The killing of the Fiesta and Focus in the US marked the end of Ford’s long-held but never-realized ambition to create a “world car” that could succeed in all global markets. Maybe Ford should have focused on the “world truck”, that’s a niche the ranger seems to have achieved. Ranger is sold in at least 180 countries. The outgoing version was the most popular pickup truck in Europe, where we first met the much-anticipated new Ranger Raptor.

Eurovision has a lot in common with future American Ranger Raptor, which we expect to see next year, with the same styling and gravity-defying suspension with internal bypass shocks made by Fox Racing. Apart from the fact that the Rangers sold in Europe are made in Thailand, and our version will be made in the good old USA, the main difference is that the American Raptor should get a more powerful engine.

That’s because Europe is entering its own era of malaise. There, the Ranger Raptor gets a tuned version of the twin-turbo 3.0-liter V-6. Bronco Raptor, the pickup’s engine is stifled by the need to meet strict new emissions standards. In Australia, where the Ranger Raptor was launched first, its V-6 makes 392 horsepower and 430 lb-ft, but in Europe it will produce 288 horsepower and 362 lb-ft. We’ll have to wait for US specs, but it seems certain that our Raptor will have at least as much power as the Australian version — and possibly the Bronco Raptor’s full 418 horsepower and 440 lb-ft. A 10-speed automatic transmission with two-speed transfer case, plus locking front and rear differentials, will be standard in all markets.

The new Ranger’s new bodywork sits on the same T6 platform as the old truck, while the Raptor uses a beefed-up version of that ladder chassis. Up front, it looks exactly like a baby F-150, with LED headlights pushed to the edge of the body and the same flashy FORD grille motif. Like the F-150, it also has plastic wheel arch flares and a wider track. Although huge by European standards, the Ranger Raptor’s overall length of 211.0 inches and width of 79.8 inches make it 21.6 inches shorter than the F-150 version and 7.0 inches narrower. The crew cab is the standard configuration in Europe and has a 61.6-inch cargo bed.

The addition of some microfiber panels and color accents elevates the Raptor’s interior above the regular Ranger, but the plastics remain solid and utilitarian. The 12.4-inch digital instrument cluster and 12.0-inch center touchscreen with portrait orientation looked good. Ford’s SYNC 4A infotainment system works cleanly and intuitively, though we welcomed the retention of physical controls for the heating and ventilation.

The Raptor’s center console features a chunky gearshift lever with a button on the side that engages manual mode—manual gearshifts are done using paddles on the steering wheel. A rotary dial selects drive modes and controls the transfer case, which has 2H, 4H, 4L and 4A settings — the latter automatically transferring power to the front axle when required.

On-road handling was very impressive given the Continental General Grabber A/T tires our truck was wearing. Fox Racing shocks vary damping force based on both wheel travel and adaptive valving, meaning the ride at everyday speeds is plush and compliant. Noise isolation proved equally good at highway speeds, with the Raptor’s cabin remaining quiet at 75 mph in normal mode—an unexpected virtue.

The steering weight feels heavier than the F-150 Raptor’s even at its lightest, but provides little feedback. Not much to say about it, given the limited ability of the front tires to provide lateral grip on the asphalt. The Ranger steers straight and doesn’t wander, but while it feels stable at speed, it has little commitment to tighter corners. It doesn’t take much enthusiasm to push the front wide and the rear axle to fight for traction.


While the new Ranger Raptor is significantly faster than the last-generation Ranger Raptor sold in Europe — which used a four-cylinder diesel engine and needed more than 10 seconds to hit 60 mph — the new Ranger Raptor it still feels like it’s not fast. Ford of Europe quotes a zero to 62 mph sprint of 7.9 seconds. The sharp reactions of the transmission in Drive also did not help to increase confidence in passing. Selecting Sport mode improved response, but also added artificial weight to the electric power steering and introduced a humming sound from the exhaust.

The Raptor’s exhaust system has four different modes, including normal, sport and a new silent mode for discreet departures. There’s also a Baja mode that’s so noisy it comes with a dashboard warning that it’s for off-road use only.

Driving the Ranger Raptor on a challenging off-road course quickly proved where its heart lies. It feels like a scaled-down version of the F-150 Raptor, slower but more nimble and still adept at tackling serious speed bumps. The Ranger has 10 inches of wheel travel in the front and 11.4 inches in the rear, which is less than the F-150 Raptor, but the engineering team says the smaller truck’s dampers work harder. Sensors monitor wheel travel at each turn, so the Raptor’s brain knows when its tires have left solid ground, and that’s when it tightens the shocks to their stiffest setting to prepare for impact. Hitting a big bump at speed proved the truck could fly and more importantly land without too much drama.

However, the Ranger Raptor impressed the most on more technically challenging terrain. Ford’s claimed ground clearance of 10.4 inches and an approach angle of 32 degrees may not come close to the Bronco Raptor’s 13.1 inches and 47 degrees, but the pickup’s numbers are better than the coil-sprung Land Rover Defender 90. The Raptor also features a Rock Crawl mode that automatically maintains a crawling speed and climbs a steeply graded dry streambed without throttle input. Electronic locking front and rear differentials are also quick to engage and disengage, though the icons that control them are small on the touchscreen and hard to find when the truck is bouncing over rough terrain.

Ford ranger raptor 2023


The Ranger Raptor is smaller than its F-150 sibling, and the European version is significantly slower, but it doesn’t feel smaller when driving over difficult terrain. We’re very excited to see our own twisted version.

Technical characteristics

Technical characteristics

Ford Ranger Raptor 2023 (Europe)
Vehicle Type: Front Engine, Rear/FWD, 5-Passenger, 4-Door Pickup

Base: $72,000 (UK equivalent including VAT)

24-valve DOHC twin-turbo intercooled V-6, iron block and aluminum heads, direct fuel injection
Displacement: 180 inches32956 cm3
Power: 288 horsepower at 5500 rpm
Torque: 362 lb-ft at 2,300 rpm

10-speed automatic

Wheelbase: 128.7 inches
Length: 211.0 inches
Width: 79.8 inches
Height: 75.8 inches
Passenger volume: 99 feet3
Bed length: 61.6 inches
Curb weight (C/D estimate): 5300 lbs

60 mph: 7.5 sec
1/4 mile: 15.4 sec
Top speed: 111 mph

Combined/City/Highway: 17/17/18 (but won’t be EPA rated)

This content is imported from OpenWeb. You may be able to find the same content in a different format, or you may be able to find more information on their website.

Previous articleRent a Car in Albufeira, Brazil
Next articleWinter is back, but don’t let your car idle