A new Ford Ranger means it must be time for a new Hennessey Performance VelociRaptor Ranger, right? Of course. This time, however, things have changed from the VelociRaptor Ranger we drove in 2019. Back then, Ford didn’t build a Ranger Raptor for the U.S. from the factory, so Hennessey’s makeover was one way to get where Ford wouldn’t go. That truck took the stock 2.3-liter four-cylinder from 270 horsepower and 310 pound-feet of torque to 360 hp and 440 lb-ft., and added lots of off-road specific components for a price starting at $19,950 on top of the donor vehicle cost. With the new Ranger Raptor officially a thing, the Texas tuner needed to move the goalposts. The new truck is built atop the Raptor trim and called the VelociRaptor 500 Raptor in honor of its power output.
In many ways, this is the pickup equivalent of Hennessey’s VelociRaptor 500 Bronco unveiled a month ago; the Bronco and Ranger Raptors are both powered by Ford’s turbocharged 3.0-liter EcoBoost V6. A high-flow intake, high-capacity front intercooler with a blow-off valve, and new engine management software get that mill breathing harder and deeper. Instead of the stock truck’s 405 hp and 430 lb-ft, the VelociRaptor 500 Ranger makes 500 hp and 550 lb-ft.
Hennessey wisely left the Fox 2.5-inch Live Valve internal bypass shocks alone. Exterior upgrades come with the LED lights in the new VelociRaptor front bumper, a new rear bumper that follows the lines of the stock unit, and 18-inch alloy wheels on 35-inch tires, that rubber two inches larger than on the stock truck. Inside, Hennessey’s embroidered headrests are color coordinated with the red-trimmed seats, and there’s a set of all-weather floor mats down in front.
The Texans limited the previous VelociRaptor Ranger to 500 units. This one’s supposedly getting a production run of just 200 units for the 2024 model year, each one coming with a 3-year/36,000-mile warranty. Orders are open now through Hennessey or Ford dealers, production begins toward the end of this year. The price starts at $24,950 on top of the $56,960 MSRP for the Ranger Raptor, about $82,000 before taxes and options.