Ford’s Raptor brand is taking shape. Initially ascribed to the F-150 pickup truck, Raptor is set to move to two other truck-based models: the Bronco and Ranger. Both are midsize models with a strong or growing following, making each one ideal recipient of the best of Ford Performance. Indeed, it is the Ford Performance sub-brand that oversees Raptor, which is why the nameplate is important to the automaker.
The Ford Raptor Family
We are not certain how the Raptor line will unfold, but we do know that the F-150 Raptor will continue as expected. Reportedly, the Bronco Raptor will follow in 2023 with the Ranger Raptor soon thereafter. But there are rumors that the Ranger Raptor will not see the U.S. market as Ford is concerned it would encroach upon the F-150’s territory. That’s keeping in line with how the Ranger Raptor is currently offered: overseas only.
Read on and we’ll examine the three Raptor models and suggest how the performance moniker may gain an additional model.
Ford F-150 Raptor
Much has changed since Ford offered the first F-150 Raptor model in 2010. That truck initially offered two naturally aspirated V8 engine choices with displacements of 5.4 and 6.2 liters. One year later, the base engine was cancelled and Ford continued with the big V8 that makes 411 horsepower and 434 pound-feet of torque. Power moves to the wheels utilizing a 6-speed automatic transmission. The initial Raptor was sold for five model years: 2010 to 2014.
The second-generation Raptor rolled out in 2017 and Ford continued with it through 2020. That model features a 3.5-liter twin-turbo V6 engine with 450 horsepower and 510 pound-feet of torque. Power routes to all four wheels utilizing a 10-speed automatic transmission.
Beginning in 2021, Ford changed the Raptor to once again include two engine choices. The twin-turbo V6 remains, but for 2022 a supercharged V8 joins the lineup. A 5.2-liter flat-plane crank V8 engine, the same as the Ford Mustang, is available, enabling Ford to challenge the Ram 1500 TRX. The most powerful Raptor ever now bangs out an incredible 760 horsepower and 620 pound-feet of torque with a 10-speed automatic transmission sending power to the wheels.
Ford Bronco Raptor
Where the F-150 Raptor relies on a standard twin-turbo V6 engine for power, word has it that a naturally aspirated V8 will motivate the Bronco Raptor. That makes sense as the engine is presently offered in the Mustang.
Indeed, the Mustang GT thrives on potent V8 power thanks to a 5.0-liter V8 earning 450 horsepower and 410 pound-feet of torque. Here, power would route to all four wheels utilizing a 10-speed automatic transmission.
Ford Ranger Raptor
As for an all-new Ranger Raptor, our sources indicate that it will share the same powertrain as the Bronco Raptor. That makes sense as the two models are similarly sized.
What’s not clear is if the U.S. market will receive the Ranger Raptor. Some believe Ford wants to keep it overseas, serving markets where it is an ideal fit sizewise. We believe, though, a Ranger Raptor will eventually hit the U.S. market due to customer demand. Remember, there was a time when Ford said it would never bring back the Ranger to the U.S. market once it was canceled in 2011. That position changed because of consumer demand.
Ford Maverick Raptor
Just think of it: the Ford Maverick is essentially in a segment all its own. Certainly, the Hyundai Santa Cruz is another choice, but that model does not have the off-road chops of the Maverick.
We believe it is entirely possible that the Maverick will receive some performance love, with a twin-turbo four-cylinder engine possible. With standard all-wheel-drive and performance somewhere north of 250 horsepower (300 would be within reach), the Maverick might appeal to Focus RS enthusiasts who dearly miss the compact masher. Currently, we are about even on our thinking that a Maverick Raptor will ever see the light of day. But its possibility is what keeps us with our eyes on that potential prize.
Enraptured by a Raptor
The Raptor performance brand gives Ford a model line that no competitor matches. Not Chevrolet. Not Ram. Not GMC. It gives Ford a head’s up in each category and the profit lines that go with it. Even as Ford pivots to electrification, we see that there is enough room in the blue oval family to accommodate performance Raptor models. Oh, how sweet a thought that is!
Mr.choppers, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons
SsmIntrigue, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons
See Also — America’s Medium-Size Pickup Trucks by Sales