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July 26, 2018

First Drive: 2019 Ford Ranger Raptor (w/ Specs, Video)

The Australian Outback—a harsh, unforgiving dingo eat dingo world. Stretching some 160,000 square kilometers, it’s untouched, raw, brutal—the sort of environment where only the toughest survive. It’s here, in a relatively small 4,000-square kilometer patch up in Northern Territory that the Ranger Raptor is given its first shakedown.

Inspired by rally raid trucks, the Ranger Raptor takes a plebian Ranger and dials everything up to 11. It starts by taking an Everest platform, then stretching its wheelbase by 370 millimeters, widening its tracks by 150 millimeters, and beefing up all the welds and suspension components. The result is a truck that can readily handle punishing surfaces that most others can’t even survive. It also offers more breathing room for adventure: 283 millimeters of ground clearance, 32.5-degree approach, 24-degree departure, and 24-degree breakover angle, and a class-leading 850 millimeters of water wading.

What these raw numbers don’t capture though is how the Ranger Raptor has become a performance machine capable of running circles around everyone else not just on the trail, but on the tarmac as well. The chassis is actually the best part simply because it’s perfect. Ford didn’t simple do a quick chop and change here. Instead, they’ve taken the Ranger’s suspension apart, tweaked it, and put it all back together forming a cohesive and unified whole. From the frame to the shock absorbers to the tires—everything works in unison making this the best handling pickup truck, full stop.

On the 145-kilometer transport stage from Darwin to Tipperary Station, the road network varies greatly from long, straight highways to curving one-lane mountain passes to rutted and corrugated side roads. Whatever the surface, the Ranger Raptor blows the mind at how secure and planted it feels. It may not be able to change direction as quickly as a sports car, but its tires don’t squeal in protest either. Where a regular truck would kick the back-end and scuttle the body slightly, this one takes the hit nicely and keeps the rear-end settled. With its Watt’s Linkage rear-end, Fox shock absorbers, and bespoke BF Goodrich K02 tires, it’s a surprisingly agile machine.

As the roads end and the trails begin, it’s time to experience what the Ranger Raptor is truly made for.

Heading for “The Oasis,” a camp within Tipperary Station set up by Ford, requires driving though about 20 kilometers of semi-compacted dirt road. Filled with bulldust—a fine, coarse red dust found commonly found in the Outback and giant potholes, the Ranger Raptors were released one by one to attack this terrain at full speed. The first hundred meters or so necessitated a re-think: brake at every undulation or trust the suspension and take it flat out? It all changed the first time it lands with grace after catching a big enough bump: it’s unexpectedly soft, gentle, and controllable. After that, the confidence level just shoots up. Flooring the accelerator, the stability control momentarily lights up, but resist the urge to let go and see the speedometer spin like crazy—80, 100, 130, 160 km/h—at full throttle, it picks up momentum quickly, kicking up an endless plume of dust in the process.

The secret to the Ranger Raptor’s composure over every conceivable surface is the Fox shock absorbers. Offering 30 percent more travel than the standard Ranger, these 2.5-inch shock absorbers have the brand’s proprietary Internal Bypass system. It’s a suspension double-act with the ability to be plush in the “cruising zone,” yet stiffer by up to 10 times at the bump and rebound ends of the stroke. It also has the ability to withstand 1g of additional impact forces—making it immensely durable. And it should: Ford reckons that a set of four equals half the cost of the engine.

When not attacking the Outback at high speeds, the Ranger Raptor uses the Ranger’s four-wheel drive system which remains one of the best in the business. Not only is it easy to use with its rotary dial that switches between high-range two- and high- and low-range four-wheel drive, but there are clearly marked controls for the rear differential lock and hill descent control as well. The tires do a great job of digging in, while the torque shifts effortlessly between the front and rear axles. It truly feels unstoppable.

Unique to the Ranger Raptor though is its multitude of underbody protection. Upfront, there’s a 2.3-millimeter thick high-strength steel bash plate to prevent rocks and other sharp objects from damaging the engine including all the cooling elements, the step boards are now made of magnesium to prevent any rock chips from hitting the side body panels, and even the exhaust pipe has been moved to before the rear differential instead of right after it.

