Photo by Dino Ray V. Directo III
One night in Bangkok and Ford unleashed an upgraded version of its popular Ranger series. With DNA derived from its elder brother, the F-150 Raptor, the Ranger Raptor has all the bells and whistles of a performance vehicle.
Dubbed as the ultimate Ranger, the Ranger Raptor was purposely designed, built and tested to set a benchmark as the only factory built performance truck in the Asia-Pacific region. Designed by the elite team at Ford Performance, the Ranger Raptor embodies the brand’s commitment of producing “Built Ford Tough” pick-up trucks. “We are so excited and proud to unleash this vehicle to the public, driving it really makes you feel like a hero,” said Jamal Hameedi, chief engineer, Ford Performance. “The Ford Performance team is excited to extend the Raptor name from our flagship off-road performance F-150 to Ranger. Just like the F-150 Raptor, the Ranger Raptor builds upon the core capability of the range of vehicles it comes from and carries the unmistakable Ford Performance DNA appearance.”
With the regional motoring media in attendance, the Raptor experience begins at the entrance of the launch venue, with a structure that reminds us of a scene out of Jurassic Park. Inside the massive climate controlled structure were display areas chronicling the design and engineering involved in creating the Ranger Raptor. Ford’s Design team members were on hand explaining each of the display areas, from chassis and engine development, down to its exterior and interior design.
Visible changes to this Asian-spec Raptor were the front end, with a stunning new grille takes styling cues from the world’s first factory-built high performance off road truck, the F-150 Raptor. A frame mounted front-bumper system is designed to offer desert durability performance and a distinctive presence. The front bumper also includes new LED fog lamps with functional air-curtain ducts, which help to reduce air resistance of the body. Using composite materials, the front fenders not only look tough, but resist dents and dings often associated with off-road usage. According to Hameedi, the flared shape of the fenders were required for the long travel suspension and oversized tires.
Starting from the ground up, vehicle stance is noticeably bigger from every angle, standing at an impressive 1873mm tall, 2180mm wide and 5398mm long, with wider front and rear tracks at 1710mm. Ground clearance is increased to 283mm, while the approach angle of 32.5°, ramp over angle of 24°, and departure angle of 24° as a package are superior to anything seen before. The step boards were designed specifically to prevent rock spray from hitting the rear of the truck and the holes have been designed to drain sand, mud and snow. The tough high-strength aluminium alloy die-cast main step board is designed for durability, undergoing testing which includes a load of 100kg being applied 84,000 times to simulate over 10 years in the field.
At the rear, a modified rear bumper comes with an integrated tow bar and two recovery hooks rated at 3.8 tons. Updated styling to the rear includes flush sensor bezels and specially packaged and styled tow connectors. Providing an abundance of space, the 1560mm x 1743mm tray has been designed with the weekend explorer in mind, while the 2500kg towing capacity also accounts for dirt bikes or jet-skis, as well as traditional work needs during the week.
Inside, Ranger Raptor offers a tailored Ford Performance DNA interior design with a high level of craftsmanship, harmonious colours and durable materials suitable for both off-road driving and everyday use. The gauge clusters has aggressive styling, encompassing a host of Driver Assist features. The steering wheel is distinctively different; new Raptor DNA lightweight magnesium paddle shifters for crisp gear changing are easily accessible near the perforated leather hand grip sections on the rim for precision off-road shifting when you really need it.
At the heart of this metal beast is a power train that offers more power and torque, better fuel economy. Under the bulging hood is a new 2.0-liter Bi-Turbo diesel engine that boasts of a healthy 213PS (157kW) of power and 500Nm of torque and matted to a 10-speed automatic transmission. To maximize the power of the Ranger Raptor, this truck’s Terrain Management System (TMS) offers six modes for various driving experiences, which can be selected via a dedicated five-button switch located on the steering wheel. Each mode has been calibrated to offer the best possible combination of technologies working in unison to tackle the chosen terrain or driving style.
Based on the Asian-spec Ranger, the Raptor version was built for one thing in mind: to satisfy the most fervent off-road enthusiast with performance to match. “The Ford Performance team is excited to extend the Raptor name from our flagship off-road performance F-150 to Ranger. Just like the F-150 Raptor, the Ranger Raptor builds upon the core capability of the range of vehicles it comes from and carries the unmistakable Ford Performance DNA appearance,” adds Hameedi.