The Ford Ranger has come quite a long way since its introduction in 1983. After a brief seven-year hiatus from 2012 to 2019, the Ford Ranger made a comeback and has been better than ever. No longer happy to simply live in the shadow of the endlessly popular F-150, the new-and-improved Ranger has stepped out and become its own truck. The latest proof that the Ranger is every bit the truck its big brother is the 2024 Ranger Raptor.

While it might still be slightly smaller than the F-150 version of the Raptor, the Ranger Raptor is every bit the off-road warrior. Power comes from a twin-turbocharged DOHC 3.0-liter V-6 that produces a whopping 405 horsepower and fantastical 430 pound-feet of torque. That power is then routed through a ten-speed automatic transmission before heading out to all corners via a standard four-wheel drive system, which uses both front and rear locking differentials. Riding on big 33-inch BF Goodrich K03 tires, the 2024 Ranger Raptor makes the most of its stout off-roading suspension.

You can have the Ranger Raptor in any configuration you want, so long as what you want is a crew cab with a five-foot box. Ford tells us that the Raptor has a payload capacity of 1,411 pounds and a max towing capacity of 5,510 pounds. Both of those figures are lower than the standard Ranger’s limits, but then, the Raptor is not built for everyday trips to the hardware store.

While it might not be able to tow as much as the base Ranger, the 2024 Ranger Raptor can certainly haul better than its more mundane sibling. Despite checking in at a hefty 5,372 pounds, the Raptor can run from 0-60 mph in a scant 5.3 seconds and through the quarter-mile in 14.1 seconds at 97 mph. Top speed is limited to just 107 mph, but more than likely, no one will be complaining, especially if they’re running past the century mark over sand dunes.

Despite its smaller stature, the 2024 Ranger Raptor may actually prove to be an even more capable off-roader than its larger sibling. Anyone who has ever ventured off-road, truly off-road, knows that there are many instances where having a slightly narrower truck is a much better proposition than trying to uproot a tree or unintentionally smashing off one of those pesky side-view mirrors. Combine that added off-road versatility with a base price of $57,065, which is a full eight grand lower than where the F-150 Raptor starts, and that gap only expands further the more options are added. With the Ford Ranger now in its fourth generation, it has finally stepped out and become its own truck, and the new Ranger Raptor may just be the best version yet.

Photos: Ford
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