XL, XLT, Limited, Wildtrak, Thunder, MS-RT and Raptor are all model types within the Ford Ranger line-up, currently available for customers to purchase. Collectively, they are possibly the widest selection of Pick-up truck models offered by any manufacturer. All versions attract instant appeal, with customer demands exceeding expectations, even to a global producer like the Ford Motor Company. In recent years Ranger has become Europe’s best selling 1-tonne Pick-up and here in Ireland, it has gained a massive 80% in sales over the past 15 months or so.
Much praise must go to Ford for continuously evolving, modifying and upgrading the Ranger family. Taking centre stage as the new flagship is the Raptor, which has been developed by the Ford Performance division. Firstly, it’s got the look; Muscular, sporty, strong and with unique design traits – from the big Ford badged black grille, wide wheel arches and big, heavily grooved tyres – a standout offering.
It’s what you don’t see that is just as interesting. As in all alongside the engine bay and chassis platform is what would impress most – a whole host of modifications feature: wider track, axle and suspension changes such as longer control arms, increased ride height longer travel shocks and heavier brakes. All offering greatly enhanced on-road driving and off-road performance.
Another significant development was within the engine department with the introduction of a 2.0-litre 213PS Bi-Turbo Euro 6.2 diesel boasting 500 Newton Metres of pure torque. That’s more power with less displacement as the outgoing 3.2-litre, with an additional 13PS and 30 Nm on tap. Then’s its mated to an extremely slick 10-speed automatic gearbox.
Ford and Ranger customers have become accustomed to the plush, engaging, yet intuitive interior designs and styling. Raptor keeps to the theme and then some. All the latest comfort and safety features now expected to be fitted in today’s cars are included here, making the unit ultra-safe.
While the Raptor is the toughest, highest performing version of the Ranger squad, there is a chink in its armour as alas, it’s not classified as a commercial vehicle, unlike all other Pick-ups. For this reason, it has its limitations, such as a 650kg max gross payload (compared to 1-tonne in standard variants) and its towing capacity is reduced to 2,500 kg (versus 3.5 tonnes). Which is a pity as Ford could build on its sales success even further if Raptor (with certain associated modifications) was also type approved to meet the criteria so that business customer could buy this truly inspirational tough off-roader. Of course, they would need to be able to tax it commercial, obtain the VAT rebate on the purchase price and the diesel and other running cost benefits. Maybe it could be done? Let’s hope so!
During a prolonged test drive period (thanks to the extended lockdown), some off-roading was experienced. As outlined below*, there are numerous setting to meet the even most arduous terrain. While heading down to the forest, some fields had been driven through and the grass/gravel/snow mode in 4H did the job with confidence. Thankfully there was no need to use the mud/sand setting and while out on the open road, the driver and passenger comfort levels were surprisingly extremely smooth. If looking for a more adventurous journey, try the Sport mode.
Both the rock and baja modes also available were engaged to a greater extent while on the press launch in Morocco.
Pick-up trucks have come along way over the past decade or so. Manufacturers have improved on the styling, performance, ride and handling of these primarily utility vehicles that are also fast becoming a fashion statement. And with the Raptor, there is few bigger statements! Jarlath Sweeney
All-New Ford Ranger Raptor
- 213PS BiTurbo Engine (EcoBlue)
- 73 final drive ratio
- 170 kph/106 mph Max Speed
- Acceleration (0-100 kph/0-62 mph): 10.0s
- 2500 kg max towing capacity
- 620 kg max gross payload
- Front & rear ventilated disc brakes
- Terrain management system
- 17” x 8.5” alloy wheels
- Unique Raptor trim (leather & suede)
- 8-way powered driver & passenger seats
- Dual zone automatic A/C
- Navigation centre
*Tuned for all terrains
Ranger Raptor enables drivers to select from six Terrain Management System modes to tackle a wide range of terrain and driving scenarios, including:
- Normal mode – emphasising comfort, fuel economy and driveability
- Sport mode – more responsive for spirited on-road driving
- Grass/Gravel/Snow mode – designed to inspire safe and confident driving on off-road slippery and uneven surfaces
- Mud/Sand mode – tuning vehicle responses for optimum traction and momentum in deep, deformable surfaces like loose sand and mud
- Rock mode – specifically for low-speed rocky terrain where smooth controllability is key
- Baja mode – tuning responses for high-speed off-road performance, just like drivers need in the famous Baja desert rallys
Driver assistance and safety technologies that boost confidence for drivers facing unknown off-road challenges or demanding working environments include an enhanced version of Ford Stability Control incorporating Roll Mitigation Function and Electronic Stability Control; Trailer Sway Control; Hill Start Assist; Hill Descent Control and Load Adaptive Control.
Price for this model from €64,169 – plus additional option (colour: conquer grey €900) = €65,069
(Price excludes delivery and related charges)