If you’ve ever daydreamed just how much of a hoot it would be to race along off road trails in the way that competition drivers do on the Paris-Dakar or Baja Rallies, then you‘re in good company: Ford thought it would be fun too and tasked its ‘Performance’ department with creating an ultimate Ranger derivative that could do just that – and here it is, the Ranger Raptor. There’s nothing else quite like it.

The History

If you know anything about American pick-up trucks, you’ll know about the Ford Raptor, a huge US light truck based on the Blue Oval brand’s enormous F150 model and powered by a wild engine from the Ford GT supercar. The company didn’t think that vehicle would work over here, but in 2019, they did build some of its technology into a more Euro-friendly Ford Performance pick-up model – and this was it, the first-generation Ranger Raptor.

Don’t expect extreme power here; the MK1 Ranger Raptor used exactly the same 210PS 2.0-litre EcoBlue diesel engine you’ll find in top versions of the standard T6 Ranger model from this period. But this vehicle wasn’t built for straight line tarmac speed. Instead, Ford completely redesigned the suspension of this pick-up so that it could be driven at previously unheard-of speeds of rough terrain. This model was replaced in Autumn 2022 by an all-new design.

What You Get

This top Raptor Ford Performance model got a tad more street presence than ordinary T6 Ranger variants and gained it with a unique grille that features FORD lettering rather than the usual Blue Oval badge. This MK1 Raptor model was also 168mm wider than a standard variant, thanks to its redesigned suspension and a track width that was 150mm greater.

Inside, with this flagship ‘Ford Performance’ variant, you get powered leather-and-suede sports seats which are ‘Raptor’-branded, as is the leather-bound sports steering wheel with its track-style red centre marker and lovely magnesium gearshift paddles.

There are no practicality compromises in choosing this top Raptor model, which features the same 1.21 cubic metre load box as other variants. There’s a load box length of 1,575mm. And a load box width of 1,560mm, narrowing to 1,139mm between the wheel arches. Which is easily enough to accommodate a Europallet. You’ll have to lift it up quite high though; the loading height in this Raptor derivative is up at 906mm. The load box depth is 541mm. As we’ve mentioned elsewhere in this review, this Ford Performance model’s revised suspension means a significantly reduced payload figure of just 620kgs.

And running costs? Well it’s here that Ford’s decision not to plumb in a big petrol motor up-front paid dividends. The MK1 Raptor’s efficiency figures are significantly worse than those of other T6 Ranger derivatives but they’re still manageable - WLTP-rated at 26.4mpg and 281g/km.

What To Look For

There’s a divide here – between owners that have had them and absolutely love them and have had no problems. And the smaller minority that have experienced issues; like water pump failures, fuel pump issues, EGI complications, turbo problems, oil leaks and wiring issues – plus we’ve also heard of a few catastrophic engine failures. The twin turbo 2.0-litre diesel engine here has a timing belt, not a timing chain – the timing belt runs in oil (it’s called a ‘bio belt’); Ford claim these don’t need any maintenance and are good for at least 155,000 miles: we’ll see. The 10-speed auto gearbox has had its fair share of problems; some have been rectified with a simple software update. In other cases though, there’s been catastrophic transmission failure. The transmission has a service interval of 155,000 miles – or every ten years. We’d suggest you ignore that and get it serviced every 62,000 miles – with the same going for the differentials and the whole driveline. Walk away from a Ranger Raptor that hasn’t been looked after in this way. Prioritise models with a full service history and low mileage; and be extremely careful of any model that’s been modified – quite a few were modified poorly. Get a pre-purchase inspection to see if the vehicle’s been abused.

On The Road

If you know your light trucks, the ‘Raptor’ name will reference a top version of the brand’s enormous F150 pick-up that back in 2019 featured a potent V6 petrol turbo engine from the brand’s GT supercar. This MK1 Ranger Raptor was a rather different thing. What mattered here was not the powertrain (which was the same 213PS 2.0-litre EcoBlue diesel and 10-speed auto gearbox combination you’d find in an ordinary top-spec T6 Ranger from this period) but a bespoke chassis and suspension set-up that enabled owners to better use it at higher speeds over rough off road surfaces. The frame was heavily reinforced with high-strength steel. And completely re-engineered at the back to accommodate a unique rear suspension design that ditched the regular leaf springs, replacing them with coil springs and a special Watts linkage to help locate the live rear axle and stop it swaying about.

There was, inevitably, a need to pay for these pleasures, the headline drawback for original buyers being a reduction in payload capacity, relieving this model of a normal T6 Ranger’s commercial vehicle classification and meaning that VAT couldn’t be claimed back on its original purchase price. Plus towing capacity with this variant fell to just 2.5-tonnes, while extra weight and a different 3.73 axle ratio meant that running cost efficiency was inferior to what you’d get in an ordinary Bi-turbo Ranger auto model of the time, as was performance – the quoted figures fell to 106mph and 10s for the rest to 62mph sprint.


A MK1 Ranger Raptor will take you to places that only the most capable off roaders will go and it’ll travel there far quicker than any of them. In short, it’s an off-road sports car – and the perfect addition to a millionaire’s garage already full of supercars and extreme sports saloons. You don’t need a Ranger Raptor but if you’re a car enthusiast, we’re guessing that like us, you’d really, really like one. It’s wild, it’s unusual and it’s unique. As every Ford Performance model should be.