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September 23, 2022

Ford Spills The Secrets To The Next-Gen Ranger Raptor's Design

Hundreds of sketches, thousands of kilos of clay, and hundreds of liters of paint. People think of new cars being built by machines on production lines, but the first step in the process actually begins with artisans.

Like everything, the design of next-gen Ranger Raptor began with a brief. This brief forms the backbone of the design, confirming the inspiration and must-haves in the design.

Designers always start with a pencil and paper, sketching what they think the vehicle would look like. Once the sketches are approved (and there are hundreds of them), the digital design team recreates them virtually both as a master reference document, and to feed into the next step: clay modeling.

Using more than 4,000 kilograms of clay, 1/3 scale models and then full-size models are carved first by machines before the finishing touches are made by master sculptors. The design chiefs approve the clay design and it is ‘frozen’. Clay modelers also sculpt life-sized models of steering wheels, dashboards and seats.

While the clay modelers are working, the color and materials team start selecting the fabrics, textures, and colors to help emphasize the look and feel of the next-gen Ranger Raptor while conforming with the design DNA of the vehicle. Interior design works to ensure the Raptor’s interior feels like a cockpit but is also as practical as can be.

The end result is a Ranger Raptor with a bold and aggressive exterior that not only takes the Ranger to the next level, but clearly links it to the rest of the Raptor family.

Raptor vehicles are the pinnacle of off-road performance and while each model has its own personality, they need to contain Raptor-family design cues. These include bold F-O-R-D lettering stretching across the blacked-out grille with Matrix LED headlights that stretch fender to fender, durable steel front and rear bumpers built for rigorous off-roading, high-strength steel bash plate, functional hood and side vents, and wide fenders.

The Ranger Raptor contains all of those elements and further differentiates itself from the regular Ranger with a pumped hood dome hinting at the power underneath, twin exhaust tips tucked up high to avoid obstacles, and precision grey accents.

Inside, the Ranger Raptor had to deliver a commanding cabin that marries the look of a high-performance off-road race truck and a modern sportscar.

Ranger Raptor’s cabin is as expressive as the exterior with Ford Performance Code Orange splashes throughout. Covering the instrument panel and the top of the door panels is Terra Suede which is soft yet tough and easy to clean. Its matte finish also reduces glare and adds to the premium, performance vibe of the interior.

Unique to the Ranger Raptor, Ford Performance seats take their inspiration from the seats inside the F-22 Raptor jet fighter with grippy side bolstering designed to its occupants in place no matter the terrain. The seat materials too have been developed to have both a functional and aesthetic appeal with a newly developed ‘super matte’ seat trim, accented with suede.

Owners get a commanding cockpit feel with a new-design premium-grade leather steering wheel with a thick rim and thumb rests set off with an orange marker on the top of the rim and magnesium paddles for manual gear shifts. The Ranger Raptor-specific My Mode button allow owners to select Normal, Sport and Baja modes for the steering, suspension and exhaust (you can also select Quiet to ensure you stay on the good side of your neighbors).

Bringing the whole interior together is Ford’s new-to-Raptor configurable information-on-demand 12.4-inch digital instrument cluster, which has bespoke start-up animations befitting the pickup’s performance character. Complementing the digital cluster is a 12-inch portrait-style center touchscreen running Ford’s latest-generation SYNC 4A infotainment system.

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