With all of the Ranger Raptor’s newfound ability, perhaps it’s a bit disappointing to find such a small engine under the hood. Incorporating a small high-pressure variable-geometry turbo and a larger low-pressure turbo, this 2.0-liter 4-cylinder makes 213 horsepower and 500 Nm of torque—numbers that don’t necessarily blow away the competition. Yet, Ford still quotes a 170 km/h top speed and a 10.5-second 0-100 km/h time—half a second quicker than the outgoing 3.2.

Despite the marginally faster acceleration time on paper, this new bi-turbo engine does lack the standing-start grunt of the older engine. However, after a split-second of delay, it does deliver a sense of urgency amplified no doubt by the 10-speed automatic. It’s also quieter, smoother, and with a much more pleasant note compared to before. It spins far more freely and never sounds clattery or strained. Equipped with an idle start/stop system (at least for the Australian market), it does 9.80 km/L after some hard on- and off-road driving.

Additionally, Ford says there shouldn’t be any cause for alarm when it comes to longevity, since it’s undergone the full gamut of durability testing including heating both turbos at the point that it glows red for 200 hours non-stop while the high-grade turbo housing itself is built to withstand exhaust temperatures of 860 degrees Celsius.

Images of the Ranger Raptor jumping over crests and power sliding in the sand dunes will forever be ingrained in everyone’s mind. But beyond its ludicrous abilities to tackle these conditions, it’s not a one-trick machine. Let’s face it: 99 percent of owners won’t even take their Ranger Raptors off-road, but it doesn’t matter. What matters is that it’s a true engineering masterpiece that appeals to both hardcore off-roaders and city slickers alike. The fact that it can do all that off-road stuff is great, but what it can do on the tarmac is the one that impresses even more. It’s great for the harsh Australian Outback for sure, but it’s even better suited for an even harsher environment: the pothole-ridden, flood-prone roads that Manileños call home.

2019 Ford Ranger Raptor Major Specifications
  • Engine: 2.0-liter Bi-turbo 4-Cylinder, Common Rail Direct Injection
  • Maximum Power: 213 horsepower @ 3,750 rpm
  • Maximum Torque: 500 Nm @ 1,750-2,000 rpm
  • Fuel Tank Capacity: 80 Liters
  • Transmission: 10-speed Automatic with Magnesium Paddle Shifters
  • Front Suspension: Independent, MacPherson Struts with FOX 2.5-inch shock absorbers
  • Rear Suspension: Watt’s Link Coil Spring with FOX 2.5-inch shock absorbers
  • Front Brakes: 332 mm x 32 mm, Vented Disc
  • Rear Brakes: 332 mm x 24 mm, Vented Disc
  • Overall Length: 5,398 mm
  • Overall Height: 1,873 mm
  • Overall Width: 2,028 mm
  • Front and Rear Track: 1,710 mm
  • Wheelbase: 3,220 mm
  • Ground Clearance: 283 mm
  • Wading Depth: 850 mm
  • Approach Angle: 32.5 degrees
  • Departure Angle: 24.0 degrees
  • Breakover Angle: 24.0 degrees
  • Curb Weight: 2,332 kilograms
  • Maximum Towing Capacity: 2,500 kilograms
  • Maximum Payload Capacity: 758 kilograms
Exterior Features:
  • Black 17-inch alloy wheels
  • 33-inch BF Goodrich All-Terrain T/A KO2 (285/70 R 17)
  • HID Headlamps
  • LED Daytime Running Lights
  • LED Front Fog Lights
  • Heavy Duty Side Steps
Interior Features:
  • Front Sport Seats with Leather/Suede Accents
  • 8-Way Power Adjust Driver’s Seat
  • Leather Steering Wheel and Shift Knob
  • Dual Zone Climate Control
  • Electrochromatic Rearview Mirror
  • 230-volt Inverter in Rear Console
  • Automatic Headlamps
  • Rain-sensing Wipers
  • Smart Keyless Entry with Push-button Start
  • Power Tailgate Lock
Audio and Communication:
  • 2 x USB Ports
  • 4.2-inch Color Multi-function Display
  • 8-inch Color Touchscreen Infotainment System
  • SYNC 3 with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto
  • 6 Speakers
  • Bluetooth Phone and Audio Connectivity
  • 6 Airbags
  • Anti-lock Braking System
  • Dynamic Stability Control
  • Emergency Brake Light
  • Hill Descent Control
  • Hill Descent Assist
  • Lane Keeping Aid with Lane Departure Warning
  • Load Adaptive Control
  • eLocking Rear Differential
  • Rear Parking Sensors 
  • Rear View Camera
  • Roll Over Mitigation
  • Terrain Management System 


