The old Ford Ranger T1+ off-road racing pickup – which is based on the prior-gen model – has enjoyed its fair share of success over the years and even over the past few months, even though a fully-redesigned version of that same pickup in road-going form has been on sale for some time now. Regardless, The Blue Oval has been clear that even though it’s bringing the old T1+ out to compete in this year’s Dakar Rally, it’s also working on a suitable replacement based on the new Ford Ranger Raptor ahead of the 2025 running of that iconic off-road race – one that may come packing a V8 under the hood. Now, this new Ford Ranger Raptor Dakar racer has been teased ahead of that much-anticipated debut.
This teaser is part of the first-ever Ford Performance motorsports season launch preview event, which is showing off all of the new racing machines and liveries set to compete on various surfaces across the globe this year. Ford only provided on single image of the new Ranger Raptor Dakar racer to whet our appetites for now, but it’s pretty much what we expected – the new model, albeit with some menacing upgrades such as red-outlined Ford script in the front grille and some graphics on the hood, coupled with some extra-wide bodywork.
Somewhat surprisingly, Ford has never participated in the Dakar Rally – widely considered to be among the toughest off-road races on earth – but that streak is ending as we speak as FoMoCo is once again teaming up with M-Sport and Neil Woolridge Motorsport (NWM) to take on the extreme test in the purpose-built previous-gen Ford Ranger Raptor (as seen here) in the Rally Raid T1+ category in Saudi Arabia right now.
This year’s Dakar race will simply serve as a “finish and learn” session, however, as Ford Performance and M-Sport are currently developing this all-new, custom-built Ranger Raptor T1+ race truck for the 2025 Dakar Rally – where it plans to take the fight directly to the competition in an all-out effort to keep the truck’s winning streak alive.