The first-ever Ford Ranger Raptor, Ford’s latest off-road, performance pick-up truck, blasted out from behind its camouflage during a reveal event in Thailand. The ultimate Ranger is purposefully designed, built and tested to set a benchmark as the only factory-built performance truck across Asia Pacific. Designed by Ford Performance team for the true enthusiast off-roader, Ford Ranger Raptor strengthens Ford’s commitment to deliver high performance pickup trucks to Ford customers. The Ford Ranger Raptor features distinctive design cues inside and out that are functionally driven. At the front, a stunning new grille takes styling cues from the world’s first factory-built high performance off road truck, the F-150 Raptor. The iconic block FORD lettering proudly positioned within the grille design is unmistakable when emerging from a dust cloud. A frame mounted front-bumper system is designed to offer desert durability performance and a distinctive presence. The front bumper also includes new LED fog lamps with functional air-curtain ducts, which help to reduce air resistance of the body.
Using composite materials, the front fenders not only look tough, but resist dents and dings often associated with off-road usage. 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 Ford 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 superior to anything seen before.
Starting from the ground up, the side steps are a cut above the rest. The step boards were designed specifically to prevent rock spray from hitting the rear of the truck and the holes have been designed to drain sand, mud and snow. The tough high-strength aluminium alloy die-cast main step board is designed for durability, undergoing testing which includes a load of 100kg being applied 84,000 times to simulate over 10 years in the field. A two-stage coating process involves the main step board firstly being powder-coated, before then having a robust grit-paint applied which results in a tough appearance that is also highly durable – scuff, scratch, stain-resistant with superior resistance to environmental weathering. 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, Ranger Raptor offers a tailored Ford Performance DNA interior design with a high level of craftsmanship, harmonious colours and durable materials suitable for both off-road driving and everyday use. The seats are specially designed for off-road high speed performance support, allowing the driver to engage in enthusiastic handling, while also providing superior on-road comfort. The use of technical suede on the seats for additional occupant grip shows the practicality behind the material choice. Multiple long-distance drive events were staged to gauge just how the seats perform over an extended period of time, both on highways and off-road tracks to simulate customer usage. The dual hardness cushion ticked all the boxes, providing superior lateral support and reduced feel of any chassis vibration. This is achieved by a modified structure, using bolsters on the seat back for greater support.
When getting behind the wheel, Ford Ranger Raptor drivers will notice the detailed cockpit differences everywhere they look, including the blue stitching and leather accents. The cluster has aggressive styling, encompassing a host of Driver Assist features. The steering wheel is distinctively different; new Raptor DNA lightweight magnesium paddle shifters for crisp gear changing are easily accessible near the perforated leather hand grip sections on the rim for precision off-road shifting when you really need it. Ford Performance DNA has played a significant role in the purposeful styling, including the ‘On-centre’ marker – a red stripe at the top-middle of the wheel to let you know where the centre is when operating the vehicle at high speed. The steering wheel is finished off with the Raptor logo debossed into the spoke bezel.
The Ford Ranger Raptor powertrain features cutting edge technology to offer more power and torque, better fuel economy, less weight and with off-road specific calibrations for engine, transmission, driveline, steering, brakes and Electronic Stability Control (ESC) system. In a revolutionary move to deliver incredible performance and responsiveness, a 10-Speed transmission is combined with a new 2.0L Bi-Turbo diesel engine in the Ranger Raptor to deliver a maximum of 213PS (157kW) of power and 500Nm of torque. Ford engineers have tested the new powertrain extensively in order to prove out durability.
This testing includes running a ‘thermo cycle’ on the engine, heating both turbos to the point of glowing red for 200 hours non-stop. It can withstand this torture thanks to the turbo bearings and low-pressure (LP) turbo being water cooled to reduce temperature, avoid over-heating and protect the air induction components. Working as a team, the smaller, high-pressure (HP) 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.
The Ford-designed and Ford-built 10-speed automatic transmission is shared with the F-150 Raptor and has been created with high-strength steel, aluminium alloys and composites to optimize durability and weight. Having 10 gears means a wider ratio-span resulting in better acceleration and responsiveness. With more room to optimize gear spacing, engineers could customize gear progression far more efficiently than before, providing more accurate – and quicker – upshift and downshift capability. The all-new electronic system features real-time adaptive shift-scheduling algorithms engineered to help ensure the right gear is selected at the right time. A unique transmission calibration also includes a ‘Live in Drive’ function, meaning that the paddle shifters are always available for manual gear selection override.
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