Er, sadly not. There’s no big 5.0-litre V6 from the GT here. While the F150 gets some real power, the rest of the world makes do with a 2.0-litre turbo-diesel, and not even a particularly punchy one – this has 213PS (157kW). It does at least have 500NM (370lb ft) of torque, but altogether it’s still only enough to propel the Raptor to 62mph in a lamentable 10.5 seconds. For comparison, the regular XLT will do it in 11.8.
But, don’t let that rather lacklustre motor choice put you off, or for that matter the equally poor ten-speed automatic gearbox. No, it’s the other changes that make the Ranger Raptor a proper car. With FOX shocks all round and new rear suspension – bye-bye leaf springs, hello coils and watts linkage – the Raptor has the chassis now to handle pretty much anything thrown at it. Keep the engine in the right rev range and power the big nose at all obstacles and it shall overcome.
There are six different settings to the chassis, ranging from road, to snow and most intriguingly Baja. In Baja mode the traction control is slackened off, letting the Ranger slip its wheels a bit more, allowing for more steering on the throttle. Speaking of steering, that’s another place where there is change from the standard car, making it 3.5 turns lock-to-lock, which is an armful when parking, but ideal off road, where you can make small adjustments with larger movements, and a big bump doesn’t have you spearing off into the undergrowth.
The gearbox is sluggish and with ten cogs a pointless exercise in clicking in manual mode, so you find yourself prodding the throttle to try and keep the revs in the right range to avoid a change that bogs the Raptor down. But when you get it all hooked up together it becomes an exhilarating experience. The Raptor can fly over the harshest of terrains without fuss, and will easily take off and land, with such aplomb you ask the obviously in tow camera crew if you actually got any air at all.
The clever FOX dampers are also position sensitive, which means that if one wheel bogs into mud it won’t leave the others also useless – handy on any sandy green lanes you might come across. On the road, because you will have to do be there from time to time, the Ranger feels massive, and the giant off-road tyres bring some rumble through the steering. It also loves to understeer on tarmac, so approach corners with care. But for the Raptor the road is really just the connection between the fun, so it can be forgiven.