Check Out The 2023 Ford Ranger Raptor’s Desert-Bashing Chops Before Its European Reveal

It's still not 100% certain that this Ranger Raptor will come to America, but plenty are clamoring for it

2023 Ford Ranger Raptor
(Images: Ford)

It definitely sounds like the new Ranger Raptor packs some power — but will it come to America?

Ford already debuted the next-generation Ranger to the world back in November, so we already have a complete idea what the new model will look like. There’s another level to the launch, though, and that centers on the performance-specced Ranger Raptor — a version we’ve been sorely missing here in North America. The Blue Oval’s European division released new video Thursday showing what its (camouflaged) off-road truck can do, and you can check out that video below.

Of course, we’re not going to see what Ford doesn’t necessarily want us to see here, but there are some interesting tidbits nonetheless. Up front, the automaker replaced the standard Ranger grille with a design befitting the “FORD” lettering that will certainly appear on this Raptor, same as it does every other Raptor variant. This 2023 Ford Ranger Raptor brings flared wheel arches, much more aggressive suspension, rock rails and beefier tires to the mix as well. In short, you’ll get the more hardcore off-roader you’d expect (and the video does demonstrate that capability, to some extent), but a few question marks still remain.

2023 Ford Ranger Raptor — teaser

What powertrain will this Raptor have?

Beyond all the kit you can see in the video and photos, a huge part of what will ultimately make the Ranger Raptor what it is will be the engine. The first-generation model had a 2.0-liter turbodiesel under the hood. Taking a listen to what Ford provided today, it certainly doesn’t sound like this new model will carry on with that engine. The audio track included in that video suggests a higher-revving mill, and possibly the 3.0-liter EcoBoost that’s coming with the Bronco Raptor. That would give credence to reports published earlier this month on the matter.

If the rumor does end up being true, then we could have a seriously potent midsize truck on our hands — something far more powerful than any of the current offerings on the market. Stringent emissions standards also leave me a bit skeptical the 3.0-liter is on Ford’s agenda for the European market, but time will ultimately tell. Europeans could still get a turbodiesel, while Americans may, may get the full-on powerhouse, if we get the truck at all.

Speaking of time, the 2023 Ford Ranger Raptor will make its European debut on February 22 at 8:00 AM Central European Time. That translates to 2:00 AM on the East Coast, or February 21 at 11:00 PM for those on Pacific Time.

Check out more on the Ranger Raptor and the standard truck’s reveal down below: