Sales of four-door pickup trucks continue to soar in Australia, so Ford, one of the big movers in the scene has revealed further details of the high-performance Ranger Raptor that’s coming to Australia later in the year.
Designed by the Ford Performance team the Raptor is aimed at the enthusiast off-roader. It has increased ride height, wider track and steeper approach and departure angles aimed at extreme off-road capability. An all-new Watt’s linkage rear suspension with coil-over rear springs helps ensure rear axle lateral stability. Fox Racing Shox shock absorbers front and rear show this tough vehicle means business.
Jamal Hameedi, the chief engineer at Ford Performance says, “The Ford Performance team is excited to extend the Raptor name from our flagship off-road performance F-150 to Ranger.”
Ford Ranger Raptor features a large new grille with styling cues from the F-150 Raptor. The huge FORD lettering certainly shouts this vehicle’s intentions.
Using composite materials, the front guards not only look tough, but resist dents and dings often associated with off-road usage. Their flared shape is to house the long travel suspension and oversized tires.
Colours are Lightning Blue, Race Red, Shadow Black, Frozen White, as in the standard Ranger range. There’s also a Hero colour for the Conquer Grey that’s unique to the Raptor. Contrasting Dyno Grey accents certainly accentuate the Raptor’s appearance.
This is a big pickup: 5398 long,1873 mm high and 2180 mm wide. Front and rear tracks are 1710 mm. Ground clearance is a huge 283 mm. Approach angle of 32.5 degrees, ramp over angle of 24 degrees, departure angle of 24 degrees. Towing capacity is 2.5 tonnes.
Inside, you get blue stitching and leather accents in the trim. The steering wheel has a Raptor logo embossed into it and there’s a race-style red stripe to indicate top-centre of the wheel. Lightweight magnesium paddle shifters are part of the package.
The engine has a smaller capacity than Aussie lovers of hot pickups would have expected. Those who go by the old school that says, “there’s no substitute for cubic inches” may cringe at the thought of a 2.0-litre turbo-diesel. However high-tech engineering using twin turbos can get a lot out of smaller engines and 157 kW (213 horsepower) and 500 Newton metres of torque should give Raptor good, good, though hardly searing performance.
Some tech notes on the engine: A smaller, high-pressure turbo is connected in a sequence to the larger, LP turbo and is controlled with by-pass valves that determine the operating mode depending on engine speed. At lower engine speeds, the two turbos work in series, enhancing torque and responsiveness, while
at higher engine speeds, the small HP turbo is bypassed, and the higher LP turbo provides boost to deliver more power.
A 10-speed automatic transmission sits behind the engine and that number of ratios should see the engine sitting at its best revs all the time.
All-terrain BF Goodrich 285/70 R17 tyres have been specially developed for the Ranger Raptor. They have tough sidewalls and what Ford describes as, ‘a super grippy tread’
Ford Ranger Raptor comes with a Terrain Management System (TMS) offering six modes for various driving conditions, which can be selected by a five-button switch on the steering wheel. Modes are Normal, Sport, Grass/Gravel/Snow, Mud/Sand and Rock.
Finally there’s the ultra serious mode – Baja, which is tuned for high-speed off-road performance, just like drivers need in the famous Baja Desert Rally.
Ford Ranger Raptor will be built in Ford’s manufacturing facility in Thailand. That country produces virtually all pickups sold in Australia and has a long history of good quality output.
On-sale date? Ford is Australia is keeping us in suspense. All it will say is, “Coming in 2018”.
However if you get onto www.ford.com.au/commercial/ranger/raptor/ Ford will keep you updated on what is happening.