Truckers, rejoice! Ford has finally unveiled the all-new Ranger Raptor here in Thailand, and it’s the first time in the Blue Oval’s history that the Raptor moniker is being used by a model other than the F-150.
The Ranger Raptor is not an all-new model, but rather an extensively modified version of the latest Ranger T6. The headlining change is of course the fitment of a brand new 2.0 litre twin-turbo diesel, producing 213 PS and a whopping 500 Nm of torque.
The EcoBlue engine is from the new Panther family, which is making its debut in the region. As a comparison, the Ranger’s 2.0 litre unit has a higher output than the 3.2 litre Duratorq straight-five (200 PS/470 Nm), and the new engine redlines at 4,500 rpm.
Power is harnessed from a new and larger intake manifold, and if turbo lag comes to mind, fret not. Ford says the biturbo setup here is comprised of a smaller high-pressure turbocharger and a larger turbocharger. At lower engine speeds, both turbos work in series, enhancing torque and responsiveness, while at higher engine speeds the smaller turbo is completely bypassed, relying solely on the larger turbo to provide boost.
Another highlight here is the new Getrag 10R80 10-speed automatic transmission mated to said engine, one that is shared with the F-150. Ford engineers say that the gear ratios have been specifically matched to the engine, ensuring optimal power and efficiency in any gear. Having 10 gears help create a wider ratio-span, improving acceleration and responsiveness. Gearshifts are also said to be quicker.
The transmission is constructed with the combination of high-strength steel, aluminium and composites for durability and weight optimisation. There’s also an all-new adaptive shift-scheduling software to help ensure the right gear is selected at the right time. Paddle shifters come as standard.
That’s not all. The Raptor name also implies that the Ranger is imbued with far more off-roadability than any of its Ranger siblings, and it is. Given the high speeds and punishment that off-road racing provides, the frame has been made stiffer thanks to the use of high-strength low-alloy (HSLA) steel, including the side rails.
Not only is the new skeleton made for taking a beating, it also allows the incorporation of new geometry for the beefed-up suspension. The front now comes with protruding shock absorber towers, while bespoke coilovers take their place at the rear axle. The latter features a Watt’s link setup (like the Everest), allowing the axle to move up and down with very little lateral movement.
A set of 46.6 mm Fox Racing Shox dampers are also part of the setup, with the Position Sensitive Damping (PSD) units capable of delivering high damping forces while off-road at full jounce, and comfort-oriented lower forces in the mid-travel zone when you’re on the road.
Those wheels you see here are 17-inch Raptor-specific alloys, and are wrapped with 285/70 profile BF Goodrich all-terrain tyres. Behind them you’ll find the uprated braking system, with twin-piston front calipers that are 9.5 mm larger than a regular Ranger’s. They clamp onto 332 mm ventilated rotors, while a single-piston 54 mm caliper handles the rear.
As usual, the visual differences come courtesy of the Raptor styling pack, starting with the unique blacked-out grille and giant ‘FORD’ lettering. The frame-mounted front bumper is designed for durability performance in mind, and features LED fog lamps and functional air ducts.
The fender flares are necessary for the longer suspension travel and bigger wheels, and are made of composite material to resist physical damage like dents and dings. These changes result in a truck that is 1,873 mm tall, 2,180 mm wide and 5,398 mm long, with wider front and rear tracks at 1,710 mm (+150 mm). Ground clearance is also up to 283 mm, while more off-roading-related numbers include an approach angle of 32.5 degrees, ramp over angle of 24 degrees, and departure angle of 24 degrees.
Elsewhere, the step board were designed specifically to prevent rock spray from hitting the rear of the truck. Ford elaborates by saying that component is made of an aluminium alloy, one that can handles loads of 100 kg being applied 84,000 times. A two-stage coating process not only gives it a rugged finish, but makes it resistant to scuffs, scratches, stains and whatever Mother Nature has in store.
While we’re at the rear, the bumper comes with an integrated tow bar and two recovery hooks rated at 3.8 tonnes. Finer details are the flush reverse sensor bezels and specially-packed tow connectors. The flatbed measures 1,560 mm wide and 1,743 mm long, plus there are holes designed to drain sand, mud and snow after you’re done fooling around off-road. If you need to tow things, make sure they don’t exceed the 2,500 kg towing capacity.
To make sure its underbelly isn’t damaged, the Ranger Raptor gets a bash plate made from 2.3 mm-thick high-strength steel. Along with the silver-finished skid plates and transfer case undershields, the following items are protected – radiator, Electric Power Assisted Steering (EPAS), Front End Accessory Drive (FEAD), front cross-member, engine sump and front differential.
Inside, the Ranger Raptor’s cabin gets the a makeover in line with its Ford Performance label, and includes seats that are designed for off-road high speed performance. There’s also blue stitching and leather accents in various areas, and the driver has a sportier steering wheel and magnesium paddle shifters to play with. Lastly, the cluster has been tweaked to encompass the various drive modes.
Under the Terrain Management System, there are six modes to cycle through. The first two – Normal and Sport – are tailored for on-road use and are pretty self-explanatory. The off-road modes – Grass/Gravel/Snow, Mud/Sand, Rock and Baja – are the remaning four, with the last one setting up the vehicle for maximum performance off-road, like what drivers need in the famous Baja Rally.
Other bits of equipment include an eight-inch touchscreen for the SYNC 3 infotainment system, a rearview camera and a suite of safety systems – ESC, Trailer Sway Control, Hill Start Assist, Hill Descent Control and Load Adaptive Control.
There will be five exterior colour options for the Ranger Raptor – Lightning Blue, Race Red, Shadow Black, Frozen White and a unique hero colour called Conquer Grey – accompanied by Dyno Grey accents. According to Ford, the new Ranger Raptor is “set to turn heads throughout Asia Pacific and around the world.” I’m sure many of you are hoping that Malaysia will be among the countries receiving the performance pick-up truck. Fingers crossed, guys.