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Ranger Raptor Revealed

The first-ever Ranger Raptor, Ford’s latest off-road, performance pick-up truck, has been revealed in Thailand today.

Ford is claiming that its ultimate Ranger has been designed, built and tested to set a benchmark as the only factory-built performance truck in the Asia Pacific region.

“We are so excited and proud to unleash this vehicle to the public, driving it really makes you feel like a hero,” said Jamal Hameedi, chief engineer, Ford Performance

The Ranger Raptor features distinctive design cues inside and out, including a new grille that takes its styling cues from the North American Ford F-150 Raptor.  A frame mounted front-bumper system is designed to offer what Ford is calling “desert durability performance” and includes new LED fog lamps with functional air-curtain ducts.

The front guards are manufactured from a “composite material” and should resist the dents and dings that off-roading can cause. The flared shape of the front and rear guards are a case of function over form and are required to cover the long travel suspension and oversized tyres.

The exterior colour offerings include Lightning Blue, Race Red, Shadow Black, Frozen White, as well as a unique Hero colour called Conquer Grey.

The Ranger Raptor stands 1873mm tall, 2180mm wide and 5398mm long, with a wider front and rear track of 1710mm. Ground clearance is increased to 283mm, the approach angle is 32.5 degrees and the ramp over, and departure angle are both 24 degrees.

The Raptor’s side steps are high-strength aluminium alloy die-cast units that are powder coated and grit-painted for grip. A modified rear bumper features an integrated tow bar and two recovery hooks rated at 3.8 tonnes.

Inside, Ranger Raptor is fitted with a set of seats that are specially designed for off-road high-speed performance support. Ford was serious about this and conducted multiple long-distance drive events to gauge just how the seats perform over an extended period, both on highways and off-road tracks.  Other interior changes of note, include a bespoke steering wheel and lightweight magnesium paddle shifters.

The Ranger Raptor’s chassis frame is unique to the Raptor and built from various grades of high-strength low-alloy steel, making it more capable of soaking up the punishment that off-road racing dishes out.

Up front, there are strengthened protruding shock absorber towers, while a new Coilover rear suspension with an integrated Watt’s linkage allows the axle to move up and down with very little lateral movement. The dampers are Fox Racing Shox with 46.6mm pistons.

Two recovery hooks rated at 4.5 tonnes can be found at the front, plus reinforced spare tyre mounting cross-members for the larger 17-inch Raptor rims.

The Raptor’s braking system has been upgraded with front, twin-piston calipers increased by 9.5mm in diameter, while the ventilated rotors are 332 x 32mm in size. The rear brake setup includes 332 x 24mm rear rotors and a new 54mm caliper.

Tyre are All-terrain BF Goodrich 285/70 R17s that have been specially developed for the Raptor. Each tyre measures 838mm in diameter and 285mm in width.

Underbody protection includes a new bash plate that is made from 2.3mm thick high-strength steel and the existing engine and transfer case guards.

One of the Raptor’s party tricks is a Terrain Management System (TMS) offering six modes that can be selected via a dedicated five-button switch located on the steering wheel. Each mode has been calibrated to offer the best possible combination of technologies working in unison to tackle the chosen terrain or conditions. These include:

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, minimising 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 optimised for maximum performance, and the mapping will hold gears longer and downshift more aggressively.

Under the bonnet is a new 2.0-litre Bi-Turbo diesel engine that outputs 157kW and 500Nm. Ford claims that the new engine has been extensively tested to “prove out durability”. The little diesel is paired with a Ford built 10-speed automatic transmission that is shared with the F-150 Raptor and has been created with high-strength steel, aluminium alloys and composites to optimise durability and weight.

The gearbox’s electronic control 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.

Being a Ranger its packed full of electronic driver aids including Electronic Stability Control (ESC) that incorporates a Roll Mitigation Function,  Trailer Sway Control (TSC), Hill Start Assist (HSA), Hill Descent Control (HDC) and Load Adaptive Control (LAC). There’s also a rear view camera and reverse parking sensors.

“The standout experience of the Ranger Raptor, hands down, is how far you can push it off-road versus any other available production road vehicle in our markets, and still ride like a millionaire on-road,” said Damien Ross, Chief Program Engineer, Ranger Raptor, Ford Motor Company.

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