FORD Ranger Raptor revealed - Ford's Halo Truck

Ranger Raptor The $80K tradie ride

Right about now you're probably wondering what engine Ford chose to power the Ranger Raptor. Jaded? Maybe, but a smaller version of the Baja-conquering F-150 Raptor was too obvious not to happen - and anyway, we've known the truck has been in development for months now. It will be available in Australia later this year but only powered by the 2.0-litre diesel engine, which produces 156kW and 500Nm.

From the fat fenders to the upgraded suspension, the Ranger Raptor looks just like a small-scale F-150 Raptor. Mated to this engine is a 10-speed automatic transmission that is shared with the F-150. You also get reinforced spare-tyre mounting cross members, adapted to the Raptor's larger 17-inch wheel and off-road tyre package. While the Ranger Raptor is wider overall, it doesn't seem like the bed's interior dimensions have been increased.

"That's what the Raptor is - it's not about horsepower, it's not about torque; it's having enough horsepower and enough torque to do the job but it's not a focal point". The solid rear axle will use a combination of coilovers and a Watt's linkage, allowing for vertical movement without lateral play, for improved ride and handling. Numerous parts in this truck, Ford stressed at a number of points, can not be found on the aftermarket. Let's start at the top with the F-150 Raptor, which starts at just a hair under $50,000 and can quickly jump into the mid-60s with options.

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The gold standard for high-speed off-road truck suspension has been the Raptor since it debuted in 2009. The Blue Oval hasn't given us many specs on the smaller truck's setup, but we're betting it didn't skimp here, given the Ranger Raptor's quoted 11.1 inches of ground clearance and a 32.5-degree approach angle. However, it's clear that the new model has been engineered in both left- and right-hand drive, and a Ford insider told us that the United Kingdom would be lobbying hard to be able to sell the Raptor. Combining the regular model's go-anywhere capabilities with the added firepower you'd come to expect from a Raptor, the go-faster pickup truck set to be built in Thailand builds upon the F-150 Raptor and comes in a dual cab flavor. What Ford is doing in the Ranger Raptor, though, deserves some extra attention.

On the tech side, the Ranger Raptor boasts a Terrain Management System with six different modes - two onroad and four offroad.

Rock mode - Used specifically for low-speed rocky terrain where smooth controllability is key. Gear selection is optimized for maximum performance, and the mapping will hold gears longer and downshift more aggressively.

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Sport and normal are the only on-road settings while off-road gets modes for rock; grass, gravel and snow; mud and sand; and a unique "Baja" mode that's tuned for high-speed off-road performance that Ford says is "just like drivers in the famous Baja Desert Rally need".

Ranger's 8.0-inch SYNC3 touch-screen infotainment screen carries over and offers connectivity such as Bluetooth, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, but its satellite navigation gains a special off-road bread crumb feature for Hansel and Gretel style waypoint marking.

In terms of electronics, it gets some good gear, from Ford's SYNC 3 voice command system, to stability control, roll mitigation, trailer sway control, hill start assist, hill descent control, load adaptive control, electric power-assisted steering, lane keep assist and rollover mitigation.

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