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Unleashing Ford's Ranger Raptor in Utah's high desert
Ford Media

Unleashing Ford's Ranger Raptor in Utah's high desert

Ford's Ranger Raptor Assault School will give 2024 Raptor Ranger owners free, first-hand training in all of the truck's capabilities.

I recently went to Ford's Ranger Raptor Assault School in Tooele Valley, Utah, to put the 2024 Ford Ranger Raptor to the test in genuine off-road conditions.

This experience will be available for free (minus travel and lodging) for anyone who buys a Ranger Raptor. The idea is to learn what this vehicle can do under the tutelage of Ford Performance Racing School instructors, who will take you through rock crawling, side-hilling, climbing, and more.

Check out my video review from the Ranger Raptor Assault School below. But first, let's talk about what the Raptor adds to the regular Ford Ranger.

For starters, you've got an improved and strengthened suspension, a more muscular build, and functional vents on the hood.

That word "functional" is key. This truck is designed to win Baja races, so tons of airflow throughout the grille to keep it running cool is a priority. It also has tow hooks (unlike some of its competitors in this category), which are definitely good to have in the kind of terrain where this vehicle thrives.

An active exhaust system lets you do those early morning errands in Quiet mode. Of course, you also have normal for everyday driving and for when you're really finished tiptoeing around, Sport mode. When you get out to the desert is when you crank it up all the way to Baja.

The Ranger Raptor has really useful drive modes as well: normal, off-road, Baja, rock crawl, sport, tow haul, and slippery. A full skid plate underneath the vehicle will definitely help in those off-road modes.

The steering and the suspension are also adjustable.

Under the hood, you get a three-liter EcoBoost V6 engine, same as in the Bronco Raptor with a little less horsepower and a little less torque.

As far as safety is concerned, the Ranger Raptor comes standard with Ford's Copilot 360 suite of driver assist features, including trailer back-up and a 360-degree camera.

Prices start at $57,000. They should be getting delivered to dealers any day now. And remember, that includes the price of the one-day Raptor Ranger Assault School, which will make you a better driver. That experience was fun and worthwhile enough that it made me wonder why other car makers don't offer this kind of training. Toyota Tacoma school, anyone?

Oh — and you also get to jump the Raptor Ranger Raptor. It's nice doing that in somebody else's truck.

I get into more detail — and subject the Ranger Raptor to all the off-road fun that Ford could come up with — in the video below.

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