MELBOURNE, February 7, 2018 – The first-ever Ranger Raptor, Ford’s latest off-road, performance pick-up truck, blasted out from behind its camouflage during a reveal event in Thailand today.
The ultimate Ranger is purposefully designed, built and tested to set a benchmark as the only factory-built performance truck across Asia Pacific. Designed by Ford Performance team for the true enthusiast off-roader, Ford Ranger Raptor strengthens Ford’s commitment to deliver high performance pickup trucks to our customers.
“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 Ford Performance team is excited to extend the Raptor name from our flagship off-road performance F-150 to Ranger. Just like the F-150 Raptor, the Ranger Raptor builds upon the core capability of the range of vehicles it comes from and carries the unmistakable Ford Performance DNA appearance.”
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.
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 is 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.
Starting from the ground up, the side steps are a cut above the rest. The step boards were designed specifically to prevent rock spray from hitting the rear of the truck and the holes have been designed to drain sand, mud and snow. The tough high-strength aluminium alloy die-cast main step board is designed for durability, undergoing testing which includes a load of 100kg being applied 84,000 times to simulate over 10 years in the field. A two-stage coating process involves the main step board firstly being powder-coated, before then having a robust grit-paint applied which results in a tough appearance that is also highly durable – scuff, scratch, stain-resistant with superior resistance to environmental weathering.
At the rear, a modified rear bumper comes with an integrated tow bar and two recovery hooks rated at 3.8 tonnes. Updated styling to the rear includes flush sensor bezels and specially packaged and styled tow connectors. Providing an abundance of space, the 1560mm x 1743mm 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 unique frame that is 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.
“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.
“Everything about the Ranger Raptor builds on the already outstanding sophisticated feel and functional capability of the Ranger, and then goes further. From a driving dynamic fun standpoint, it is really an exceptionally special vehicle.”
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.
The dampers are exclusively manufactured by Fox Racing Shox with 46.6mm piston for front and rear. Designed for off-road endurance terrain, the dampers, coupled with the long travel suspension, allow for an unsurpassed damping performance off-road and a plushest of rides on-road thanks to Internal Bypass technology.Holding them in place are the forged aluminium upper arms and cast aluminium lower arms to facilitate greater suspension travel and optimized for performance and extreme off-road durability.