Hennessey Builds America the Ranger Raptor That Ford Won't

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By Aaron Bragman

The new 2019 Ford Ranger is an excellent truck, one that we wish Ford had brought to the U.S. years ago. But we salivate even more at the forbidden fruit that Ford won't bring to the U.S.: the Ranger Raptor, the off-road truck that Ford sells in foreign markets but not in the land where the Ranger was born. Well if Ford won't do it, says tuner shop Hennessey Performance, we'll have to do it ourselves. And they have — presenting the new 2019 Hennessey VelociRaptor Ford Ranger.

Related: Ford Exec Confirms: No Ranger Raptor for the U.S.

These are the folks who have been selling various custom limited-edition versions of the big F-150 Raptor for almost a decade now, including an SUV version and the completely nutty six-wheeled $349,000 VelociRaptor 6x6. They've turned their attention to something a little less expensive, giving the Ranger the Raptor treatment that Americans have been clamoring for. And it does indeed look sweet.

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It starts with the standard turbocharged 2.3-liter EcoBoost four-cylinder engine that powers all American Rangers (the global Ranger Raptor is diesel-powered). Hennessey boosts the power from 270 horsepower to 350 hp, and ups the torque from 310 pounds-feet to 385. A new high-flow air induction system, stainless-steel cat-back exhaust and engine control unit tune (with increased boost) knock 1.3 seconds off the Ranger's zero-to-60-mph time — it now sprints there in 6.1 seconds.

The big Raptor is known more for its off-road prowess than its sheer grunt, and Hennessey helped the Ranger here, too. Its Ranger VelociRaptor features the company's Stage 1 off-road performance suspension upgrade with a 4-inch lift that dramatically helps ground clearance. Add in the 17-inch alloy wheels and BFGoodrich All-Terrain 285/70R17 off-road tires, and Hennessey says it's added 6 inches of ground clearance. With the stock FX4 Ranger already providing 8.9 inches of ground clearance, it's going to be one heck of a hike up into the cabin if the Hennessey VelociRaptor is packing nearly 15 inches of ground clearance.

Cosmetically, the VelociRaptor has an upgraded front bumper with LED lights and an optional winch, fender flares bulk up the wheel wells and Hennessey graphics run down the rear fenders. A roof-mounted LED light bar is optional.

The starting price of $64,950 includes the price of a new 2019 Ford Ranger. If you have your own Ranger and just want the upgrade package, it's $19,950 plus shipping costs. Hennessey is planning on making only 500 of these turnkey 2019 models, which you can buy directly from the company or at select authorized Hennessey Performance Ford dealers. Each upgrade comes with a three-year/36,000-mile warranty. We can't say whether the Ranger VelociRaptor can do what a standard Ford F-150 Raptor can — blast across the desert at astonishing speeds, emulating a Baja race truck that you can take to the grocery store — but perhaps we'll get lucky enough to get some seat time in the near future to let you know.

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If there was a market for them in the US, they could have saved a lot of money on redesigning their world pickups for the US market by just selling the world version here (and producing them here to avoid the chicken tax)...Posted by: Texas1836 | Mar 7, 2019

Absolutely correct--first there has to be a market for HD compact trucks, and it simply is not happening here. If the tax on imports was the only obstacle, that tax would be (pick one) A modified B adjusted C eliminated) pronto.

Quite simply American buyers moved to larger pickups because they are roomier, more comfortable and American highways have continued to improve (and widen) to the point that the entire experience on the road is perfect for the bigger vehicles. In the 1970s and early 80s, the automakers could utilize a lot of the greasy parts in their catalog to build small pickups when the world of small sedans was so interchangeable. When small sedans became unibody, and front wheel drive the interchangeability went away. As did the inherent advantage. This is why there's no Ranger, S10 or Dakota today. Ford has retained the Ranger name for nostalgia only. I increasingly doubt that RAM will bring back the Dakota name.

If mid sizers were cheaper more would sell. In Oz you can buy a dual cab diesel 4x4 pickup (leather) from the low $30 000 in our money or mid $20 000 in your money.

The Ranger Raptor Is way to expensive in Australia $75 000 AUD. Ford has priced the Ranger above the Hilux, and Toyota rips off the consumer.

If mid sizers were cheaper more would sell...

