The Raptor makes good on its promise of Baja Truck genetics in a package with registration plates and a three-year warranty. The ladder-frame chassis underpinning the standard Ranger pick-up has been strengthened with low-alloy steels, particularly in the vicinity of the front strut towers, which bear the considerable brunt of off-road gallivanting at high speeds.
At the back sits suspension entirely redesigned to better absorb impacts while retaining control. The leaf springs are therefore out, replaced by coil springs and a Watt’s linkage that fixes the axle’s lateral positioning more accurately.
Ford has also fitted a set of blue-sheaved Fox dampers whose travel is greater than standard by 32% at the front and 18% at the rear. Ground clearance has risen 30mm to 283mm, which means it gets the better of even Jeep’s most capable Wrangler, the Rubicon. Ford nevertheless equips the Raptor’s undersides with a steel bash plate some 2.3mm thick. At 850mm, the car’s wading depth beats most other serious off-roaders, too, and falls just 50mm short of the Range Rover’s figure. Grounding the Raptor is a set of 285/70 BF Goodrich KO2 tyres with an off-road tread pattern and toughened sidewalls.
The double-cab Ford is an enormous presence on the road. At 5363mm long and 2180mm wide, it is fractionally longer and wider than the Ranger XLT and has a larger footprint than even a Mercedes S-Class. The track widths themselves are up 150mm.