Sci-tech

Ranger Raptor Becomes Offical Down Under - Should It Come To The US?

Ranger Raptor Becomes Offical Down Under - Should It Come To The US?

One of the first things we thought when we saw the 2019 Ford Ranger was, nice truck and all, but when are they making the Raptor version?

Numerous details of the hotly anticipated Ford Ranger Raptor have been revealed.

Off the beaten path, the 2018 Ford Raptor Ranger additionally benefits from a new bash plate made from 2.3mm thick steel, plus some engine and transfer case guards, as well as protection for the radiator, front cross-member, engine sump and front differential. Mated to this engine is a 10-speed automatic transmission that is shared with the F-150.

Ford says the transmission helps improve acceleration and responsiveness, largely thanks to the span of ratios. Hooks are found up front, too, with a 4.5-ton rating. And since off-roading is what the Ranger Raptor was designed for, it features 32.5-inch approach, 24-degree ramp over, and 24-degree departure angles.

A modified rear bumper houses an integrated tow bar, and recovery hooks rated at 3.8 tonnes. The Ranger Raptor will be rolling out later this year in the Asia-Pacific region. Contrasting Dyno Grey accents helps to accentuate the vehicle's look even further.

Inside, there are unique seats designed for high-speed off-roading, trimmed in "technical suede". The steering wheel also features a red centre mark strip, a touch normally reserved for race cars, just incase you forget your steering angle input. And a Watt's linkage rear suspension design with coilover springs builds lateral stability for the rear axle in the really gnarly stuff.

There's also a unique "bash plate" underneath, while the tyres have been specially developed, with tough side walls and a special tread pattern created to give grip in mud, snow and sand. Holding a strong presence, each tyre measures 838mm in diameter and 285mm in width. So, not only is the frame tougher and stiffer, but the brakes have been upgraded too. There will be one Raptor model, so essentially outside of colour choice it's a one size fits all dual-cab. The ZR2 gets something like nine different powertrain configurations with its series of locking diffs and various two and four-wheel-drive modes, plus "Off-Road Mode". Gear selection is optimized for maximum performance, and the mapping will hold gears longer and downshift more aggressively.

Baja mode - Vehicle responsiveness is tuned for high-speed off-road performance, just like drivers need in the famous Baja Desert Rally.

Changing parameters such as shifting pattern, throttle response and traction control is Ford's Terrain Management System (TMS) which has been re-tuned for the Raptor and features six modes that can be easily access via controls mounted to the steering wheel.

Finally, the Ranger Raptor is equipped with the same technology suite seen on high-grades of the ute, including an 8.0-inch Sync 3 infotainment system with satellite navigation, a rear-view camera, and a range of driver-assist systems.

Just like the new Raptor, there's no V8 under the bonnet. Boo.

On the back of this Baja Mode, when asked about racing the Ranger Raptor Ford Performance Chief Engineer, Jamal Hameedi said "if you don't want to race a vehicle, you can't work it for performance". The new model brings the styling and performance sensibilities of the iconic F-150 Raptor to a smaller Blue Oval package for the first time, and a cursory glance is all it takes to see the resemblance.