The first European ‘Raptor’ model was launched by Ford in 2019 in the form of the mid-sized pickup, Ranger Raptor, and although the first generation Raptor had more aggressive looks than the standard model, it was argued that the Ranger could not be classed as a true, Raptor model, due to it being powered by a 2.0L Ecoboost diesel engine.

This year, Ford have launched the second generation Ranger Raptor, and whilst the diesel engine remains, Ford have added a 2nd option for the hardcore Raptor fans, being a 3.0L V6 petrol. Having driven the previous Ranger Raptor and loved it, I was excited to get behind the wheel of the second generation Raptor, and experience the updates and changes that Ford have made.

This new, petrol engine produces 288 bhp and 362 lb-ft (491 Nm) of torque. Mated to a 10-speed automatic gearbox, reaching 60 mph from a standstill takes 7.9 seconds, which can be expected from a mid-size pickup truck that weighs a little over 2 tonnes. The new Raptor also gets an a dual active exhaust system, which resonates that V6 engine with it’s 7 different driving modes.

Gallery: 2022 Ford Ranger Raptor UK first drive review

Whilst still dwarfed when parked next to it’s American cousin, the Ford F-150 Raptor, the new Ranger Raptor is higher and longer than the previous generation pickup, making it stand out as a bit of a brute on our European roads. For the first time, the Ranger also receives the same Code Orange paint found on the F-150 Raptor in the States. Not that it needs anything else to help it stand out from the crowd!

The Ranger’s updated appearance makes it more closely resembled to it’s American cousin, too. It’s C-shaped style headlights wrap around the updated front grille, with the word Ford stretched across the front of it. Below it lies the skid plate, and above it, the bonnet features bulges and vents, making the front appearance even more aggressive. The pickup rides on 17 inch wheels, wrapped in all-terrain tyres, whilst the rear bed gets an automatic rolltop cover with the V6 engine, controlled from the driver’s seat. Ford gives owners the option of the Raptor Splash Pack, adding Raptor decals to the rear of the pickup.

2022 Ford Ranger Raptor UK first drive review - interior
2022 Ford Ranger Raptor UK first drive review - interior

Inside, Ford have given the pickup a complete refresh. The Raptor badged seats are made from leather and Alcantara, and the theme on the interior is a wash of black and orange. Even the air vents are adorned with an orange outline, along with the 12 o’clock mark on the steering wheel. It’s refreshing to see a digital dashboard for the driver over the outgoing generation. What’s more, there’s a 12 inch infotainment screen that dominates the centre of the interior. Ford have been clever to not ensure that all controls are on this screen, as driving modes can still be chosen from a wheel in the centre console, and the steering wheel has suspension and exhaust function buttons, making sure you don’t have to use that touch screen for absolutely everything. There’s also privacy glass, and a Bang and Olufsen, 10-speaker stereo system to boot.

Another improvement over the outgoing model are the 360 degree cameras. Whether your unable to see over the crest of hill you’re climbing off-road, or struggling to see how close you are parking to curb on a residential street, the Raptor’s options of cameras assist to do the job required.

If you’re looking to purchase a workhorse though, then look at the other models within the Ranger lineup. The Raptor has a payload of 652 kilograms and a towing capacity of 2,500 kg, meaning it doesn’t qualify as a commercial vehicle here, in the UK, but there’s a very good reason for that. Under the body of the V6 model, lies 2.5 inch, Fox Live Valve Dampers. Suspension that makes the Raptor capable of tackling off road terrain at speeds of over 50 mph. The Raptor is built to tackle the terrain of the Baja Peninsula in California, meaning you can treat it like a rally car. On a dedicated off-road track, and in it’s most lairy, ‘Baja mode’, the Raptor could take anything we could throw at it, at any speed. Where the suspension on other pickup trucks would simply fall apart, the Raptor felt at home, bouncing over the different undulations without so much as breaking a sweat. It’s crazy to think that this level of performance is what comes with the Raptor as standard, out of the box. No additional modifications needed. It even comes with a ‘jump mode’, for when you really want to take driving to the extreme.

2022 Ford Ranger Raptor UK first drive review

Switch the Raptor into two wheel drive and without anything in the bed, you can have a lot of fun. Just a blip of the throttle will have the rear end of the pickup sliding behind you. The 2 tonne truck does require some stopping power though, and it doesn’t take too much of a push on the brake pedal to have the ABS lighting up in front of you.

Whilst it can be wild and lairy off the road, the Raptor can also be comfortable on-road. Engaging it’s ‘Normal’ mode will shut off the active exhaust system, reducing any drone for long distance driving. There’s no hiding the fact that the Raptor is larger than your average SUV, and the suspension make it less comfortable too, but the pickup has undeniable curb appeal, turning everybody’s heads as you drive along the street. With a real World consumption of approximately 17 mpg, it won’t be cheap to run, but you’re not buying a V6 for it’s fuel economy, that’s what the Diesel engine is for.

So Ford have made huge improvements on the outgoing Raptor model, but this all comes at a cost. The V6 Ranger Raptor will set you back £58,900. However, with the Mercedes X-Class V6 discontinued, and the new, Volkswagen Amarok V6 pricing yet to be announced, it will be interesting to see where this Raptor V6 sits, as currently there is nothing else on the market that rivals it directly.

Whilst it appears that the rest of the automotive market are making a shift towards electric and hybrid vehicles, it’s great to see that Ford are still sticking to their routes, providing brutish, loud and capable vehicles. This Ranger Raptor will no doubt be something we look back on as one of the all-time greats. The new generation Ranger Raptor is in your face, emits a great tone from it’s V6 and so capable off road, that is so deserving of it’s Raptor badging. A true Raptor model.