Thankfully, engineers felt the 10-speed was better suited to the performance pickup.
With a 2.0-liter turbocharged diesel engine, the new Ford Ranger Raptor pumps out a respectable 210 horsepower (156 kilowatts) and 369 pound-feet (500 Newton-meters) of torque. That puts it well in competition with other midsize pickups aimed at off-road superiority. All that power is routed through a 10-speed transmission – but it wasn’t always the first choice.
According to CarAdvice, in an interview with John Fallu, Transmission and Driveline Engineering Manager for Ford Asia Pacific, engineers reportedly tested multiple versions of the gearbox, everything from 8- and 9-speed transmissions, even all the way up to 12 and 13 speeds. The 10-speed gearbox ripped from the Raptor, though, proved to be the best choice, being both refined and capable.
"We actually did simulations during the exhaustive testing process for the optimum number of gear ratios for a rear-wheel drive truck of this size and power… we looked at seven speeds, nine speeds all the way up to 12 and 13 speeds, to see if – from a performance perspective and an efficiency perspective – what truly is optimal for the design," said Fallu.
The decision to use the 10-speed transmission was reportedly because it met "both our refinement and performance benchmarks," continued Fallu. "The torque converter is selected specifically for trying to meet – and improve – the launch performance of the engine, so as to meet customer expectations."
As of yet, Ford hasn’t announced the Ranger Raptor in the U.S., but we expect to see the performance pickup stateside in just a few months. The American-market Ranger will reportedly use a 2.3-liter turbocharged four-cylinder and ten-speed automatic. That same engine produces 310 horsepower (231 kilowatts) and 350 pound-feet (475 Newton-meters) in the 2018 Mustang.