Does more power improve Ford’s off-road weapon?
Herrod Performance is a name synonymous with extracting more speed out of Ford products but its latest offering is quite a departure from the muscle cars it’s known for. Its Power Pack for the latest Ford Ranger Raptor lights the wick on the hi-po 4x4 dual-cab’s 3.0-litre twin-turbo V6, but is increasing outputs by around 25 per cent really a good idea for a 2.5-tonne ute? There’s only one way to find out.
How much does the Herrod Ford Ranger Raptor cost?
The 2023 Herrod Ford Ranger Raptor Power Pack costs $5950 including fitting on top of the tough-truck’s circa-$90K purchase price. This includes a recalibrated ECU and larger intercooler and transmission cooler manufactured by Australian performance specialist PWR.
The kit takes a day to fit at Herrod outlets in Melbourne, Perth and on the Gold Coast, and according to Herrod releases an extra 60kW/200Nm on its hub dyno, so engine estimates of 380kW/780Nm are, if anything, conservative. Either way it’s a substantial increase over the standard car’s 292kW/583Nm.
What differentiates the Herrod pack is Ford granted access to the Raptor’s ECU, which otherwise has security levels similar to the Pentagon. While not a Ford collaboration like the Mustang R-Spec, Herrod’s close ties with the brand ensure there is no need for any piggyback ECU to override the stock computer.
As such, Herrod-tuned Raptors retain their full five-year/unlimited-kilometre factory warranties on all bits not altered by Herrod, and all components modified are backed by a five-year/unlimited-kilometre warranty from Herrod.
What’s good about the Herrod Ford Ranger Raptor?
The biggest compliment you can pay any modified car is that it behaves exactly like the standard car and your 2023 Herrod Ford Ranger Raptor will feel exactly the same when you drive it out as when you drove it in. To the point that you might actually wonder if anything’s been changed.
Perhaps the throttle is a fraction sharper, but the power is delivered smoothly, the engine revs cleanly, the transmission shuffles through the gears without issue and there are no hesitations even on part-throttle or on kickdown. It feels just like the standard car.
Until you put your foot down. It’s not suddenly so fast that it’s going to blow your head off, but it’s clearly and demonstrably more accelerative. Herrod’s best 0-100km/h efforts are in the 4.8-4.9sec region and a few quick tries netted a 5.1sec run, which in itself is a second quicker than the standard ute.
What’s not so good about the Herrod Ford Ranger Raptor?
Nothing comes for free so the extra power will come at the expensive of higher fuel consumption if you exercise it, but cruising economy is more or less unaffected in the 2023 Herrod Ford Ranger Raptor. Prompted by customer feedback, Herrod has also disabled the idle-stop function.
Driven to its limits, the Herrod Raptor will also put even more pressure on the brakes and tyres, which already have to deal with huge loads in standard guise. Admittedly, sustained high-speed driving is a scenario that few Raptors will ever encounter, but a 2.5-tonne ute with more than 500hp takes a lot of stopping.
The only other potential negative to mention is that it’s a vehicle that requires respect. There is a lot of weight and a lot of power at play here on tyres that aren’t at all suited to the task. The sound and acceleration could easily fool you into thinking you’re in a hot hatch or a performance SUV but, while it’s incredibly capable for a dual-cab, grip levels are nothing like that of a passenger vehicle.
And that’s in the dry. In two-wheel drive in the rain there’s a good chance the Herrod Raptor would spin its wheels through the first seven or eight gears so the ability to run in constant all-wheel drive is now of real benefit.
Should I buy the Herrod Ford Ranger Raptor?
There’s no real reason to buy the 2023 Herrod Ford Ranger Raptor. The standard vehicle is fantastic and more than fast enough for the vast majority of owners. But that’s not the point, is it? Possibly of more relevance is that if you’re interested in the Herrod Power Pack, then that’s no real reason not to buy it.
Drive in to Herrod Performance and you’ll drive out in a Ranger Raptor that feels essentially exactly the same – only a lot, lot faster – yet is still backed by five years of warranty.
2023 Herrod Ford Ranger Raptor at a glance:
Price: $92,740 (plus on-road costs)
Engine: 3.0-litre twin-turbo petrol V6
Transmission: 10-speed automatic
Fuel: 11.5L/100km (ADR Combined)
CO2: 262g/km (ADR Combined)
Safety rating: Not tested