The birds of prey are coming! No, this is not a famous phrase from the upcoming Jurassic World movie. In the automotive world, raptors are Ford’s specialty, the F-150 Raptor, the Ranger Raptor and the soon-to-be Bronco Raptor.
New spy footage from Ford’s home grounds near Detroit captures two Raptor prototypes in action, though this time the photographer’s focus is on the Ranger. The previous generation model saw a Raptor variant introduced in markets outside the US, but with a new Ranger finally revealed, it looks likely the US will get one this time around.
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The prototype we see here offers our best look yet, which makes sense given that the standard Ranger with its new design debuted to the world last November. The Raptor will obviously ride a little higher, riding on an upgraded suspension system and garnished with off-road equipment like snowboards, which can be easily seen in these photos. The central grille strap is still covered, but you can bet there’s a bold FORD branding behind the sheath. At the rear, dual exhaust tips stick out from the corners under the bumper.
Rumor has it that these exhaust pipes are connected to an EcoBoost V6 engine instead of the four-cylinder engine used on previous Ranger Raptors. The question is whether it was the 2.7-liter twin-turbocharged mill used by the Bronco, or the 3.0-liter twin-turbocharged V6 from the Ford Explorer ST. The latter would give the Ranger Raptor a healthy 400 horsepower, but we’ve also heard rumors that Ford might eventually build the Ranger Raptor R.
As for the Bronco Raptor which was also captured by the camera, there is very little camouflage that hides the car underneath. The FORD grille is exposed to the world, and the body-hugging hood can’t hide the Bronco Raptor’s wider appearance and massive fender openings. This isn’t the first time we’ve seen the Bronco Raptor in such a minimal cover, and it suggests that a debut could be around the corner.
On that note, we already know that the 2023 Ranger Raptor will make its world debut in February. Ford confirmed this in a QR code-coded teaser during the unveiling of the standard Ranger. This might be the perfect time to unleash not one, but two new raptors to the world. We’ll see soon enough.
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