New Raptor

Exclusive: will SA-made new Raptor be a powerful turbodiesel V6

This is how Auto expects the new Ford Ranger Raptor to look. Our exclusive scoop render above is based on latest spy pictures of the forthcoming Raptor, caught testing together with its similarly upcoming Bronco Raptor sibling last week. Speculation however continues on what will power the new super bakkie. Aussie sources suggest a 240 kW turbo petrol V6. For the US, where those images emerged, perhaps. But not likely in South Africa, Australia, other Eastern and likely certain European markets.

Will the new Raptor be a powerful Turbodiesel V6

That rationale is quite simple. Ford in December confirmed a major investment in its Struandale, Port Elizabeth Engine Plant, right here in Sunny South Africa. The release states verbatim that the ‘3-litre V6 turbodiesel engine will be used in the next-generation Ranger’. Little else is known about the new mill. But considering that it’s likely basically the same 221 kW 650 Nm lump that powers the New Land Rover Defender, it can be expected to be employed in the new Raptor in a similar state of tune.

Now considering that the Defender delivers mid-six second 0-100 km/h acceleration, this news is an elixir for Ford Ranger fans. That the biggest complaint about the current Raptor is that its 157 kW 500 Nm bi-turbodiesel four lacks the go to match the show. Never mind its chassis. For the rest, the new one will be regular Ranger Raptor fare. So bank on a more aggro look like this making it to production. With a tougher front bumper design, an aggro grille and an Africa-resistant bash plate. Complete with towing lugs.

That’s of course over and above the racy wheels. With all-terrain tyres that appear to be carry over BF Goodrich KO2s. Plus elevated ride height courtesy of high performance all-coil suspension. Expect a bespoke Watts Linkage rear-end and nitrogen-filled Fox dampers. Ford’s South African-built super bakkie will include even wider wheel tracks than the already broader new Ranger. They will live under flared wheel-arches and extra spats each end of robust high-clearance side steps.

US Raptor likely to be a petrol V6

The test mules in the images below also reveal V6 giveaway twin exhaust outlets. Being US spec however, those new Ranger Raptor mules are more likely running Ford’s 242 kW 542 Nm 2.7-litre biturbo petrol V6. Nicked from the top end Bronco. By the by, there was never a V6 Raptor before because its engine bay was too small to accommodate one. Even if it has always been able to fit the old inline 5-cylinder turbodiesel.

Ford will of course build Raptor alongside new Ranger on its Silverton, Pretoria plant, with export units set to find homes on most markets east of the Atlantic. The local operation’s PE engine plant will meanwhile manufacture 21,000 turbodiesel V6s a year. Alongside the existing single and biturbo four cylinder diesels engines tweaked to power existing and additional derivatives of the next-generation Ranger. Independently developed petrol-powered US versions of both Ranger and Raptor will be built in Mexico.

This news on the next Ford Ranger comes in tandem with intel on its arch-rival Toyota Hilux likely to inherit the Land Cruiser 300’s lusty all-new 227 kW 700 Nm 3.3-litre turbodiesel V6 for its hero next-generation hero models. Expect those to include a Dakar celebrating GR version from around 2025. Until then, the new Ford Ranger Raptor will enjoy a handy head start off a mid-2022 launch. But it will not be long before a real super bakkie war breaks out, with rival pickup makers unlikely to simply stand back and watch. Bring it on!

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