Ford has kicked off the marketing campaign for its Ranger Raptor by confirming that we’ll be seeing the new ‘performance ute’ in 2018. Besides a handful of camo ‘spy-style’ photographs Ford revealed very little of significance about the Raptor in yesterday’s press release.
There is of course the usual marketing fluff and no, we aren’t going to spare you the fun of trudging through it!
“We are very excited to bring Asia Pacific’s toughest and smartest pickup truck to a whole new level,” said Trevor Worthington, vice president, product development, Ford Asia Pacific. “Ford Ranger Raptor will offer Ranger fans a fantastic opportunity to own an authentic off-road performance version of their favourite truck for the first time.”
“Combining the Raptor’s advanced off-road capabilities with the versatility of the Ranger is a significant accomplishment for Ford’s world-class engineering and design teams,” said Jamal Hameedi, chief engineer, Ford Performance.
And our favourite press release bite has to be, “With its bold appearance and extreme, off-road performance features, Ford Ranger Raptor represents a new and distinctive breed of truck.”
We’ll be waiting with bated breath to see just how bold and extreme the toughest and smartest pick-up in the Asia Pacific region really is, remembering that ‘extreme’ for most Aussie ‘specials’ is a few stickers, some black alloys and a ‘Black Edition’ badge.
The Ranger Raptor should in theory reset the bar, and be the first 4X4 ute of its kind to feature mechanical upgrades that match the beefed up looks. We know that Ford has been conducting local testing of the Raptor and that it is running the coil sprung, solid axle rear end out of the Everest.
Recent rumours have suggested that there may be a version of Ford’s 336kW/690Nm 3.5-litre EcoBoost petrol V6 under the Raptor’s big wobbly bonnet and that would push it into ‘extreme’ adjective territory. It’s more likely that a re-tuned version of the current 147kW/470Nm 3.2-litre five-cylinder diesel will be at the heart of the Raptor, which is a little more ho-hum.
Either way, Ford’s new 10-speed automatic transmission is expected to be the tranny of choice, and that will – if it’s geared to do so – potentially make the Raptor hard to beat off road.
What’s bigger than a Ranger? It’s price of course and the one thing about the new Raptor that we’d say you could take to the bank is a wheelbarrow full of cash; this is one bird that is never going to be cheap.
If you want to see the camo’d Raptor tearing up some red dirt then click here.