Ranger Raptor: What’s inside, outside and underneath Ford’s new performance truck
Raptor. The name alone is enough to quicken the pulse of truck enthusiasts. It’s been attached to only two Ford products: consecutive generations of the massive F150 pickup. The F150 Raptor aimed to bring some of the performance of a Baja racing truck to a roadgoing vehicle.
Now, it’s been appended to a pickup that will bring the performance brand to a global audience, very soon the Philippines: the Ford Ranger. The all-new Ranger Raptor is a performance truck unlike anything we have experienced before. It combines eye-popping offroad capability, both at speed and when rock-bashing, with refinement that makes it a practical everyday vehicle.
Here are the significant features of the Ranger Raptor:
Engine: Ranger Raptor is powered by a 2.0-liter bi-turbo engine, producing 213 ps and 500Nm. A pair of turbos feed air to this diesel engine. The sequential-turbo setup eliminates lag and extends the powerband into the higher rev range.
Transmission: Six gears is so yesterday. The Ranger Raptor has a 10-speed automatic for a wider span of ratios. It’s been used to great effect in the Mustang and F150, delivering faster acceleration. Shifts are quick and imperceptible, aside from the dip in the tach needle. Paddle shifters allow for manual override.
Reinforced performance suspension: This is the foundation of the Ranger Raptor’s outstanding performance. Ford widened the front and rear track by 150mm and fitted Raptor-specific aluminum double wishbones up front, with forged upper units, and coil-spring suspension at the rear. Strengthened mounting points aid stability and durability.
Fox performance shock absorbers with variable damping rates are compliant at the center of the suspension travel, while hardening near the limit of the stroke. The result is a pickup that delivers an uncannily smooth and comfortable ride, even on rough terrain. Ground clearance is increased by 50mm to a lofty 283mm.
Tires: Part of the suspension tuning is a specially-made tire, the BF Goodrich All-Terrain K02. The 285/70 R 17 tires were suitable for our drive from city to the Outback. The massive tires are quiet and confident on bitumen (aka asphalt), while scrabbling up and down efficiently come rock-crawling time.
Looks: The trademark FORD grille is front and center of the Raptor. Substantial fender flares cover the widened track. A visually separate bumper also emphasizes the width. Thick bash plates up front and wide side step complete the off-road racer look.
Seats: Body-hugging front seats are trimmed in leather with suede inserts. They’re comfortable for hours of driving, and keep you well in place when tackling off-road trails.
Terrain management system: Ford’s terrain management system is activated via steering wheel buttons. There’s Normal, Sport, Mud and Sand mode. There’s also Baja mode, switching the traction control for high-speed offroad performance, allowing you to kick the tail out for greater fun.
The four-wheel drive system with low range is activated by a console knob. There’s a lockable rear differential and electronic Hill Descent Control.
The Ranger Raptor uses the capable chassis of the regular Ford Ranger as foundation, but with all its enhancements, it is a completely different beast. Its off-road performance is incredible, and enhancements to comfort make it a high-speed performance truck that’s also suitable as family vehicle.