Ford to bring 'Very Gay Raptor' to Goodwood Festival of Speed

Published: 21 June 2022

► Flagship Ford Ranger pick-up
► 284hp 3.0-litre V6 petrol engine
► Available to order now

The new Ford Ranger Raptor will make what is likely to be a very dynamic debut at the 2022 Goodwood Festival of Speed. Appearing alongside a standard model will also be the latest version of the ‘Very Gay Raptor’ which Ford has created as a means of challenging perceptions and supporting the LGBTQ+ community.

On this basis, as well as roving up the hill – and probably over some of the surrounding scenery – the VGR will be used as a conversation starter for a series of ‘Tough Talks’ at Goodwood this year. These will be hosted by Gareth Thomas, an openly gay rugby union player.

Below you can watch a teaser video of the Raptors in action ahead of this year’s FOS, which takes place 23-26 June.

In other news, Ford has now confirmed prices for the new Ranger Raptor pick-up truck. It’s available to order in the UK now, starting from £57,340 including VAT.

The previous-generation Ranger Raptor was such a hit in the UK, that Ford decided to launch this new model before the standard pick-up. First deliveries for the new Ranger Raptor will arrive in summer 2022, while cheaper, less powerful versions of the truck aren’t expected to reach customers until early 2023.

2022 Ford Ranger Raptor

Naturally, there’s a few optional extras to choose from, including a set of decals (£600), a mad orange paint finish (£720) and something Ford calls the “Raptor Pack,” which adds a roll over bar and roll top Tonneau cover (£1,860).

Why launch the fast one first?

Well, time is money – and the UK’s tradies are evidently keen to make the most of their time. The Raptor’s turbocharged 3.0-litre V6 petrol engine churns out 284bhp and 362lb/ft of torque. It’s hitched to a close-ratio 10-speed gearbox and four-wheel drive system, so there’s plenty of potential for you to become the fastest builder in your town.

Ford hasn’t yet released any official performance figures for the pick-up, but it certainly sounds confident about its ability. The brand tells us that the Raptor “isn’t just quick for a truck, it’s quick period” – and the company’s engineers reckon this new model is a whole minute faster over the same 10km off-road track than its predecessor. 

We’re also waiting for the Raptor to pass through WLTP homologation, which means we haven’t the foggiest idea about the pick-up’s fuel economy figures. That might be just as well, though – they could be utterly ruinous.

2022 Ford Ranger Raptor

Still, it’ll probably be worth constant trips to the petrol station for the noise. Ford has fitted the Raptor with twin exhausts and an active valve for maximum yobbishness. If you don’t like irritating your neighbours, there’s also a quiet mode.

The more sensible buyers might also be pleased to know that the Raptor will be offered with a couple of diesel engines, including the 3.0-litre V6 from the standard truck. Ford was also gloriously noncommittal when asked about the possibility of a future hybrid or electric model. Which is fair enough.

All of this is well and good, but there’s still an elephant that needs addressing. Ford sells a more powerful version of the same 3.0-litre V6 petrol engine in the US and Australia, which chucks out a whopping 392bhp and 430lb/ft of torque. The UK won’t get that engine, so start directing your angry letters to Ford now.

What about the suspension?

Suspension and chassis mods are many, varied and significant – Ford says “everything has been embiggened.” They begin with the frame, which has been reinforced around the C-pillar, spare wheel, load area and most importantly the shock towers.

It sits on long-travel coil suspension, which replaces the standard pick-up’s leaf springs at the rear. The front suspension uses aluminium control arms and there’s a multi-link setup at the rear with a Watt’s link to control horizontal movement. 

The shocks have also been upgraded from the outgoing model. They’re now massive 2.5-inch FOX Racing “live valve” units, which offer different levels of damping at different compressions for maximum control.  Ford reckons they’ll provide a more comfortable ride both on and off the road, which is an impressive boast considering the old Raptor on similar Fox units is the most comfortable pickup we’ve ever tested by some margin.

2022 Ford Ranger Raptor

The shocks should also provide better protection against bottoming out with maximum damping on the last bit of travel. However, if you do go a bit too hard you can rest slightly easier knowing the Raptor’s front bash plate is twice the size of the standard Ranger’s.

What do all those drive modes mean?

You get seven drive modes, which is one more than the current Raptor. They’re as follows:

Normal: Everyday driving, maximises fuel economy
Sport: Higher shift points, maximises performance
Slippery: Lower shift points, reduces wheelspin in slick conditions
Rock crawl: Softens throttle, maximises control
Mud and ruts: Maximises grip, allows for wheelspin to clear mud from tyres
Sand: Maintains momentum
Baja: Sets all systems to maximum attack for high-speed off-roading

Baja mode also activates the V6’s anti-lag tech for the turbochargers, allowing for better response at speed. We know – anti-lag on a pickup…

You also get Trail Control as standard, which is like Land Rover’s All Terrain Progress Control. Simply set a speed and the Raptor will manage its own throttle and braking to maintain progress regardless of the terrain.

2022 Ford Ranger Raptor

Locking diffs front and rear help, and of course there’s switchable 4WD with a low-range ‘box if needed – though unlike its predecessor, the default mode here is 4WD Auto – it’s only rear-wheel drive if you specifically request it. 

Phew. Anything else to know?

All of those mods are complimented by 33-inch BF Goodrich off-road tyres and a beefed-up body with bulging wheel arches. If we’re being critical, this Raptor looks slightly less intimidating than the current model – it seems taller and narrower – but it’ll still outshine any rival in the car park that wasn’t built by Arctic Trucks.

2022 Ford Ranger Raptor

The interior receives sports seats and a leather steering wheel with magnesium paddle shifters – got to save those last few grams, right? There’s also more than two feet of screens, with buyers getting a 12.4-inch digital instrument cluster and portrait 12-inch infotainment display. Those hoping for a back-to-basics off-roader, look elsewhere.

Check out our Ford reviews

By Luke Wilkinson

Bauer Automotive staff writer. Unhealthy obsession with classic Minis and old Alfas. Impenetrable Cumbrian accent