Raptor gets real

The off-road modified chassis frame Ford Raptor is now available locally priced at R786 400 for the 2,0-litre unit built at Ford’s manufacturing facility in Silverton.

“We are excited and proud to unleash the Ford Performance version of the highly successful Ford Ranger,” says Doreen Mashinini, General Manager Marketing at Ford Motor Company of Southern Africa.

“The Ranger Raptor brings a different customer into Ford showrooms, and delivers bold and aggressive styling matched with immense off-road capability that totally rewrites the rules for the 4×4 pickup segment.

“We have a passion for bringing the best to our customers, and Ranger Raptor showcases the best of Ford Performance’s expertise in performance vehicle design and engineering.”

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It is 51 mm taller in ride height compared to the standard Ranger, offers 283 mm ground clearance, has 150 mm wider front and rear track and 850 mm wading depth. A 32,5-degree approach angle and ramp-over and departure angles of 24 degrees add to the go-anywhere capability.

The front fenders are made from durable composite materials, while the bumper includes LED fog lamps with air-curtain ducts, which reduce air resistance. The flared shape of the fenders have been designed to accommodate the long-travel suspension and BF Goodrich all-terrain tyres that were specifically developed for the Ranger Raptor.

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Inside, the sports seats are trimmed in Technical Suede for maximum grip, providing optimum support during high-performance off-road driving, while also providing 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.

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The Ranger Raptor is equipped with the new 2,0-litre Bi-Turbo diesel engine that delivers a maximum of 157 kW of power and 500 Nm of torque driving through Ford’s 10-speed automatic transmission, which is created with high-strength steel, aluminium alloys and composites to optimise durability and weight.

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Under the skin, the Ranger Raptor’s 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.

The Ranger Raptor’s Terrain Management System (TMS) includes a Baja mode, inspired by Mexico’s famous Baja Desert Rally, which enables ultra-responsive, high-speed off-road performance. In this mode, vehicle systems such as 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.

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The Electronic Power Assist Steering (EPAS) is also linked to the TMS, providing varying levels of assistance and responsiveness according to the specific drive mode selected. The TMS is derived from the system used in the Ford Everest 4×4, and incorporates a full range of drive modes including Normal, Sport, Grass/Gravel/Snow, Mud/Sand and Rock.

Front braking is performed by twin-piston front callipers, increased in piston diameter by more than 20% compared with the standard Ranger to 51 mm, along with 332 x 32 mm ventilated discs. Rear braking performance is also enhanced with 54 mm diameter rear callipers and 332 x 24 mm ventilated discs.

In addition, for the first time on a Ranger, the rear brakes include a separate brake actuation master cylinder and booster to increase braking performance.

To better handle the crunching jumps and wild rides, the Ranger Raptor boasts Position Sensitive Damping (PSD) shock absorbers exclusively manufactured by FOX for this model. They provide higher damping forces at extremes and lower damping forces in more moderate conditions for a smoother ride on-road.
Front wheel travel is increased by 32%, and rear travel by 22% compared to the standard Ranger.

The high-performance 63.5 mm diameter dampers are supported by aluminium control arms, with protruding shock absorber towers at the front. A bespoke new coil-over rear suspension arrangement features an integrated Watt’s linkage that allows the axle to move up and down with very little lateral movement. This enables it to tackle tough terrain at high speed while providing exceptional levels of control and comfort.

Driver technology includes, Ford’s SYNC3 with a navigation system that offers a ‘breadcrumb’ feature to leave a trail in uncharted areas – perfect for the serious off-roader.

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It is equipped with Ford Stability Control (FSC), incorporating Roll Stability Control (RSC) that was specifically developed for Ford’s sport utility vehicle (SUV) range, and has been adapted for this exciting new Ford Performance model. It utilises clever sensors to anticipate and minimise oversteer, understeer and rollover incidents.

“The standout experience of the Ranger Raptor, hands down, is how far you can push it off-road versus any other available standard production road vehicle, and still provide amazing ride comfort on-road,” says Damien Ross, chief program engineer, Ford Ranger Raptor.

“Everything about the Ranger Raptor builds on the already outstanding sophisticated feel and functional capability of the Ranger, and then goes further. From a driving dynamic fun standpoint, it is really an exceptionally special vehicle that is designed to flatter the novice and genuinely reward the expert.”

All Ford Rangers come standard with Ford Protect, comprising a 4-year/120 000 km comprehensive warranty, 3-year/unlimited distance roadside assistance and 5-year/unlimited km corrosion warranty. A 6-year/90 000 km service plan is included, with 15 000 km service intervals.

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