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The new Ford Ranger Raptor

One of the most exciting Double Cab bakkies (pickups) of this year, is the Ford Ranger Raptor. This is the first time a Ranger has been given the resp

By Thami Masemola on 21 Nov 2019
One of the most exciting Double Cab bakkies (pickups) of this year, is the Ford Ranger Raptor. This is the first time a Ranger has been given the respected Raptor badge, and this means it has to be quite exceptional in the bigger scheme of things. Not every Ford gets to wear that coveted title. With the Ranger Raptor finally landing in South Africa and offering us the opportunity to test it out, it makes sense for us to try and understand if it has actually earned the Raptor badge or not.

It would be amiss for us to talk Ranger Raptor without mentioning that already the country was awash with fake Raptor “conversions”, which were mainly nothing more than cosmetic upgrades to existing Ford platforms. Therefore when the real Raptor was officially launched here, it did not make the expected splash in the market. The wave was swallowed up by these existing conversions.

As such, what then makes the Ranger Raptor stand out in a forest of fakes? From an external point of view, the Raptor gets serious muscular looks, including the large, bold 3D FORD badge on the front grille, a ride that is 51mm taller, with 283mm ground clearance, a 150mm wider front track and a 32.5-degree approach angle, for better access to off-road obstacles. LED fog lamps on the front bumper and flared wheel arches give it a solid stance, while the long-travel suspension and BF Goodrich 285/70 R17 all-terrain tyres are produced specifically for this vehicle. The Ranger Raptor features several colours, including our favourite Ford Performance Blue, as well as Absolute Black, Colorado Red, Frozen White and Conquer Grey.
Our test vehicle came in the Ford Performance Blue, with black cladding on the front grille, all fenders, side gills, side steps, and rear bumper. The alloy wheels are also black, and so is the rear load box. The contrast with the blue is quite attractive to the eye. On the interior, Ford has done more special work. For one, the sports seats are partially covered in Technical Suede and are adjustable electrically for pretty much every size body that can drive. Blue stitching gives the seats a sportier look.

The multi-function steering wheel is highlighted by a red 12 o’clock marker, which not only looks good, but also serves to indicate where the wheels might be pointing. Useful for off-road instances. Behind the wheel are two shifting paddles. The gear lever is perforated, with blue stitching as well, whereas the foot pedals are framed in a metal alloy. Of course the SYNC 3 infotainment system is part of the package here, with its touch screen and extensive features list, including voice control, satellite navigation and access to apps like Android Auto and Apple Carplay.

One of the highlights brought with the Ranger Raptor is the powertrain. It consists of the new 2.0-litre Biturbo diesel engine producing 157kW of power and 500Nm of torque. Paired with it is the silky smooth new 10-speed automatic transmission. Expectedly the Raptor is an off-road capable car and comes with switchable 4x4, activated via a knob at the centre console. Whilst the engine is strong and sounds sporty at full flight, it does lack that extra push given by competitor V6 engines. Where it excels is in fuel consumption, of which we averaged 11 litres per 100km over seven days of mixed driving conditions.

The new Ford Ranger Raptor is a very good-looking (in an aggressive kind of manner) and quite accomplished piece of kit, especially when it comes to the fun bits of off-road driving, technological advances, as well as daily comfortable driving.

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