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SCORE Journal - The Official Publication of SCORE Off-Road Racing

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JUST WHAT THE DOCTOR ORDERED The 2024 Ranger Raptor Will Quickly Chase Away The Mid-Size Truck Blues Story by Stuart Bourdon Photography: Ford Motor Company With the recent introduction of the 2024 Ford Ranger Raptor mid-size pickup truck, the Blue Oval has clearly stated its intent to dominate the mid-size high-performance truck category. With a 405-horsepower twin-turbo V-6 engine, long-travel 2.5 FOX Live Valve shock suspension system, and front and rear locking axles, the new 2024 Ford Ranger Raptor pickup truck can cure just about anything that ails you with its exciting off-road performance. SCORE Baja racing fans got a sneak-peak at what the 2024 Ford Ranger Raptor might look and act like, during the 2022 (55th annual) SCORE Baja 1000 race. Ford Performance hooked-up with Australia’s Kelly Racing and U.S.-based Lovell Racing to build, develop, and compete with a pre-production Ford Ranger Raptor. Lovell Racing, led by multi-time off-road champion Brad Lovell, is one of Ford Performance’s key off-road teams. The Ranger Raptor race truck was first in the Stock Midsize class and finished the 2022 Baja 1000 in 26 hours, 21 minutes. Only missing an overall by one notch, the Lovell Ranger Raptor finished second overall among all the mid-size pickup class entries (including one in the unlimited class) in the 2022 SCORE Baja 1000.  400+ HP Twin-Turbo Engine Power for the new 2024 Ford Ranger Raptor mid-size pickup truck comes from the Ford Performance tuned twin-turbo 3.0-liter EcoBoost V-6 engine that cranks out a head-spinning 405 horsepower and 430 pound-feet of torque. Those numbers make it the most powerful Ford Ranger ever built. The 3.0-liter V-6 twin-turbo powerplant in the 2024 Ford Ranger Raptor features a compacted graphite-iron cylinder block. The peppy Ford V-6 has been outfitted with a race-developed anti-turbo-lag system that improves boost on demand when set on Baja mode. In Baja mode, the turbo-control system continues powering and spinning the turbos for a few additional seconds after the throttle has been backed off. This short span of continued power is designed to help the twin-turbo 3.0-liter V-6 more easily accelerate through and out of the corners. Delivery of that 400+ power is accepted and channeled to the drivetrain through a 10-speed SelectShift automatic transmission. An advanced four-wheel-drive system with a new electronically controlled on-demand two-speed transfer case splits the power between the axles. The front and rear axles offer locking differentials to provide full traction at all four wheels for those off-road adventures that demand total command of the truck’s terrain handling performance. Special Raptor Suspension When it comes to off-road performance, a pickup truck’s suspension is, in our humble opinion, the key to success. Ford gets a gold star for working with FOX to create the 2024 Ranger Raptor’s impressive new suspension system. The 2024 Ford Ranger Raptor chassis architecture begins with its fully boxed frame reinforced in pivotal sections such as the front frame rails, front shock towers, rear shock brackets, and suspension component mounting points. The lightweight aluminum upper and lower control arms are damped and controlled by a FOX 2.5-inch diameter Live Valve Internal Bypass shock system designed for the Ranger Raptor.  The front suspension uses FOX coilover-type shocks, while the rear end features FOX piggyback reservoir shocks to help keep things under control and running cool. A long-travel rear suspension system was engineered using a Watts linkage and trailing arms to stabilize the rear axle under all driving conditions. Reactive Drive Modes The FOX Live Valve Internal Bypass shock system reacts to your choice of the Ford Ranger Raptor’s Drive Modes. Your selection includes Normal, Tow/Haul, Sport, Slippery, Off-Road, Rock Crawl, and Baja modes. The FOX suspension system provides damping curves and characteristics tailored to the ideal handling control and comfort for the selected drive mode and terrain. An active valve exhaust system is tunable depending upon mode selections Quiet, Normal, Sport, or Baja (loud).  Each drive mode also adjusts the 2024 Ranger Raptor engine and transmission performance, throttle control, steering input, traction control, and ABS calibration to better match driving conditions. And for those tricky trail spots, Ranger Raptor has a Trail Control feature that manages the gas pedal and the brakes so the driver can pay full attention to the trail’s obstacles and driving challenges. Ranger Raptor Physique The design of the 2024 Ranger Raptor is purpose-driven and spared of fluff and bling that appears on so many others in its class. Bold and muscular, yet modern and refined, the Ranger Raptor’s body features an expansive signature Ford front grill bookended by C-clamp headlights mounted above an all-steel front bumper with integrated tow hooks. The Ranger Raptor’s rear bumper also carries integrated tow hooks. Flared fenders with functioning fender vents housing off-road ready 33-inch BFGoodrich all-terrain KO3 tires on 17-inch wheels. Bead lock-capable wheels are an option. Thick high-strength steel skid plates to protect the engine, transfer case, and fuel tank are standard equipment on the 2024 Ford Ranger Raptor. First-Class Raptor Cab Interior appointments and creature comforts make the 2024 Ranger Raptor an easy truck to live in for hours at a time. Unique Ford Performance front seats offer superb support and firm bolsters to keep your seat properly seated during high-speed maneuvers. The sport-style steering wheel holds paddle shifters for quick gear shifts. Half-a-dozen upfitter switches in the overhead console are available for off-road accessories such as lights or a winch. Top-flight electronics for vehicle control, entertainment, and information systems are the crowning touch on the Ranger Raptor’s interior. The Bang & Olufsen sound system means your favorite tunes are well-played. A high-resolution 12.4-inch digital instrument cluster keeps you keenly aware of the Raptor’s vital signs, and a 12-inch center console touchscreen that runs SYNC, 4A, Apple CarPlay, and Android Auto wireless connectivity to keep you in touch with the rest of the world. On a tricky off-road trail or in a tight parking spot, the 360-Degree Camera and Front View Camera systems help keep the Ranger Raptor’s rocker panels off the rocks and clear of stranded shopping carts. The truck’s Zone Lighting system can turn darkness into daylight in remote locations. And for those off-road enthusiasts who also might be campers or boaters, the class-exclusive Pro Trailer Backup Assist feature makes backing up a camper or boat a no-hassle experience. Raptor Family Legacy and Future The 2024 Ford Ranger Raptor adds a fourth name to the roster of Ford Raptor nameplates. The F-150 Raptor, F-150 Raptor R, Bronco Raptor, and now the Ranger Raptor are all designed to deliver the highest grade of off-road performance available in a factory pickup truck or SUV. Now that the 2024 Raptor Ranger with a 400+ horsepower V-6 engine is available as a factory vehicle, how soon will one or more of them be seen competing again in the SCORE mid-size pickup truck classes? A Raptor Ranger could easily dominate the SCORE Stock Midsize class. Even more interesting would be to see a well-campaigned Ford Raptor Ranger team take on a championship run in the Unlimited (Class 7) pickup truck class.

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