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Ford defends outgoing Raptor’s driveline

Twin-turbo V6 petrol a ‘better fit’; Ford ‘not interested’ in so-called Raptor rivals

22 Feb 2022

FORD has quashed criticism that the performance of the outgoing Ranger Raptor’s 2.0-litre biturbo engine was insufficient considering the premium demanded for the sought-after model. 


The Detroit-based company announced last night that it would offer a 3.0-litre twin-turbocharged V6 petrol engine under the bonnet of its forthcoming Ranger Raptor to further differentiate it from its siblings, as well as other performance-oriented light commercial utilities.


Speaking to journalists gathered for the online unveiling of the model overnight, Ford Ranger Raptor program supervisor Justin Capicchiano said the new twin-turbo V6 engine further separated Ford’s hard-charging ute from its aspiring competitors, adding that the company was “not interested” in benchmarking the Ranger Raptor against offerings from so-called rivals.


“Is there a genuine Raptor competitor? I’m not necessarily sure there is,” Mr Capicchiano said. 


“I think we’re aware of how our vehicle stacks up as part of the Ford Performance line-up, because of the way we work and tie in with the US team, which produces the F-150 Raptor and Bronco Raptor. We endeavour to stay on par with their offerings and make sure that we’re being consistent with how we’re applying that DNA across our vehicle line.


“We’re not looking backwards. We’re not looking at what Toyota and Nissan are doing. We’re not interested (in benchmarking the Raptor against their products). We believe we’ve got a very strong product on its own that meets and exceeds that DNA in many aspects,” he asserted. 


Mr Capicchiano said that globally, the Raptor program had formed its own set of metrics by which capability and performance were measured, and that provided a model conformed with those strict criteria, it was certain to get the full approval of the brand’s loyal customer base.


“From our perspective, it was about making sure that what we are producing had visibility within the North American team… and that the vehicle’s characteristics and character met that DNA – and that it was going to be recognised as an authentic Ford Performance product,” he insisted.


Ford Performance chief program engineer for Ranger Raptor, Dave Burn, echoed his colleague’s emphatic remarks, explaining that the powertrain offered in the outgoing Ranger Raptor was neither lacking in power or driveability.


Mr Burn said the new 3.0-litre twin-turbo V6 petrol Ranger Raptor was made for customers who wanted greater performance and capability from their vehicles. It was not simply a matter of shoehorning the largest engine in the catalogue under the Ranger’s bonnet.


“When we launched the (original Ranger Raptor) car, I don’t think we found anyone who ever drove the car that felt like they weren’t having fun while driving it. The 2.0-litre biturbo diesel gave that car plenty of shove for what it needed,” he said.


“(But), I think what we learned as we were going through it (the Ranger Raptor program) is that customers loved every ounce of that car… and we sold thousands of them, but they wanted a little bit more – and that little bit more that they wanted was not just from the powertrain, but they also wanted a little bit more capability, and a little bit more performance. 


“So, it wasn’t a matter of us saying ‘let’s just pick the biggest weapon that we’ve got and put that under the bonnet’. It was about making sure that the package worked together as a holistic opportunity. The V6 twin-turbo engine is an evolution of that mantra of listening to what your customers are saying and taking the feedback and turning it into a new product,” he added.


Ford Australia has yet to reveal the specifications of its new petrol-powered Ranger Raptor, stating simply that the model will offer “nearly twice” the power output of the current model. 


The 3.0-litre twin-turbocharged EcoBoost V6 under the bonnet of the Ranger Raptor will not be shared with any other variant in the next-gen Ranger line-up, which will again offer the 2.0-litre biturbo diesel found in the current range, as well as the addition of a 3.0-litre V6 turbo-diesel.  


GoAuto News understands the 3.0-litre EcoBoost twin-turbo petrol unit powering the Ranger Raptor could offer up to 368kW and 854Nm, a significant uptick over the current Ranger Raptor’s 157kW and 500Nm, but that it has been tuned to offer 292kW and 583Nm in the newcomer.


In other markets, the biturbo diesel engine would continue to be offered in the Ranger Raptor. Mr Capicchiano said the unit would play an important role in ensuring the dual-cab utility served the ownership requirements of those for whom a petrol-engined version was not feasible.


“Clearly there are many markets in which the cost of ownership is a prime consideration. (In those countries,) the turbo-diesel variant is likely to meet particular tax thresholds and, therefore, provide a lower cost-of-ownership proposition for buyers,” Mr Capicchiano said.


“That's why Ford will continue manufacturing the diesel in conjunction with the petrol variant.”

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