Ford scrawled its name in big, old hats on the title of the revamped 2024 Ranger lineup, finally bringing the coveted Ranger Raptor to the company’s home turf. The mid-size Raptor has been a European-only product since it was first introduced in 2018, but passionate American truck fans are about to get themselves a small but fierce Raptor. The Raptor adds the “most powerful ever” to the new Ranger range, with Ford further describing it as the most powerful and connected product ever.
Raptor’s Fury, reduced size
American Raptor pickup shoppers used to have no choice but to opt for the full-size F-150 Raptor—unless they were willing to leave the pickup box with the Bronco Raptor. But now the Ranger Raptor promises to carve out a Goldilocks spot in the Raptor family.
“The Ranger Raptor is the high-performance off-road truck that many customers have been craving,” said Ford Performance chief engineer Carl Widmann, introducing the newest member of the American Raptor family this week. “It’s the right size for tight trails and everyday life, it can carry a lot of gear, and it’s a joy to drive. It’s the worst Ranger we’ve ever built.”
That’s unbridled praise from a company that feared the Ranger Raptor could cannibalize F-150 Raptor sales.
Like any good Raptor, this one starts with a fully overhauled suspension. Long-travel rear suspension with Watts linkage and trailing arms provides control and confidence off-road, while Fox 2.5-inch Live Valve internal bypass provides precise, conditions-based performance in front and rear dial shocks.
The shocks adjust damping according to the selected drive mode, from Off-Road, Rock Crawl, and Baja to non-road-specific choices, and Normal, Tow/Haul, Sport, and Slippery as more general choices. These driving modes also adjust engine and transmission tuning, ABS calibration, traction control, steering and throttle response to match specific conditions, while a separate Trail Control function manages throttle and brake inputs, allowing the driver to focus on driving through demanding Section terrain.
Raptors are also revered for their potent powertrains, with the Ranger Raptor earning the badge with its 405-horsepower 3.0-liter twin-turbo EcoBoost V6 and 430 pound-feet of torque. The engine is mated to a 10-speed SelectShift automatic transmission and an advanced 4WD system with a new electronically controlled two-speed transfer case and locking front and rear differentials.
When the truck switches to Baja mode, a race-inspired turbo anti-lag system delivers power on demand. The turbocharger continues to spin for up to three seconds after the driver lifts off the accelerator, increasing acceleration out of corners. The active exhaust valve system allows drivers to communicate their preferred level of twin-turbo intensity by selecting from Quiet, Normal, Sport and Baja settings.
The Ranger Raptor rides on 33-inch BFG KO3 all-terrain tires shod on 17-inch wheels. Beadlock wheels are optional and allow the driver to run ultra-low tire pressures in sand and rocks.
Beyond the Raptor – 2024 Ford Ranger
The Raptor is the most powerful and funniest of the completely redesigned 2024 Raptor lineup, but it’s certainly not the only truck worth a look. The entire 2024 Ranger lineup is designed to improve its use, from job site hauling to backcountry exploration. It starts with a widened track and a longer wheelbase, improving stability and increasing bed space without undercutting the midsize truck’s need for nimble handling off-road.
Non-Raptor Ranger models are powered by a 270-horsepower 2.3-liter EcoBoost, which will be joined by a 315-horsepower version of the 2.7-liter EcoBoost V6 in the F-150 and Bronco later this year. The new Ranger will offer a maximum towing capacity of 7,500 pounds (3,400 kilograms) and a maximum payload of 1,805 pounds (818 kilograms), but if you’re looking for your 2024 Ranger, don’t get too attached to these exact numbers because they will Varies by option and trim – maximum number applies to Ranger Crew Cab 4×2 with 2.3-liter EcoBoost engine and optional Trailer Towing Package.
Inside, the new Ranger offers the driver a highly digital cockpit. The instrument cluster comes standard with an 8-inch screen, while the SYNC 4A infotainment touchscreen measures 10.1 inches. Buyers can also choose corresponding 12.4-inch and 12-inch instrument and infotainment screens that come standard on the Raptor. A standard embedded 4G LTE modem keeps the truck connected.
Buyers also have a long list of 31 standard and available driver-assist features to choose from, including blind-spot information system with trailer coverage, adaptive cruise control with stop-and-go, Active Parking Assist 2.0 and Professional Trailer Backup Assist. Available 360-degree and front-facing cameras help the driver navigate on and off-road.
Ford will open orders for the 2024 Ranger later this month and plans to begin deliveries of the Ranger Raptor and 2.3-liter Ranger models in late summer. Rangers with the 2.7-liter EcoBoost V6 will be available in late fall. Ford will build the new line of trucks at its Michigan assembly plant.