Global Unveil: Ford Ranger Raptor

Ranger Raptor Debuts in Bangkok, Thailand

Last week, Ford finally took the covers off its highly-anticipated Ranger Raptor – an all-new product – in a global debut event held in Bangkok, Thailand. The Ranger Raptor is the little brother of the colossal, North American F-150 Raptor Truck; comes with amazing, new features and has been tested in some of the world’s toughest environments to ensure it lives up to the ‘Built Ford Tough’ mantra.

As the F-150 Raptor has been dubbed the world’s first factory-built, high-performance off-road truck, but has not been sold in Asia – the Ranger Raptor shall take its role as the only factory-built performance truck in the Asia-Pacific region. Having said that, it shall for now not be sold anywhere else than the Asia-Pacific and South African markets.

The Ranger Raptor comes in just the right size for the conditions in its target regions – it is 1873mm tall, 2180mm wide and 5398mm long. It bears the same, iconic black grille embellished with block F-O-R-D letters as does the easily recognizable F-150, and now comes with upgraded brakes, proper underbody protection, BF Goodrich 285/70 R17 all-terrain tires, an integrated tow bar, and 4 tow hooks – making it a more-than-capable off-road monster.

Moreover, its front bumper brandishes new LED fog lamps and includes functional details such as built-in air-curtain ducts – which reduce air resistance and contribute towards the pick-up’s improved aerodynamics. And because the vehicle is substantially larger, its ground clearance is now increased to 283mm – allowing for an impressive approach angle of 32.5 degrees, ramp over angle of 24 degrees, and departure angle of 24 degrees!

It is currently the only pick-up truck with the all-new Watt’s linkage rear suspension with coilover rear springs – a gem in ensuring rear axle lateral stability, even while punishing the vehicle off-road.

And yet, Ford engineers were quick to point out that the true crown jewels of the Ranger Raptor are in its expensive, racing-spec dampers! The beastly pick-up carries standard front and rear Fox Racing Shox shock absorbers, which enable velocity and position-sensitive damping (PSD) – thus benefitting the pick-up with a class-leading, plush ride while on road; and yet, an unusually comfortable ride while off-road, even at surprisingly high speeds.

“The standout experience of the Ranger Raptor, hands down, is how far you can push it off-road versus any other available production road vehicle in our markets, and still ride like a millionaire on-road,” exclaimed Ford’s Chief Program Engineer of the Ranger Raptor, Mr. Damien Ross.

And to emphasize its commendable utility – the Ranger Raptor flaunts a towing capacity of 2,500kg and a spacious 1560mm x 1743mm tray.

The Ranger Raptor carries a completely new powertrain that features innovative technologies that help it spit out more power and torque (thanks in part to its reduced weight), and still enjoy improved fuel economy. Its engine, transmission, driveline, steering, brakes, and (even) Electronic Stability Control are all calibrated specifically bearing off-road purposes in mind.

It is Ford’s first to use a 2.0L bi-turbo diesel engine, mated with the same automatic transmission as that found in the brusque F-150 – an astonishing 10-speed transmission that Ford reassures is specifically powertrain-matched. This amazing 10-speed spectrum allowed Ford engineers to key-in wide gear ratios in very small ratio steps (for optimized gear spacing) – resulting in better acceleration, responsiveness, and more accurate (and quicker!) gear changes.

Finally – as is very characteristic of the Ford brand – the Ranger Raptor features a number of advanced Driver Assist technologies that serve practical for daily use. It now carries Ford’s SYNC 3 – the brand’s proprietary, and fully integrated hands-free system for controlling on-board devices. It also bears a trusty Satellite Navigation System that is good even for remote locations, and is capable of employing a ‘breadcrumb’ feature that can leave a digital trail (for safety reasons), when exploring uncharted areas.

The rest of the usual Ford Safety fare are also included in the package, such as: Ford Stability Control (with Roll Mitigation Function); Electronic Stability Control; Hill Start Assist; Hill Descent Control; and utility-specific features such as Load Adaptive Control and Trailer Sway Control.

And because this is the pinnacle of the Ranger with massive proportions, it also comes with rear parking sensors and a rear-view camera (whose output is displayed on an 8-inch LCD), to make parking the vehicle just a tad bit more convenient.

The Ranger Raptor will be produced in Ford Thailand’s Manufacturing plant (FTM), and units are expected to arrive in the Philippines soon after they are rolled out in Thailand, sometime during the latter part of 2018. So far, nothing yet has been revealed about the retail price, except that it will obviously cost more than the Wildtrack – although Ford reassures that it will be priced very competitively.