Ford Ranger Raptor: Aerodynamics from the Ford Mustang

Ford Ranger Raptor
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From its bold F-O-R-D grille to its strong shoulder line, Ford Ranger Raptor is every inch Built Ford Tough while also incorporating an aerodynamic design that helps reduce drag and improve performance and efficiency.

Ford Ranger Raptor:

With its thumping 3.0L twin-turbo V6 engine making 292kW and 583Nm of torque, 10-speed automatic transmission, selectable drive modes, including Baja, the new Ford Ranger Raptor is the most potent version yet.

In addition to its state-of-the-art connectivity systems, Ranger Raptor boasts front and rear differential locks, FOX shocks with Live Valve technology, advanced driver-assist systems, active valve exhaust and more.
Ford Ranger Raptor
To sculpt the truck’s shape, Ranger Raptor underwent around 700 hours of virtual and physical aerodynamics testing with cutting-edge computational fluid dynamics able to test the effect of design changes almost instantly.

Designers and engineers also looked to an unlikely source for inspiration to manage airflow around the wheels – a major source of aerodynamic drag. The Ford Mustang shares little in common with the Ranger Raptor, but the Australian development team was influenced by techniques used by their U.S. counterparts to help manage efficient airflow around the wheels and wheel arches of the Mustang.

The importance of aerodynamics on truck design

Aerodynamics has not always played an important part in the design of the Ranger Raptor or wider Ranger family. As more and more customers choose pickups for work, family and play, designers have had to improve pickup design to match customer expectations on efficiency and refinement.
Ranger Raptor
The basic pickup shape is not the easiest to work with when it comes to refining aerodynamic efficiency, according to Dr. Neil Lewington, technical specialist and aerodynamics supervisor, Ford Australia. With large frontal areas, big open wheel spaces, a dual cab design that ends suddenly and an open load box, designers have a lot to overcome when designing a new pickup.

Managing airflow around the wheels and box step

The wheels on your vehicle are a major source of aerodynamic drag. And while you could drape the wheels in physical curtains to get the air to flow around it would look dinky, according to Dr Lewington. So, Ranger Raptor’s designers and engineers, taking inspiration from the air curtains used on Mustang, worked together to develop a clever way of shaping the vehicle’s fog lights to create front wheel aero curtains.

The ingenious rear box step makes it easier than ever to access the load box; no more clambering onto a rear wheel and swinging yourself into the back of the truck. While the team ensured it had minimal impact on aerodynamic drag.

Streamlining the load box

Ensuring the load box is aerodynamic as possible, the team worked on the shape of the C-pillar, box capping and tailgate spoiler to improve airflow characteristics above and around the load box.

Despite its bold front end and wide wheel arches, the overall drag force of the new Ranger Raptor has been slashed by an impressive 3 percent. While this improves road holding and helps to reduce wind noise in the cabin it also improves efficiency; a three percent reduction in drag at highway speeds equates to a one percent improvement in fuel efficiency.
Juan Manuel
the authorJuan Manuel
Track racing, competing, it's in my blood. It's part of me, it's part of my life; I have been doing it all my life and it stands out above everything else.