Ford recently unveiled what might just be the best double-cab ever – the Ranger Raptor.
There are some major differences between it and the Rangers we already have here in South Africa and we’ll start with the styling.
At the front, a new grille takes styling cues from the world’s first factory-built high performance off-road bakkie, the F-150 Raptor.
The flared shape of the fenders are required for the long travel suspension and oversized tires. The exterior color palate offerings include Lightning Blue, Race Red, Shadow Black, Frozen White, as well as a unique Hero color for the Ranger Raptor, Conquer Grey. Contrasting Dyno Grey accents helps to accentuate the vehicle’s look even further.
Vehicle stance is noticeably bigger from every angle, standing at an impressive 1873mm tall, 2180mm wide and 5398mm long, with wider front and rear tracks at 1710mm. Ground clearance is increased to 283mm, while the approach angle of 32.5°, ramp over angle of 24°, and departure angle of 24° as a package are claimed to be superior to anything seen before.
At the rear, a modified rear bumper comes with an integrated tow bar and two recovery hooks rated at 3.8 tonnes. Updated styling to the rear includes flush sensor bezels and specially packaged and styled tow connectors. Providing an abundance of space, the 1560mm x 1743mm tray has been designed with the weekend explorer in mind, while the 2500kg towing capacity also accounts for dirt bikes or jet-skis, as well as traditional work needs during the week.
Inside you get new seats that Ford claims is well suited to high performance driving, some blue stitching and leather accents. The steering wheel now houses paddles for gear changes and an ‘on-centre’ marker. It also houses a rather stunning Raptor logo.
But what you really want to know is what’s going on underneath.
The braking system on the Ranger Raptor offers extreme stopping power through new and bespoke components. At the front, twin-piston calipers have been increased by 9.5mm in diameter, while the ventilated rotors are an impressive 332 x 32mm in size. At the rear, Ranger Raptor comes with disc brakes with a brake actuation master cylinder and booster to increase braking performance. The 332 x 24mm rear rotor is ventilated and coupled with a new 54mm caliper.
The Raptor has a race-bred suspension has been specifically crafted to tackle undulating terrain at high-speed. The dampers are exclusively manufactured by Fox Racing Shox with 46.6mm piston for front and rear.
It also has a Terrain Management System (TMS) offering six modes for various driving experiences, which can be selected via a dedicated five-button switch located on the steering wheel.
Normal mode – Emphasising comfort, fuel economy and driveability
Sport mode – Responsive for spirited on-road driving. This means fast, crisp gear shifts at higher engine speeds to aid throttle response. The mapping reacts to increased demand inputs from the driver by holding gears longer and downshifting more aggressively.
Grass/Gravel/Snow mode – Designed to inspire safe and confident driving on off-road slippery and uneven surfaces. This is done through smoother gear shifts and second-gear starts, minimizing the probability of wheel slip.
Mud/Sand mode – Vehicle responsiveness is tuned for optimum traction and momentum in deep, deformable surfaces like loose sand and mud. This is achieved by maintaining lower gears with high torque.
Rock mode – Used specifically for low-speed rocky terrain where smooth controllability is key.
Baja mode – Vehicle responsiveness is tuned for high-speed off-road performance, just like drivers need in the famous Baja Desert Rally. In this mode, vehicle systems like Traction Control are pared back in terms of intervention to allow spirited off-road driving without fighting the vehicle’s on-board systems. Gear selection is optimized for maximum performance, and the mapping will hold gears longer and downshift more aggressively.
And now for the most important part – the engine. The Raptor uses a new 2.0-liter Bi-Turbo diesel engine that delivers a maximum of 157kW of power and 500Nm of torque. This power is sent to the wheels via a 10-speed automatic gearbox.