  1. sir uly, i'm actually interested on raptor for long travel purposes... using the fox shocks, do you think it can rival the softer ride of asian suv's or rides even better?..

    Our highway systems comprise of potholes, rugged / cut concretes, jumping approach bridges, etc... I'm dreaming of a pickup (car i need) where it can traverse all of it at higher speed, while my passengers comfortably sleeping along the way... thank you.

    1. Our drive consistent of various terrain including highways and rather poor country roads.

      Overall, the ride felt's more crossover than SUV-like. I'd say its on-road feel is close to Land Cruisers in terms of ride (or at least that's how I remember the Land Cruiser's ride).

  2. Vroom vroom vroom!!!!!!!! Ranger Raptor!!!!!!!

  3. Sir uly, are you pertaining to LC200 ride quality? Well even to older model LC, id say thats terrific!

    I dont mind the underpower feel of 2.0 bi turbo diesel engine.. no radar cruise control, but as per interior picture, raptor has the normal cruise control... No AEB? Im Okey with that..

    Im just hoping that Fox shocks lives up to its name in terms of durability...

    Now waiting for the Official Ford Ph price (Lets Go Train LAW)..
    and the warranty included with the unit,

    Please FORD, grant my christmas gift.. :-)

    1. No AEB, no active cruise control. Only lane assist.

      Ford says they're working on introducing it for the Ranger Raptor, but it's going to be a safe bet that we won't see those tech until a year or two after launch.

  4. Ford THAILAND Pricing
    Thai to Phil Peso = 1.6

    3.2 wildtrak 4x4 = 1,199,000 (thai bat)
    Php 1,918,000

    Ranger raptor = 1,699,000(thai bat)
    Php 2,718,400

    Ford PH Pricing

    3.2 wildtrak 4x4 = 1,628,000

    Ranger raptor = using math equation

    1,918,000: 1,628,000 = 2,718,400: ?

    = Php 2,307,380

    Estimated Ranger Raptor Price maybe 2.3 M or above...

    Sulit kaya sa 2.3 or 2.4 M ranger raptor if ever?

    I think More than 2.5 M is too much..

    1. Pretty much spot on. 2.3M is my estimate too hshs

    2. Personally? I think it's going to be P 2.595M.

    3. Sir ULY in thailand, the TOTL everest 2.0 bi turbo has a price tag of 1.799M compared to raptor 1.699 M.

      Do you think the raptor will be priced here more than the totl Everest like in Australia? (everest $74,000, raptor $75,000)...

      As per out TRAIN law, Pickup truck is tax free.

      Well ive already made a refundable reservation.. lets see FORD PH..

      Crossing my finger again :-)

    4. I'd be shocked if they're going to price it below the Everest...that'll pretty much kill the Everest. Sadly, our market isn't ready for overlapping price in cars competing in different segments. Above Everest is likely, but it won't make any sense for them to price it above Mustang EcoBoost too.

  5. If ranger raptor price will be

    2.2 M and below = Pwede Na
    2.2 to 2.4 M = esep esep
    2.4 and above = Ayawan Na

  6. Hi sir,

    is the new bi turbo 2.0l engine used could rival the durabilitiy of the new hilux engine?

    I am thinking to swap my 2016 4x4 toyota revo for this raptor.what do you suggest sir?


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