Published: Thu, February 08, 2018
Hi-Tech | By Wayne Curry

Ford Ranger Raptor debuts with a diesel

Ford Ranger Raptor debuts with a diesel

"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 2018 Ford Ranger Raptor has been revealed in Thailand, ahead of an Australian launch later this year. The front bumper was created to offer desert durability and also includes new LED lights and functional air-curtain ducts.

As the vehicle is meant to go a very long way off the beaten track, the front bumpers are made of composite materials that are better able to withstand the expected dents and dings. The flared front fenders are made from composite materials, which among other things resist dents and dings often associated with off-road travel. The side steps are made from a tough aluminium alloy and include holes to drain sand, mud and snow. The steps/sliders are powder coated and then coated in a grit paint for grip and longevity. It stands at 1873mm tall, 2180mm wide and 5398mm long.

Gone is the leaf suspension found in the Ranger, in its place are front and rear Fox Racing Shox shocks. Of course tray and passenger payload is included in any towing capacity claim anyway. Power runs through a Ford-designed-and-built 10-speed transmission that is shared with the F-150 Raptor.

We know the Ranger will come because Chevrolet is now selling 12% of its Colorados as ZR2 off-road trucks. The steering wheel is finished off with the Raptor logo debossed into the spoke bezel. That compares to the 147kW/470Nm 3.2-litre five-pot oiler in the current Ranger line-up, though no doubt the Raptor's engine is lighter.

Ford Australia is confident it will secure enough Raptors to meet predicted demand.

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.

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The new Ford pickup truck has been created to ensure extreme off-road capability and stability, and the innovative new Watt's linkage rear suspension with coilover rear springs helps ensure rear axle lateral stability, and improves ride and handling. The tyres measure 838mm in diameter, with thick sidewalls offering the capability to tackle "all environments with confidence". The company also announced in December it would launch the Ranger Raptor in South Africa in 2019. The silver finished guard allows clearance to the dual front recovery hooks. This protection works with the Ranger's existing engine and transfer case skidplates to 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.

Will the upcoming USA -built Ranger get a Raptor version?

There are multiple on and off road 4×4 modes.

Sport mode brings quicker gear shifts and improved throttle response. This is for high-speed off-road performance inspired by the Baja Desert Rally.

Meanwhile, the Ranger Raptor is equipped with a Terrain Management System (TMS) with no less than six modes for various conditions. Gear selection is optimized for maximum performance, and the mapping will hold gears longer and downshift more aggressively. Not only is this the first ever Ranger Raptor, but it also debuted with a new turbocharged 2.0L diesel engine. Like in similar applications, there's a smaller turbo to handle the instant off the line grunt while a larger turbo takes over higher in the rev range, the aim is to dial out turbo lag.

The Ranger Raptor also offers Driver Assist Technologies such as SYNC 3 with 8-inch color LCD, Trailer Sway Control (TSC), Hill Start Assist (HSA), Hill Descent Control (HDC), Load Adaptive Control (LAC), rearview camera, and parking sensors.

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