Ford’s Ranger Raptor is the biggest, baddest version of the Aussie-designed Ranger and if you want one, we now know the price tag. On sale later this year, the manufacturer’s list price starts at $74,990. Expect a range of accessories that you’ll be tempted by so, by the time you’re out the door, it may be a little north of that. That’s a big number for a Ranger, but it is the most capable ever made and its aggressive design will help bring out the emotions that frees up the wallet.
The Ranger Raptor will lead the Ranger line-up and be offered in other markets around the world, just as Ranger is offered in more than 180 countries. Ranger Raptor will showcase Australian design and engineering expertise in conjunction with Ford Performance Raptor DNA that builds on Ford’s strong truck heritage.
President and CEO of Ford Australia, Graeme Whickman said,
“We’re unbelievably excited and delighted to be able to confirm that the Ranger Raptor is coming to Australia in 2018.
The response to our announcement in September, and the interest from the global reveal back in February to bring it to market at such a sharp price only adds to the anticipation ahead of its arrival in local showrooms.”
So what’s so special about this edition of the Ranger?
The Ranger Raptor features distinctive design cues inside and out that are functionally driven. At the front, a stunning new grille takes styling cues from the world’s first factory-built high performance off road truck, the F-150 Raptor. The iconic block FORD lettering proudly positioned within the grille design is unmistakable when emerging from a dust cloud. 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. The flared shape of the fenders are required for the long travel suspension and oversized tires. The exterior color palate offerings include Lightning Blue, Race Red, Shadow Black, Frozen White, as well as a unique Hero color for the Ranger Raptor, Conquer Grey. Contrasting Dyno Grey accents helps to accentuate the vehicle’s look even further.
The 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 has been 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 1560mm x 1743mm rear 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 seats are specially designed for off-road high speed performance support, allowing the driver to engage in enthusiastic handling, while also providing superior on-road comfort. The use of technical suede on the seats for additional occupant grip shows the practicality behind the material choice.
Multiple long-distance drive events were staged to gauge just how the seats perform over an extended period of time, both on highways and off-road tracks to simulate customer usage. The dual hardness cushion ticked all the boxes, providing superior lateral support and reduced feel of any chassis vibration. This is achieved by a modified structure, using bolsters on the seat back for greater support.
When getting behind the wheel, Ranger Raptor drivers will notice the detailed cockpit differences everywhere they look, including the blue stitching and leather accents. The cluster 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.
Ford Performance DNA has played a significant role in the purposeful styling, including the ‘On-centre’ marker – a red stripe at the top-middle of the wheel to let you know where the centre is when operating the vehicle at high speed. The steering wheel is finished off with the Raptor logo debossed into the spoke bezel.
Chassis, Brakes and Suspension
The Ranger Raptor’s chassis frame is a new unique frame that is specifically designed for the vehicle to travel at high speeds off road and endure the punishment that off road racing provides.
Ranger Raptor’s innovative new coilover rear suspension uses a Watt’s link setup with solid rear axle to provide superior lateral control off-road while also helping improve ride and handling.
The frame design incorporates new geometry for the large suspension, providing the Raptor DNA increased track and wheel travel. Built to withstand high-impact off-road events, Ranger Raptor’s frame consists of various grades of high-strength low-alloy (HSLA) steel. The stiffened side-rails are made from increased HSLA grade steel to absorb off-road high speed impacts.
The front accommodates strengthened protruding shock absorber towers, while a new bespoke coilover rear suspension with an integrated Watt’s linkage allows the axle to move up and down with very little lateral movement. Two recovery hooks rated at 4.5 tonnes can be found at the front, plus reinforced spare tyre mounting cross-members for the larger 17-inch Raptor rims.
The braking system on the Ranger Raptor offers extreme stopping power through new and bespoke components. At the front, twin-piston calipers have been increased by 9.5mm in diameter, while the ventilated rotors are an impressive 332 x 32mm in size. At the rear, Ranger Raptor comes with disc brakes with a brake actuation master cylinder and booster to increase braking performance. The 332 x 24mm rear rotor is ventilated and coupled with a new 54mm caliper.
Raptor’s race-bred suspension has been specifically crafted to tackle undulating terrain at high-speed while remaining in complete control and comfort. The Position Sensitive Damping (PSD) shock absorbers (dampers) provide higher damping forces at full jounce and rebound to enable better off-road capabilities, and lower damping forces in the mid-travel zone for a class leading plush ride during on-road trips. These settings are truly calibrated for the best of both worlds.
Tyres and offroad protection
Given the unforgiving terrain Ranger Raptor has been developed for, it needed an aggressive set of tyres to keep it stable on and off-road. All-terrain BF Goodrich 285/70 R17 tyres have been specially developed for the Ranger Raptor. Holding a strong presence, each tyre measures 838mm in diameter and 285mm in width. The design offers a tough sidewall to take on all environments with confidence, a super grippy tread to extend owners’ adventure time on and off-road and an aggressive off-road tread pattern which provides grip in wet, mud, sand and snow conditions.
