Fox Racing Shocks, impressive off-road measurements, Ford Performance DNA and an aggressive style. The Ford Ranger Raptor looks ready to do battle in the off-road arena.
Ford has finally dropped details on the mini-brute during a reveal in Thailand today. If you’re reading in the US, we are still hoping that Ford hits our new Ranger with the Raptor stick sometime in the near future. For now, let’s go over everything that makes this little truck so capable.
READ MORE: 2018 Ford Raptor: Pros and Cons
Although it should be noted, there isn’t really anything little about its dimensions. Vehicle stance is noticeably bigger from every angle, standing 73.7 inches tall, 85.8 inches wide, and 212.5 inches long. Both front and rear track measurements grow to 67.3 inches.
Compared to a standard Ranger, ground clearance is increased to just over 11 inches, while the approach angle of 32.5 degrees, breakover angle of 24 degrees, and departure angle of 24 degrees compare well to other competitors in the segment. An all-new Watt’s linkage rear suspension with coilover rear springs is said to ensure lateral stability of the solid rear axle in gnarly off-road situations while also improving ride and handling.
“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,” said Damien Ross, Chief Program Engineer, Ranger Raptor, Ford Motor Company.
Powering the truck is a 2.0-liter twin-turbocharged inline four-cylinder diesel rated at 210 horsepower and 369 pound-feet of torque. We don’t expect this engine to come to North America, though it would be a great rival to the diesel in the Chevy Colorado ZR2.
Even the running board side steps got a thorough rethink. Ford says they were designed specifically to prevent rock spray from hitting the rear of the truck and incorporate holes to drain away sand, mud, and snow. A two-stage coating process involves the main step board firstly being powder-coated, before then having a robust grit-paint applied providing a rough-n-tough appearance that is also highly durable.
Ranger Raptor’s suspension has been crafted to tackle undulating terrain at high-speed while remaining in complete control and comfort. Sound familiar? Yeah, it’s a trick its big brother can do quite well, too. The Position Sensitive Damping shock absorbers are said to provide higher damping forces at full jounce and rebound to enable better off-road capabilities. Lower damping forces in the mid-travel zone should provide a comfy ride during on-road trips. Internal Bypass technology strikes again, as it does in the Colorado ZR2.
The truck also deploys a Terrain Management System, allowing drivers to select different driving modes though a five-button switch on the steering wheel. Normal and Sport modes are designed for on-road fun. Off the beaten track one can select either Grass/Gravel/Snow, Mud/Sand, Rock, or Baja modes.
The Baja mode is worth a paragraph all of its own. It is said to tune the truck for high-speed off-road performance, just like drivers need in the Baja 1000. 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. Superb.
At the rear, a modified rear bumper comes with an integrated tow bar and two recovery hooks. Backup sensors are flush-mounted to avoid being unceremoniously ripped off during wheeling. Towing capacity maxes out at 5500lbs.
Its design is fantastic, with this author being a fan of over-the-top styling cues like the blocky FORD billboard in the Ranger Raptor’s front grille. The front fenders are comprised of composite materials, meaning drivers can wheel and bash them over tough trails without inflicting the same amount of damage that would be suffered by steel or aluminum panels.
Like its big brother, the Ranger Raptor will be available in a variety of colors including blue, red, black, and white. A ‘hero colour’ of Conquer Grey is mentioned, likely reserved for this model. The trucks will come equipped with BFGoodrich A/T tires measuring 285/70/17.
Making the not-illogical leap that this machine will eventually show up on our shores, we’re looking forward to trying this Clever Girl for ourselves. We’ll keep you posted.