The raptors are coming! No, that's not a catchphrase from the next Jurassic World movie. In the automotive world, raptors are the domain of Ford, namely the F-150 Raptor, the Ranger Raptor, and the soon-to-come Bronco Raptor.
New spy shots from Ford's home turf near Detroit capture two Raptor prototypes in action, though the photographer's focus this time around is on the Ranger. The previous-generation model saw a Raptor variant offered in markets outside the US, but with a new Ranger finally revealed, it seems likely the US will get one this time around.
The prototype seen here offers our best look thus far, which makes sense given the standard Ranger debuted its new styling to the world last November. The Raptor will obviously ride a bit higher, riding on an upgraded suspension and adorned with off-road gear such as skidplates, which can easily be seen in these photos. The grille's centre bar is still covered, but you can bet there's bold FORD branding behind the wrap. At the rear, dual exhaust tips exit the corners under the bumper.
Gallery: Ford Ranger Raptor, Bronco Raptor Spy Photos
Rumours suggest those exhaust pipes connect to an EcoBoost V6 as opposed to the four-cylinder engine used in previous Ranger Raptors. The question is whether it's the twin-turbocharged 2.7-litre mill used by the Bronco, or the twin-turbocharged 3.0-litre V6 from the Ford Explorer ST. The latter would give the Ranger Raptor a healthy 400 bhp, but we also heard rumours that Ford might eventually build a V8-powered Ranger Raptor R.
As for the Bronco Raptor also caught on camera, there's very little camouflage hiding the vehicle beneath. The FORD grille is exposed to the world, and the body-hugging wrap cannot hide the Bronco Raptor's wider stance and massive wing/fender flares. This isn't the first time we've seen a Bronco Raptor in such minimal coverings, and it suggests a debut could be around the corner.
On that note, we already know the 2023 Ranger Raptor will have its global debut in February. Ford confirmed it in a cryptic QR-code teaser during the standard Ranger's reveal. It just might be the perfect time to unleash not one, but two new Raptors to the world. We shall see soon enough.