What is it?
It’s a Ford Raptor, but not the Ford Raptor - you know, the American big pick-up with the engine from the Ford GT.
This is the more Euro-friendly Ford Ranger Raptor, a compact truck rather than an F-150, with an engine from Dagenham. But it’s still a ‘Ford Performance’ vehicle, so it’s claimed.
It’s better sized for our roads than an F-150, for sure, although these things are still relative, what with double-cab pick-ups being large cars generally, and this one being larger than the standard Ranger.
At 5398mm long, then, this Baja-inspired truck is 44mm longer than the standard worksite wagon, 2028mm wide (up 168mm) and 1873mm high (up 52mm), all because it’s beefier off-road. And how. Its separate ladder chassis has been strengthened at the front around the shock towers, along the front rails, and completely redesigned at the back, where the old leaf springs have been ditched, and there are coil springs and a Watt’s linkage to help locate the live rear axle and stop it swaying. There are uprated springs all around, and Fox motorsport dampers. It has been tuned to be at its best, off road, at speed, without loads. A rough track sports car, if you like.
That means ground clearance is now 283mm, up 51mm or 30%, approach and departure angles are improved and there are 17in alloy wheels bearing BF Goodrich KO2 tyres. As such, the Raptor, sitting atop the Ranger range and available with a double-cab body only, costs £48,785 on the road including VAT – £10,000 more than the next most expensive Ranger. More on which in a moment.
Power comes from a twin-turbocharged four-cylinder 2.0 diesel rather than that more eager V6 petrol, slightly disappointingly, but such is life; move to the States if you want displacement. This is the first application of the twin turbo unit and it develops 210bhp and 367lb ft, which drives two or four wheels in high ratio, or four wheels in low ratio, through a 10-speed automatic gearbox with titanium flappy paddles, and is good enough to propel this 2510kg high-performance vehicle to 62mph in, er, 10.5sec, and onto 106mph. High performance in truck-speak is apparently not the same as high performance in the passenger car world.
But if it looks the part, that’s because, in the chassis department, it is. And as with a high-performance passenger car where, sometimes, chassis changes or big exhausts limit boot space or towing capacity, something has had to give here, too. The Ranger Raptor’s payload capacity and towing limit have both taken a dive, from over a tonne to 620kg, and from 3.5 tonnes to 2.5 tonnes respectively, which probably wouldn’t trouble too many owners, but does mean you can’t claim the VAT back in the UK because it’s no longer a commercial vehicle.