Future classic: Ford Ranger Raptor

| 10 Jun 2024
Classic & Sports Car – Future classic: Ford Ranger Raptor

The cars we embrace most readily as classics are the ones we loved when we were kids, right?

In which case, if the reaction to this bonkers machine is anything to go by, then this is as surefire a Future classic as we’ve ever featured in Classic & Sports Car.

Everybody under the age of 30 seems to adore it – and know what it is, because this is no ordinary Ford Ranger, even if it might appear superficially similar to the blingy Wildtrack models favoured by successful tradespeople.

Classic & Sports Car – Future classic: Ford Ranger Raptor

The Ford Ranger Raptor’s interior mixes physical buttons with a central touchscreen

‘Sexy’ trucks have long been a staple in the USA – pick-ups make up five of America’s top 10 best-selling vehicles, after all – but their appeal has taken a bit longer to catch on in the UK.

They are firmly taking hold now, though, with old HiLux Toyotas beginning to be treasured and a new-model charge headed by halo specials such as this Ranger, a junior version of the F-150 Raptor so beloved Stateside.

Beneath its flared, musclebound bodywork lurks no slogging diesel but a twin-turbo 3-litre Ecoboost petrol V6 (a name that might be familiar from performance models such as the Mustang and the latest GT, no less) pushing out a healthy 288bhp and 362lb ft.

Classic & Sports Car – Future classic: Ford Ranger Raptor

Classic & Sports Car – Future classic: Ford Ranger Raptor
Classic & Sports Car – Future classic: Ford Ranger Raptor

Clockwise from top: the Ford Ranger Raptor tackles off-road terrain with aplomb; Ford Performance badging; the Ecoboost V6 was used in the Ford GT supercar

That’s enough to shrug off effortlessly 2454kg of unladen heft and flash past 60mph in less than 8 secs en route to a 111mph maximum.

Not outrageous for a family saloon, perhaps, but pretty darned dramatic in a truck measuring 5.36m long by 2.2m wide and a shade less than 2m tall.

Those dimensions don’t ‘shrink around you’, to trot out a cliché; this is a vehicle of whose size you are constantly aware, but there is a bewildering array of electronic trickery, combined with good old four-wheel drive and low range, to ensure it is remarkably capable off-road and hilarious on it.

Classic & Sports Car – Future classic: Ford Ranger Raptor

The Ford Ranger Raptor’s knobbly BF Goodrich tyres are great for when the going gets tough

Try seven different drive modes – from ‘Normal’ to ‘Baja’ – plus three steering settings, four exhaust modes and three damper settings, all delivered to the road through either the rear axle or all four wheels via a 10-speed automatic ’box.

The result is loud and lairy, the latter largely thanks to all of that grunt being handled by a set of extreme BF Goodrich off-road tyres, which are ideal in the rough but lead to plenty of slithering around on greasy Tarmac.

But stop playing the fool, pop the exhaust into ‘Quiet’ and drive like a grown-up, and this is also a relatively refined, enormously practical and surprisingly usable and comfortable vehicle – albeit a very big one.

Classic & Sports Car – Future classic: Ford Ranger Raptor

Nearly 2m tall and finished in bright-orange paint, this Ford Ranger Raptor certainly makes its presence known

Inside there’s leather, lots of luxury and all the toys you’d expect for your £60k.

But that little rotary knob between the seats is always there to satisfy the devil on your shoulder.

It’s completely illogical, but brilliant fun.

And in today’s over-regulated, sanitised world, there is an awful lot to be said for that.

Images: Max Edleston


  • Engine twin-turbo 2949cc V6; 288bhp @ 5500rpm; 362lb ft @ 2300rpm
  • Transmission 10-speed auto, 4WD
  • 0-62mph 7.9 secs
  • Top speed 111mph
  • Mpg 20.4
  • Price £60,064


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