Ford has confirmed its Ranger Raptor pickup will be sold in the UK in 2019, after the imposing new model broke cover at the Gamescom trade fair in Cologne, Germany. The Raptor is set apart by radical suspension that can allow it to drive over rough terrain at a higher speed than is usual.
RANGER RAPTOR CONFIRMED FOR UK NEXT YEAR (2019)
It’s fitted with race-bred Fox shock absorbers featuring 46.6mm pistons, supported by aluminium control arms and protruding front suspension towers. At the rear, the Ranger’s standard suspension is ditched in favour of coilovers and an integrated Watt’s linkage, and the chassis has been significantly reinforced to “withstand high-impact off-road events”. Position Sensitive Damping ramps up the damping forces in extreme use, while keeping the ride smoother on the road. To keep up with its added performance, the front brakes are upgraded to twin-piston calipers and 332mm discs are fitted at all four corners.
Envious pickup owners will be sure to notice its BF Goodrich tyres too, thanks to their size (285/70 R17), deep grooves and tough sidewalls are designed to keep the Raptor going in mud, sand and snow. They’re shrouded by oversized flared composite wheelarches and unlike many crossovers and SUVs, its front skid plate isn’t just a plastic styling feature, but wrought from 2.3mm thick steel.
Providing the grunt for the “thoroughbred desert racer” is a Bi-turbo 2.0-litre EcoBlue diesel engine with 210bhp and 367lb ft of torque, allied with Ford’s new 10-speed automatic gearbox. The low and high pressure turbochargers work in series to provide a wide power band and improved response at low revs, and the automatic gearbox is shared with the US-spec F-150 Raptor – the Ranger Raptor’s big brother that isn’t sold in Europe. There are magnesium paddle shifters so the driver can take manual control at any time and six driving modes.
Far from being stripped-out inside, the Ranger Raptor has bolstered seats, while suede, blue stitching and leather accents dominate the cabin, along with the rally-style steering wheel and Raptor logos. Ford’s Sync 3 infotainment system and eight-inch touchscreen offer navigation, entertainment and compatibility with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay. The navigation also has a “breadcrumb” function, that maps your route into unknown terrain, so you can find your way back to civilisation.
No prices have been announced yet, but expect to pay around £40,000 for the Thailand-built pick-up when it arrives in mid-2019. If that’s too long to wait, the Raptor is set to feature in Microsoft’s Forza Horizon 4 racing game in October.