptor, the twin turbo 3.0-litre V6 in the Ford Explorer ST helps power that car to a claimed top speed of 230km/h.
There is no suggestion the 2022 Ford Ranger Raptor will match that speed, given the extra weight of the vehicle, less favourable aerodynamics, and extra drag from the heavy duty off-road tyres.
However, such a formidable engine and transmission combination promises better acceleration than today’s Ford Ranger Raptor.
Testing by CarAdvice has found the current Ford Ranger Raptor powered by a 2.0-litre bi-turbo diesel four-cylinder does the 0 to 100km/h dash between 10.2 to 10.5 seconds (depending on conditions), about 1 second slower than the Ford Ranger XLT with the same powertrain due to the extra weight (XLT: 2200kg versus Raptor: 2350kg).
Furthermore, the current Ford Ranger Raptor powered by a 2.0-litre bi-turbo four-cylinder is more than 2 seconds slower than the current Volkswagen Amarok TDV6 (7.8 seconds 0 to 100kmh), the current benchmark for the class excluding the full-size Ram 1500 V8 and Chevrolet Silverado V8 pick-ups from the US.
It is unclear if the petrol powered version of the 2022 Ford Ranger Raptor is only for the US market, which favours petrol over diesel, or whether it will also be offered in Australia.
Will the 2022 Ford Ranger Raptor be available locally with the twin turbo 3.0-litre V6 petrol (300kW/560Nm), the single turbo 3.0-litre V6 diesel (185kW/600Nm) – pictured below – or a choice of both?
Whichever V6 is chosen, they're likely to be matched to a 10-speed automatic transmission, for brisk acceleration and optimum open road fuel economy.
Given the cost and complexity of developing both V6 engine options, it would be unusual for Ford to offer two powertrains on a performance flagship.
All Raptors made so far on F-150 and Ranger platforms – and most Ford Performance cars – have had a single engine choice.
However, in Europe Ford offers petrol and diesel variants of the Focus ST hot hatch (current and previous generation models).
Either way, the next generation Ford Ranger Raptor promises a big leap in performance that will better match its epic off-road ability thanks to Fox shocks, off-road tyres, a wider track and bigger, four-wheel-disc brakes.
The 2022 Ford Ranger Raptor will also benefit from other technology changes to the regular Ranger line-up, including a more upmarket interior with larger digital displays, and new levels of advanced safety (see our story here).
While arrival timing of the 2022 Ford Ranger Raptor remains unclear, CarAdvice understands it is being developed in parallel with the regular Ranger line-up, which means it is expected within 12 months of the mainstream line-up goes on sale, pending any delays.
Our wish list? If you've come this far, Ford, please just equip the 2022 Ford Ranger Raptor with the twin turbo 3.5-litre V6 from the Ford F-150 Raptor – then we'll have a petrol engine (335kW/690Nm) with more power and torque than the 3.0-litre V6 turbo diesel (185kW/600Nm). All your problems solved in one sentence. If only it were that simple.