So, if fake Rolex watches were cheaper, would they sell more of them?

better tuned for your rquirements


MY requirements? According to YOU? An Aussie sized truck? Why...

That would be like choosing TIMEX instead of Rolex. It really must bust your balls that Americans have the choices we get and you guys have to piddle around in your imitation trucks.

Question: Just to be cool, does anybody put fake side steps on their HiLux or their BT50 mini trucks over there? I mean anybody over 5 foot 7 can get in one of those trucks without even breaking a stride.

"Maybe if your government wasn't paying to support the sprawling families of all those Dukes and Earls and Princes and Queens, your gas taxes wouldn't be so bloody high."

Papajim, I think you must be on too much medication LOL

f mid sizers were cheaper more would sell. In Oz you can buy a dual cab diesel 4x4 pickup (leather) from the low $30 000 in our money or mid $20 000 in your money.

Big Al

I agree, at that price for a 4x4 with a leather interior I would buy it. The mid 20's doesn't buy that much in a new vehicle today with the average transaction price in the 30's. That is a good deal for a new truck.

As a product of GDP we pay similar taxes as the US.

The US has a high GDP. The problem is how much of that goes to the 1%'ers and how much makes it to create a middle class.

You gotta get of them drugs mate. Really they are affecting your ability to pass judgement. You live in a weird world, oblivious of the world outside of Dadeland.

"Like Australia pickups are large cars and nothing else. So it wouldn't matter if you can tow 7800 or 100 000lbs."

I agree with some of what you said, but not this one, at least the way I contextualized it. I have known a lot of people with pickups over the years and I have never met anyone who bought an HD pickup just to use as a daily driver and 'look shiny'. I have met plenty of folks who use their half-ton pickups that way though. From my observations, people buy HD pickups for work, or for heavy duty personal uses such as towing heavy trailers etc. Many travel trailers and fifth wheel trailers in the US tend to be quite heavy...with most fifth wheel trailers weighing in at 10,000 pounds or more dry, with some weighing in at over 20,000 pounds.


I should have read a little further ahead before responding to one of your earlier posts. I did think you had a point about the Raptor being too expensive, and that if mid-sizes were cheaper relative to full-size pickups in the US, that they would sell a few more. I can't buy in to the other things you said however...

The fool from Oz is trying to use his left wing notions about economics to lecture Americans about taxes and trucks. How much are diesel and petrol these days down at the old BP station?

The taxes you pay on fuel will damn near PAY for fuel in my neighborhood. Today unleaded is about $2.35 per gallon at the Racetrak stations. $2.45 at the Chevron.

And what the heck happened to your currency? It used to be respectable, but ever since the consumer economy in Oz took a dump they've been printing the monopoly money again, from the looks of it.

I'm paying $3.50 US for a gallon of diesel. Unleaded is about $3.20 US.

Remember Poopy, insurance costs, vehicle costs, registration costs, driver licence costs, etc.

My mother with her Focus in south NJ pays $150 USD a monthe for a $16 000 car for insurance.

I pay $600 AUD for $50 000 dollar car.

As for your left wing comment. Australia is one of 6 nations globally that has economic freedom, ie, less government involvement. The US is a mixed economy (socialist and capitalism) with government invlvement (socialist). You ain't going to have freedom with tariffs. The direction the US is cureently heading in will only hurt the tax payer.

You drink tainted Kool Aid, it must be laced with a mind numbing agent.

Many I know tow with their HDs. I have a friend with a Ram 3500. He tows, but only a few times a year. His boat is only a 22' glass boat that might weigh 5000-5500lbs.

Half tons make up the bulk of pick ups and like us they are large car replacement vehicles. And if you ask an Aussie pickup owner why he bought it he says, capability and versatility. Yet these 4x4 dual cabs take kids to school, drive to soccer and shopping, nothing else. Sound familiar?

75% of US pickups are lifestyle, not work. The manufacturers have done a great job selling the facade that pickups tells everyone you are tough, work and play hard, etc.

Its good talking to you.

The US has a high GDP. The problem is how much of that goes to the 1%'ers and how much makes it to create a middle class.


Your comment (above) is pure Marxist class-envy. Your ideas about economics come straight from Das Kapital. Nowhere in the 21st century world is there a more upwardly mobile middle class than right here in the middle of the US. Good luck to those who choose to live in the coastal US where the left has so much influence.

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