PREDATOR OF ALL TERRAINS | THE FORD RANGER RAPTORPosted On: February 19, 2019 By : AutoLife Team
The Raptor was introduced and depicted as a fearsome dinosaur from the Jurassic Park series. In the Jurassic Park series, the Raptor was a predator capable of turning anything into its prey. Powerful, swift, intelligent and dexterous is what we know the Raptor to be and that is what happens with Ford’s Raptors. When it comes to Ford, they’ve been renowned for their performance vehicles, their classic American muscles cars and their impressive line-up of pick-up trucks. It would be an understatement to say that Ford has been making a name for itself even now. With that being said, the Raptor is a title which their higher performance variant of their pickup line gets such their iconic F-150 Raptor. And although it wasn’t necessary since Ford was already a strong contender in this market with the Ford Ranger, they have stepped up their game even further with the 2018 Ranger Raptor!
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When we received word that the Ranger Raptor is what we’re going to test drive, we instantly had grins on our face, then after watching a video of the Ranger Raptor in action, our grins got even wider and finally on the day of the test drive, we smiled like never before. It is definitely a pleasure to bring you the official review of the awesome 2018 Ford Ranger Raptor.
The Ranger Raptor is based on the Ford Ranger. From the first look, you can see the signature block letter-grille, muscular haunches and frame mounted bumper which gives the Ranger Raptor an imposing and bold stance. The Ranger Raptor, designed to be an off-road monster and to exhibit its all-terrain capability gets an ultra-strength frame with a gigantic bash plate along with an elevated design for its stance. This truck definitely has the street presence that the title of “Raptor” deserves; the test drive was filled with moments where a lot of heads turned to witness the Ranger Raptor. The headlights come from the Endeavor with the LED DRLs (Daytime Running Lamps). The LED fog light is located low in the front bumper and is integrated in the same section as the airflow curtains for better aerodynamics.
Being a part of the Raptor series, this vehicle is taller, longer, higher and wider than the normal Ranger as it can be seen clearly at the side of the headlights because the otherwise flush mounted headlights close to the edge of the body are now mounted more inwards due to the wider body. This, plus the flared wheel arches, give it a very wide stance. While we’re talking about the wheels, the Raptor rides on tailor made 33-inch off-road tires which come from their partnership with Goodrich Tires. These massive tires are handled by 2.5-inch Fox Shock Absorbers that will take on any kind of terrains and obstacles with ease.
On the side, the running board is made out of a tough material to be sturdy in preparation to withstand the abuse that’s likely to be thrown at it. The running board comes in really handy as the ride height has gone up to 283mm, which will make getting in and out of the truck easier. The tailgate features an integrated bumper with uniquely styled tow bar with electrical connectors and 3D Raptor badging.
The interior too comes in with exciting features! The seats get alcantara leather upholstery which for the most part is only found in high end sports cars and luxury cars. The seats upfront are replaced by sport seats with superb side bolstering; this keeps you in place when you are ripping through the off-road trails. The seats are comfortable and look very nice with the Raptor logo imprinted onto them. The steering wheel is wrapped with perforated leather and gets a red strip on the top of the steering wheel to let the driver know where the wheel is exactly pointing. Behind the steering wheel is where the magnesium paddle shifters are located. The magnesium paddles, unlike most paddle shifters that are made out of plastic, add that premium touch and are easy to find while turning the wheel which comes from its large size.
The dash is laid out nicely with the 8-inch infotainment system taking center stage. The touch screen comes loaded with SYNC 3 Apple CarPlay & Android Auto which is intuitive and easy to use. All the other buttons are laid out neatly and are easy to find. The back-seat comfort is pretty good too considering much of the length of the truck is taken by the loading area. The back seats are a tad bit upright but doesn’t pose much of an issue and the rear seat passengers had no complaints while traversing the varying terrains.
PERFORMANCE AND HANDLING
The Ranger Raptor is powered by a turbocharged 1996cc diesel engine capable of producing 210 HP @ 3750 RPM and 500 Nm of torque @ 1750-2000 RPM. Despite the engine being dependent on the turbos for its power source, there weren’t any noticeable turbo lag as the engine was punchy and responsive. Once the turbos are at full boost and the powerband is optimum, be prepared for a bull rodeo! The Ranger Raptor is deceivingly fast and it makes you question how a truck so big and heavy can move like that. You also can decide whether the truck itself will do the shifting or you take control with the magnesium paddle shifters, either way the responsive 10-speed automatic transmission which the engine is mated to will do its job.
You know the suspension setup is capable when you find out it gives 30% more-wheel travel in comparison to the stock Ranger’s setup. The 2.5-inch Fox Shocks make a seamless work going over cragged terrains. Not only that, but the truck gets 33-inch all terrain tires and the earlier mentioned huge bash plate made out of 2.3mm thick high-strength steel that is designed to absorb the impact from almost any off-road impact.
The Raptor gets 3 on-road modes and 3 off-road modes to get the optimum result in all conditions. The modes on offer are Sport mode, Weather mode and Normal mode for the road while the Baja mode Mud/Sand mode and Rock Crawl mode are for the offroad use purposes. Other features on the Ranger Raptor include Rollover Mitigation, Hill Launch Assist, Hill Descent Control, Trailer Sway Control and Load Adaptive Control. With such features, the Electronic Stability Program on the truck has been designed to maintain control in tough terrains and while hauling heavy loads. All of these features make the Ranger Raptor an offroad beast with so much potential.
We even tested these features out specially the Rollover Mitigation System where we deliberately tried upsetting the balance of the Raptor with sudden sharp turns but alas, such simple maneuvers could not upset the Ranger Raptor. After our failure, we decided to have some more fun, so we turned off the traction control in the 4X2 mode and gave it full throttle! The immense torque that rolls in down low gets the rear wheel spinning independently with the front wheel trying to catch up to the rear wheel. Goosebumps and grins spread across the Autolife team as the Ranger Raptor went rampant!
Aside from all the fun we had, the Ranger Raptor is a dream machine with marvelous off-road performance and is capable of incredible feats in the right hands. Something that might limit the Raptors could come from its size as the vehicle bolsters a massive body while our traffic provides the tiniest moving space which could prove to be troublesome. Priced at Rs. 1,25,00,000/-, it is the most expensive pickup truck on offer in the country but with the performance and its capabilities to justify its price tag, you get what you pay for. If you are looking for the ultimate pickup truck in Nepal without having to make much modifications to it then this is the vehicle that you should be looking into.