Thursday, September 7, 2017

UPDATED: Ford Confirms High-Performance Ranger Raptor for Asia-Pacific Market (w/ Video)


Update: Ford Philippines managing director, Bertrand Lessard, just confirmed that the Ford Ranger Raptor is heading to the Philippine market (9/19).

The Baja-conquering Ford F-150 Raptor is getting a sibling, and its name is the Ford Ranger Raptor. Ford broke the news today via social media confirming that the company has been busy working on a high-performance version of its Ranger pickup truck. Purpose-built and desert-racing inspired, Ford has confirmed that it’s coming to the Asia-Pacific region next year.

“We are very excited to bring Asia-Pacific’s toughest and smartest pickup truck to a whole new level,” said Trevor Worthington, vice president, product development, Ford Asia Pacific. “Ford Ranger Raptor will offer Ranger fans a fantastic opportunity to own an authentic off-road performance version of their favorite truck for the first time.”

Just like its bigger brother, the Ford Ranger Raptor will create a segment on its own, one that brings production trucks to the extreme level.

“Combining the Raptor’s advanced off-road capabilities with the versatility of the Ranger is a significant accomplishment for Ford’s world-class engineering and design teams,” said Jamal Hameedi, chief engineer, Ford Performance.


Details are scarce at the moment, but what’s known right now is that the Ranger Raptor isn’t just a case of a new body kit and wheels. The Ranger Raptor is the work of Ford Performance, the same division responsible for some of Ford’s highest-performance vehicles such as the Ford GT, Ford Mustang Shelby, Focus RS, Focus ST, and of course, the F-150 Raptor. Oh, and they are responsible for Ford’s racing efforts including the 24 Hours of Le Mans.

In the single high-speed testing teaser video released so far, the Ranger Raptor is seen power sliding and jumping effortlessly through a dusty makeshift course—full on Baja Racing style. Combing through the video, there are some interesting things that popped up.

First, is a signboard that reads “Conrod.” This could very well mean the Conrod Straight of the Mount Panorama Circuit in Bathurst, Australia which meant the Ranger Raptor was driven on a dirt track that echoes the famous Australian racing circuit, but only in full-on dirt.

Second, despite the heavy camouflage worn by the test vehicle, it’s easy to make out that the Ranger Raptor is getting unique body work that includes extended fenders, reworked bumpers, and even beefed up side panels. The wheels still look like they’re sporting 18-inchers, but with more aggressive (thicker) side walls. It could signify that the Ranger Raptor will be wearing all-terrain tires to help it navigate through treacherous terrain easily.


Third, from the quick exterior and interior shot cuts, the Ranger Raptor looks like it’s still riding on the current Ranger T6 platform. However, it looks like it’ll be getting a unique suspension system with beefed up parts (could the F-150 Raptor’s trick Fox shocks make an appearance?) and a raised ride height. It may get a unique front and rear fascia to differentiate it from the other variants of the Ranger.

Finally, though most of the clip is drowned with a sound track, the engine roaring to life at the video’s beginning suggests that the Ranger Raptor may be running a gasoline engine. Several media outlets are suggesting that it might get a de-tuned version of the F-150 Raptor’s 3.5-liter EcoBoost V6 engine. While that is possible for the US market, where the Ranger will be made available by next year, in Asia, it’s highly likely that it’ll continue with a tweaked version of the current 3.2-liter inline-5 turbo diesel engine. It may benefit though from a new gearbox which is expected to switch to a 10-speed automatic from the current 6-speed automatic. All in all, this should improve the Ranger Raptor’s performance and economy considerably compared to the Ranger Wildtrak variant.

Ford Philippines has neither confirmed nor denied whether they plan to bring in the Ranger Raptor into the country. However, they have opened a teaser page on their website (link here) which indicates their seriousness to launch the Ranger Raptor into the country.

While speculations all run wild at the moment about the Ford Ranger Raptor’s announcement, watch the full clip below to appreciate what it can do.

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