2019 Ford Ranger Raptor arrives in SA

18 January 2019

The Ford Ranger Raptor is a hardcore performance off-road bakkie. As the very first factory ready performance off-road vehicle in South Africa, there’s no doubt this bakkie will generate some interest.

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2019 Ford Ranger Raptor arrives in SA

The Ford Ranger has been one of the best-selling Ford vehicles in South Africa. With such huge success from this bakkie, it’s no wonder Ford decided to heat things up with the Ranger Raptor, which Ford says will be the first hardcore performance off-road bakkie to hit the streets (or dirt) in South Africa. From the wheels to bumpers and seats, it’s impossible to mistake this Ranger Raptor as an ordinary Ford Ranger. In fact, it’s easy to see this bakkie is not just a normal Ford Ranger with an aftermarket kit, as its larger and more aggressive.

Pricing and engine specs

At first the Ford Ranger Raptor will come with only one option of engine choice, a 2.0 liter Bi-turbo diesel engine, which manages to pull out a maximum power delivery of 157kW/500Nm – that’s 10kW/30Nm more than the Ford Ranger Wildtrak. However, most interesting is the 10-Speed auto-matic transmission which Ford says will improve fuel economy and enable the vehicle to react fast enough to deliver power and torque effectively. Hopefully the Ranger Raptor will receive a more powerful turbocharged V6 at a later stage to match the power outputs of the Ranger’s biggest competitor, the Volkswagen Amarok V6, especially since the Ranger Raptor matches the price of the Amarok V6 and is set to start @R775 000. (Prices correct at time of publication.)

What is the advantage of having the Ranger Raptor, other than a slight power increase?

To start with, the Ranger Raptor has been redesigned mechanically in every way from the ground up. The Ranger Raptor receives a completely new suspension that features coil over springs at the back, which is uncommon for a bakkie. The Mercedes X-Class is the only one of its rivals with this feature. This suspension has been added along with Fox Racing shocks to improve comfort and prevent the bakkie from rolling around too much in the corners at high speed and should easily handle hard terrain at high speed, after all this is a performance off-road vehicle (says Ford). Brakes have also been upgraded to 6-piston caliber high performance brakes. Ford has also added six driving modes available at a touch of a button on the steering wheel to best accommodate the gearbox, suspension dampers and throttle response for the terrain that may lay ahead:

  • Normal – road use
  • Sport – road use
  • Grass/Gravel/Snow – off-road use
  • Mud/Sand – off-road use
  • Baja – off-road use (this is based on the Baja rally in Mexican desert)

The Ranger Raptor in certain drive modes will decrease the traction system, gears will be revved higher and will downshift more aggressively to give the driver a more sporty off-road performance drive. Approach angle has also been increased over the standard Ranger to a 32.5 degree angle rather than 24 degree angle because the Ranger Raptor is noticeably higher. The weight limit towing capacity as also been increased to 2 500kg and new 17 inch wheels have been added, which take huge 285/70 BF Goodrich all-terrain tyres.

Interior and technology

Blue stitching Raptor seats is one of the most noticeable styling upgrades in the cabin, along with a sportier steering wheel which features paddle shifters behind the steering wheel. Satellite naviga-tion is standard, as well as parking sensors, reverse camera and 8-inch colour LCD screen in the center of the dashboard. As for technology systems, the Ranger Raptor has stability control, traction control, trailer sway control, hill start assist, hill decent control and as load adaptive control. Ford has added this array of technology advanced systems, as well as increasing the number of airbags from five to seven, to improve safety of the vehicle.

Our verdict

As the very first factory ready performance off-road vehicle in South Africa, there’s no doubt this bakkie will generate some interest. The Ranger Raptor is a very attractive vehicle and will definitely get some good head turns as it drives past. Ford has put a lot of thought into this vehicle from sus-pension, drive modes and power increase, this will be a challenging bakkie for its rivals to beat.

Looking for a new car? We’ve done the homework for you. Check out the Reviews section on our website to find information on some of South Africa’s latest vehicle models!

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