Ford’s ultimate performance bakkie, the Ranger Raptor.

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Not all bakkies are created equal. The concepts aren’t even the same. Some are workhorses while others, like Ford’s new Ranger Raptor, has been designed as the ultimate performance bakkie/pick-up within the Ranger line-up. Think dirt road rally master and you’re beginning to get the Raptor drift!

The Raptor, like its more sensible Wildtrak sibling, sits at the high end of the Ranger product line. They are exclusively driven by a 2.0-L bi-turbo diesel motor and paired to a sublime 10-speed automatic gearbox. This new motor offers even more power than Ford’s well-liked 3.2-L TDCi diesel - 10 kW and 30 Nm, in fact. The new motor is outstandingly robust and punches well above its cubic capacity with 157 kW and 500 Nm. Expect an acceleration to 100km/h in around 10 seconds.

The Wildtrak offers a list of off and on road abilities, technical capabilities and comforting mod-cons that present the package at R678 200 while weighing in at 2 254 kilograms. This is the sensible choice!

Now, the desired choice – the Raptor. Like a hawk, its bold demeanour elevates the Raptor above lesser flying species. The Raptor retails for R786 400 and weighs 2 420 kilograms. Essentially R108 200 buys you 166 kilograms of enhancements and improvements.

The Raptor features aggressively restyled body panels and grille. The Raptor also sits tall (51mm taller) with a 283mm ground clearance and is 150mm wider than other Ranger models. The Raptor also features a unique high-strength steel chassis with bespoke suspension and race-developed FOX shock absorbers with Position Sensitive Damping (PSD). From a distance, as they are so bold, you’ll notice the bulky BF Goodrich 285/70 R17 all-terrain tyres. Not forgetting electronic engineering, the Raptor features innovative Terrain Management System which includes exciting, ultra-responsive Baja mode.

As you can imagine with this impressive list of endowments, the Raptor has exceptional off-road capabilities that set it apart from any competition. If you’re an off-road enthusiast and like a spirited driving adventure, the Ranger Raptor’s Terrain Management System (TMS) includes an exciting Baja mode, inspired by Mexico’s famous Baja Desert Rally. The system  allows for an ultra-responsive, high-speed off-road performance. In this mode, vehicle systems like Traction Control are pared back to allow spirited off-road driving without intervention from the vehicle’s on-board systems.

As I spent 95% of my review on tarmac, I can attest to the fact that the Raptor’s ride is cleverly dynamic – supply comfortable and dynamically agile. Sitting high while manoeuvring in the urban jungle is very pleasurable. A pain point would be the vehicles sheer size that makes parking and smaller spaces challenging. It is a good thing that the Raptor’s turning circle is somewhat short and that it has incorporated a reverse camera with a Park Distance warning system to minimise efforts. Braking and acceleration are effortless for this type of vehicle.

 

Step inside the Raptor into what Ford calls their “Enhanced Ford Performance interior” with sports seats in Technical Suede, leather with blue stitching and race-inspired “on-centre” red marker on the steering wheel. The steering wheel features perforated leather hand grip sections paired with paddle shifters. 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 – gives you the confidence to know where the wheels are pointing.

Available in Ford Performance Blue, Colorado Red, Absolute Black, Frozen White and Conquer Grey colours with contrasting Dyno Grey accents.

Hard to fault, the Raptor is an off-road racer with sports hero looks that is built off an outstanding chassis/suspension set-up. So good is this package it could easily handle more power.

 

Plus +

  • Bold-looking.
  • Outstanding chassis and suspension set up.
  • Off-road performance.

 

Minus –

  • Could do with more power.
  • A tad thirsty when driven around town.

 

The competition

For both the Wildtrak and the Raptor – the Volkswagen Amarok, Mercedes-Benz X-Class, Toyota Hilux and the Nissan Navara.

 

The pricing

Ranger Wildtrack DC 2.0 BiT 10AT 4x4                          R678 200

Ranger Raptor 2.0 BiT 10AT 4x4                                   R786 400

 

The service and warranty

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

 

My choice

Ranger Raptor 2.0 BiT 10AT 4x4                                     R786 400

www.ford.co.za

 

 

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