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The Ranger Raptor is an untameable beast

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The Ranger Raptor is an untameable beast

When Ford Motor Company in the USA introduced the F150 Raptor, the rest of the world looked on in jealousy. We also wanted a Raptor and due to a collective voice here in South Africa, Australia, and other key areas Ford took heed of our demands. They gave us the Ranger Raptor, a locally built high-performance off-road vehicle.

It is important to note that when one refers to the Raptor as being a high-performance off-roader it doesn’t only refer to outright speed. Instead, it relates to the vehicle's overall ability which in the Raptor is very impressive. The Ranger Raptor packs a hefty punch in the segment. The commanding presence delivered by the ultimate Ranger’s imposing dimensions and extreme styling is supported by a unique Ford Performance chassis optimised for high-speed off-road driving and go-anywhere capability.

Take one look at the Ranger Raptor, and you know this off-road high-performance pickup means business. Its imposing stance, with 51mm taller ride height, 283mm ground clearance, 150mm wider front and rear track and 850mm wading depth lets you know that this is a serious off-road performance machine. A 32.5-degree approach angle, and ramp-over and departure angles of 24 degrees, provide impressive go-anywhere capability. Its aggressive grille with the big bold FORD block lettering screams Raptor DNA – the real thing, with genuine Ford Performance design and engineering excellence.

Step inside Ranger Raptor, and you will enter a world where it is unmistakably Ford Performance. The sports seats are uniquely designed and trimmed in Technical Suede for maximum grip, providing optimum support during high-performance off-road driving, while also providing exceptional comfort when cruising in town.

Other sporting details distinguishing the Ranger Raptor include blue stitching and leather accents, as well as the aggressively-styled instrument cluster with distinctive red needles for the dials that emphasise the race-bred credentials.

The steering wheel features perforated leather hand grip sections, paired with Raptor DNA lightweight magnesium paddle shifters for crisp gear changes. The Raptor logo is debossed into the spoke bezel of the steering wheel and a motorsport-inspired “on-centre” marker – a red stripe at the top-middle of the steering wheel – gives you the confidence to know where the wheels are pointing.

Under the skin, the Ranger Raptor’s unique chassis frame is newly-developed and extensively modified for high speeds and endurance in the toughest driving conditions. Built to withstand high-impact off-road encounters, Ranger Raptor’s frame consists of various grades of high-strength low-alloy (HSLA) steel, and has been specially designed to support the Ranger Raptor’s increased track and wheel travel. In other words, this is not just a beefed-up Ranger, it features bespoke elements that are unique to Ranger Raptor.

The Ranger Raptor is equipped with the new 2.0-litre Bi-Turbo diesel engine that delivers a maximum of 157kW of power and 500Nm of torque. This innovative power plant offers both high performance and efficiency, thanks to its combination of a small high-pressure turbo and a large low-pressure turbo that work to provide optimal performance throughout the engine speed range. The Ranger Raptor is equipped with Ford’s all-new 10-speed automatic transmission, which is created with high-strength steel, aluminium alloys and composites to optimize durability and weight.

To further underline its impressive off-road credentials, the Ranger Raptor’s Terrain Management System (TMS) includes an exciting Baja mode, inspired by Mexico’s famous Baja Desert Rally, which enables ultra-responsive, high-speed off-road performance. In this mode, vehicle systems like Traction Control are pared back to allow spirited off-road driving without intervention from the vehicle’s on-board systems. Gear selection is optimised for maximum performance, and the mapping will hold gears longer and downshift more aggressively.

The Ranger Raptor has been met with open arms yet we remain to see a true rival from the likes of Toyota and Nissan.

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