Ranger Raptor also comes with unique underbody protection to deflect off-road obstacles. The new bash plate is made from 2.3mm thick high-strength steel and meets enhanced capabilities for strength inline with Ford Performance requirements. The silver finished guard allows clearance to the dual front recovery hooks. Working together with the existing engine and transfer case undershields, the three elements provide protection to components such as the radiator, Electric Power Assisted Steering (EPAS), Front End Accessory Drive (FEAD), front cross-member, engine sump and front differential.
Ranger Raptor comes with a Terrain Management System (TMS) offering 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 with aplomb. These include:
- Normal mode – Emphasising comfort, fuel economy and driveability
- Sport mode – Responsive for spirited on-road driving. This means fast, crisp gear shifts at higher engine speeds to aid throttle response. The mapping reacts to increased demand inputs from the driver by holding gears longer and downshifting more aggressively.
- Grass/Gravel/Snow mode – Designed to inspire safe and confident driving on off-road slippery and uneven surfaces. This is done through smoother gear shifts and second-gear starts, minimizing the probability of wheel slip.
- Mud/Sand mode – Vehicle responsiveness is tuned for optimum traction and momentum in deep, deformable surfaces like loose sand and mud. This is achieved by maintaining lower gears with high torque.
- Rock mode – Used specifically for low-speed rocky terrain where smooth controllability is key.
- Baja mode – Vehicle responsiveness is tuned for high-speed off-road performance, just like drivers need in the famous Baja Desert Rally. In this mode, vehicle systems like Traction Control are pared back in terms of intervention to allow spirited off-road driving without fighting the vehicle’s on-board systems. Gear selection is optimized for maximum performance, and the mapping will hold gears longer and downshift more aggressively.
The Ranger Raptor powertrain features cutting edge technology to offer more power and torque, better fuel economy, less weight and with off-road specific calibrations for engine, transmission, driveline, steering, brakes and Electronic Stability Control (ESC) system. In a move to deliver the best performance and responsiveness, a 10-Speed transmission is combined with a new 2.0-liter Bi-Turbo diesel engine in the Ranger Raptor to deliver a maximum of 213PS (157kW) of power and 500Nm of torque.
The Ford-designed and Ford-built 10-speed automatic transmission is shared with the F-150 Raptor and has been created with high-strength steel, aluminium alloys and composites to optimize durability and weight. Having 10 gears means a wider ratio-span resulting in better acceleration and responsiveness. With more room to optimize gear spacing, engineers could customize gear progression far more efficiently than before, providing more accurate – and quicker – upshift and downshift capability.
The all-new electronic system features real-time adaptive shift-scheduling algorithms engineered to help ensure the right gear is selected at the right time. A unique transmission calibration also includes a ‘Live in Drive’ function, meaning that the paddle shifters are always available for manual gear selection override.
Ranger Raptor comes with a host of advanced Driver Assist Technologies (DATs) at the push of a button which are not just cutting edge, but genuinely practical for everyday use. Its also great to see Ford bring the SYNC 3 along with support for Android Auto and Apple CarPlay standard in the Ranger Raptor.
The technology continues with safety systems like Electronic Stability Control (ESC). The impressive technology suite also includes Trailer Sway Control (TSC), Hill Start Assist (HSA), Hill Descent Control (HDC) and Load Adaptive Control (LAC).
For convenient access, an EZ Lift Tailgate uses a new rod assembly to give the owner a 66 percent reduction in initial lift force. Intelligent Access, also known as passive entry, allows the owner to unlock, lock and start the vehicle without having to reach for their keys. Using a radio frequency signal, the key fob allows the owner to start the vehicle with a press of a button, and is able to activate central locking for the doors and the tailgate. In the case of a depleted battery, a mechanical key blade is incorporated into the fob design.
The Raptor is Ford’s first performance pick-up truck for Australia. It comes with exclusive features unique to the pick-up segment, and has been developed to deliver the ultimate performance experience for off-road users, benefitting from locally-led design and engineering at venues across the world including Ford Australia’s You Yangs Proving Ground and Borrego in the USA, where the F-150 Raptor was tested.
Ranger customers are increasingly using their vehicle for both work and recreational purposes, including off-road drives, and Ranger Raptor raises the bar. Leveraging Ford’s engineering experience in building tough trucks and global engineering expertise in performance vehicles, the Ranger Raptor is an extremely capable off-roader built on customer feedback from Ford’s performance and truck products, both in Australia and around the globe.
Based on the Ranger with its Australian-led engineering and design, the Ranger Raptor has been developed for customers who desire a pick-up truck that delivers an unmistakably unique statement. The Ranger Raptor is made for off-road enthusiasts who appreciate an outdoor lifestyle and seek out the most extreme terrain, demanding an authentic, truly capable vehicle that’s a cut above other off-roaders. Ranger Raptor is the result of this vision.
Ranger Raptor Chief Program Engineer, Damien Ross said,
“This is a fully warranted, factory performance vehicle.
While Raptor DNA calls for extreme performance, the vehicle must meet the regulations, demands and expectations in terms of ownership experience that all of our products are measured by. That’s no mean feat.”
The first-ever Ford Performance Ranger Raptor will be on sale in Australia in 2018.