Following a rather unconventional preview at Gamescom 2018, the all-new Ford Ranger Raptor now gets a proper auto show debut at the IAA Commercial Vehicle Show in Hannover.
Ford is using this occasion to unleash full details about the off-road capability of its midsize performance pickup, so let’s delve into what the first-ever Ranger Raptor brings new to the table.
The 210-hp Raptor offers 283 mm (11.1 inches) of ground clearance, 56 mm (2.2 in) more than the stock Ranger. Add to that the 32.5-degree approach angle and 24-degree ramp-over and departure angles, and you get a pretty good idea of what the Raptor can do off the beaten track.
For those moments in which you feel like you might exceed the truck’s capabilities, there’s unique underbody protection designed to deflect off-road obstacles. In addition to the Ranger’s standard engine and transfer case under-shields, the automaker has added a new bash plate made from 23-mm (0.9-inch) thick high-strength steel.
Also contributing to the truck’s ruggedness is the reinforced chassis frame that uses high-strength, low-alloy steels designed to withstand the stress brought by off-road racing. Compared to the standard Ranger, the Raptor has a 150-mm (5.9-in) wider track, and a suspension created to tackle “fearsome terrain at high-speed while remaining in complete control and comfort.”
The Fox shock absorbers with 46.6-mm (1.83-in) pistons and Position Sensitive Damping, as well as the rear coilover setup with Watts linkage, help increase front damper travel by 32 percent and rear travel by 18 percent compared to the standard Ranger.
All this sophisticated hardware is controlled by the Terrain Management System which offers six modes. There’s Normal mode, Sport mode for spirited on-road driving, Grass/Gravel/Snow mode, Mud/Sand mode, Rock mode, and Baja mode. The latter tunes responses for high-speed off-road performance.
Despite its off-road prowess, the Raptor remains a true workhorse: it can tow 2,500 kg (5,511 lb) thanks to a modified rear bumper with integrated tow bar, and it has a 1,560 mm (61.4 in) by 1,743 mm (68.6 in) load tray. Furthermore, two front recovery hooks are able to shift up to 4,500 kg (9,921 lb), while the two at the rear are rated at 3,800 kg (8377 lb).
Ford will start selling the Ranger Raptor in Europe in mid-2019.