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Friday, September 18, 2020

The 2020 Ford Ranger FX4 Max Just Made the Ranger Raptor Useless

Don’t adjust your screens. What you’re looking at isn’t the Ford Ranger Raptor; this here is the Ranger FX4 Max. A tad short of the full-on Raptor treatment, the Ranger FX4 Max is Ford’s answer for those looking for increased off-road capability without any detriment to payload.

It must be remembered that highly capable as the Ranger Raptor is, it does compromise on one thing: payload capacity. With a maximum rating of 766 kilograms, it may fall short for those who use their pickup trucks as a weekday workhorse. With the Ranger FX4 Max, that payload goes up to 981 kilograms—a full 215 kilograms more than the Raptor.

Yet, the Ranger FX4 Max is a case of having your cake and eating it too as it does get styling heavily inspired by the Ranger Raptor.

It starts with the “FORD” lettered front mesh grille with a dark gray surround, dark gray skid plate, mirror caps, door handles, wheel arch moldings, and rear tray surrounds. It’s even available in the previously exclusive-to-Raptor Conquer Gray paintwork. It also comes in Alabaster White—the first pearlescent color offered on the Ranger. Unlike the Raptor though, the Ranger FX4 Max gets a full-length tubular sports bar (similar to the FX4).

Aside from looks, the Ranger FX4 Max is endowed with an imposing presence, achieved through changes including new 2.0-inch monotube Fox shock absorber for the front and back (it retains the traditional leaf springs though, but tuned for greater off-road compliance), new front jounce bumpers, a 29-mm front stabilizer bar, and BF Goodrich All-Terrain K02 265/70R17 tires—the same ones fitted as OE on the Ranger Raptor (albeit a bit narrower and shorter).

All in all, the Ranger FX4 features a 20-mm in suspension lift. Together with the all-terrain tires, it gives an outright ground clearance to 256 mm (up 19 from the Ranger XLT, but still down 27 from the Raptor). In addition, it delivers greater approach and departure angles than the standard Ranger, to take full advantage of its switchable 4x4 system.

Under the hood, the Ranger FX4 Max uses the same 213 horsepower, 500 Nm of torque 2.0-liter bi-turbo engine and 10-speed automatic as the Ranger Raptor. In order to support its role as a weekend warrior, Ford has decided to fit a larger 250-amp alternator.

Inside, the FX4 Max is also clearly inspired by the Ranger Raptor. It gets carbon accents, all-weather floor mats, Miko suede inserts on the seats, sport pedals, and a leather wrapped steering wheel. It also adds a feature seen in the US-market Ranger Tremor as well—six upfitter auxiliary switches on the center console, above the 8-inch touchscreen infotainment system. Oh, and despite the changes to the FX4 Max’s suspension, Ford’s host of safety systems and driver aids will work.

Currently, the Ranger FX4 Max is exclusively on offer in Australia where it will go on sale late this year. Still no word whether Ford will soon offer it to more markets around the world. Down under, it is sold for AUD 65,940 or P 2.332 million. In comparison, the Ranger Raptor is sold there for around AUD 74,990 or P 2.654-million.


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