FORD’S ALREADY POWER-HUNGRY RANGER RAPTOR IS SENT INTO BEAST MODE WITH THE REVEAL OF THE RAPACIOUS VELOCIRAPTOR 500, A HENNESSEY PERFORMANCE REIMAGINING WITH HAIR-RAISING THRILLS
BY EVAN MONROE
Though the title of this running series is Poetry in Motion, this particular article, and the vehicle described herein, isn’t about the sophisticated range of emotions evoked by a great sonnet. This is about the awesome exhilaration one feels watching a spectacular $250 million action blockbuster, the rush of endorphins from the first set piece to the elated grin on your face as the credits begin to roll.
Now, the 2024 Ford Ranger Raptor (the mid-sizer introduced in 2019 in markets outside of North America, but Ford answered enthusiast calls this year to bring the truck to U.S. shores) was already a stunningly powerful pickup, memorably summed up by Top Gearas “excellent overkill,” but this Hennessey Performance reimagining has truly raised the bar with the new Veloci Raptor 500.
At the molten core of this spectacular mod is 500 horsepower, but what is unstated in the eponym is equally stirring. The VelociRaptor 500’s 3.0LEcoBoost V6 churns out 550 lb.-ft. of torque, a significant jump over the standard model’s already meaty 430 (and405 ponies). What about capability, you ask? How about a 7,500-pound tow capacity (roughly the weight of an Asian elephant)?
The VelociRaptor can reach a top speed of 140 mph, barreling from 0-60in 4.9 seconds. This truck truly reflects Hennessey’s obsession with “making fast cars faster” for more than three decades. However, as one of our most enduring action blockbusters once asserted, “With great power comes great responsibility,” and the VelociRaptor 500 boasts a dizzyingly impressive array of additional changes to handle the added power. The engine itself now features a new high-flow intake and high-capacity front sideinter cooler, and the suspension has been upgraded with new, trail-thirsty Fox2.5-inch Live Valve shocks.
Joining the myriad performance enhancements is as late of handsome cosmetic changes, including a leather-wrapped steering wheel complemented by Recaro performance seats inside the cabin. John Hennessey, founder and CEO of Hennessey Performance, knows that this stallion’s true place is in motion: “[This]mid-size pickup is incredibly capable and very agile…actually lighter than the Bronco SUV…It’s got a lot more power for those who like to really push their trucks in mud, sand, or on the open road.” Starting MSRP clocks in at $81,000,and only 250 entries will be unleashed in the wild.