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New ‘bad-ass’ Ford Ranger Raptor pick-up is coming to the UK and Ireland

By Paul Connolly

Ford has confirmed that its ‘bad-ass’ Ranger Raptor – the toughest, highest performing version of its pick-up truck – will go on sale in the UK and Ireland.

The “awe-inspiring” Raptor is designed for thrill-seeking outdoor lifestyles and can tackle the harshest off-road terrain at speed, according to the US manufacturer.

The pick-up features an “ultra-strong” chassis, bespoke suspension and tyres, a 10-speed auto gearbox and a special Terrain Management System.

New Ranger Raptor debuts in Europe at Gamescom.jpg
New Ranger Raptor debuts in Europe at Gamescom

It will be on sale in the British Isles within 12 months, Ford said this week.

Ford says the vehicle is for serious off-roaders and thrill-seekers and can handle the most demanding of terrains.

It features a range of additional reinforcements and enhancements over the existing Ford Ranger pick-up, which the company says is the best-selling pickup in Europe.

Ranger Raptor has been developed for enthusiastic off-roaders.jpg
Ranger Raptor has been developed for enthusiastic off-roaders

The Raptor is powered by a Bi-turbo version of Ford’s 2.0‑litre EcoBlue diesel engine that delivers 213PS and 500Nm of torque.

It has a commanding presence and extreme styling, supported by a performance chassis optimised for high-speed off-road driving and go-anywhere capability.

A unique feature is special underbody protection to deflect off-road obstacles. The new “bash plate” is made from 2.3mm thickness high-strength steel in addition to the Ranger’s standard engine and transfer case under-shields.

Ranger Raptor features unique underbody protection.jpg
Ranger Raptor features unique underbody protection

“Forget everything you think you know about pick-ups,” said Ford’s Leo Roeks.  “Our new Ranger Raptor is a different breed – a thoroughbred desert racer and extreme lifestyle off-roader that can toil with the best of them in the harshest of working conditions.”

High-performance dampers with 46.6mm pistons are supported by aluminium control arms, with protruding shock absorber towers at the front and a bespoke new coilover rear suspension arrangement featuring an integrated Watt’s linkage that allows the axle to move up and down with very little lateral movement.

Braking is performed by twin-piston front callipers; 332mm by 32mm ventilated front discs; and 332mm by 24mm ventilated rear discs.

All-terrain BF Goodrich 285/70 R17 tyres have been specially developed for the Raptor.

These measure 838mm in diameter and 285mm wide, with the design offering a tough sidewall to cope with formidable environments with, and an aggressive off-road tread pattern, which provides a strong grip in wet, mud, sand and snow conditions.

Ranger Raptor comes with 17-inch alloy wheels and all-terrain BF Goodrich tyres.jpg
Ranger Raptor comes with 17-inch alloy wheels and all-terrain BF Goodrich tyres

“The standout experience of the Ranger Raptor, hands down, is how far you can push it off-road and still ride like a millionaire on-road,” said Damien Ross, chief program engineer of the Ranger Raptor.

“Everything about the 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.”

Six Terrain Management System modes are present to allow the vehicle 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 Rally

Ford engineers tested the new Ranger Raptor’s Bi-turbo 2.0-litre EcoBlue and 10‑speed automatic powertrain to prove durability in the most fatiguing conditions, including running the high-pressure and low-pressure turbochargers until they glowed red-hot for 200 hours non-stop.

Driver assistance and safety technologies 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.

Ford Performance DNA is present throughout.jpg
Ford Performance DNA is present throughout

The truck is stuffed with Ford’s latest comms, navigation and connectivity technology.

Ford and Microsoft have also revealed that the new Raptor will feature in the new Forza Horizon 4 video racing game.

There’s no word yet on pricing or precise availability dates.

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