The Ford Ranger Raptor is what happens when a Ford Endeavour is put on a strict regimen of steroids!
The same structure, a reinforced chassis and a decidedly butch appearance, the Ford Ranger Raptor is quintessentially American and is now almost as tall and wide as the big daddy of American trucks – the F-150. All told, it certainly looks the part and has all the numbers to back it up.
The Ford Endeavour SUV is based on the Ranger pick-up, which also forms the basis for the Raptor that you see here. In terms of aesthetics, the Raptor is certainly in-your-face. It’s got 30% more ride height, wider fenders and prominent wheel arches, with an imposing grille and a meaner look. In short, it’s as American as they come.
The leaf springs of the lesser versions (which are more suited to hauling goods) have been junked. The focus of the Ranger now lies elsewhere – making the shock absorbers more efficient. This means it now has coil-overs, which essentially make it a better off-roader.
Additionally, the ramp-over angle has increased – from 22 to 24-degrees – and the wading depth is now a whopping 850mm. The brakes have also been improved, meaning the drums at the back have been replaced by a pair of shiny discs.
Never out of place
At its heart is a 2.0-litre, four-cylinder bi-turbo diesel capable of producing 211bhp and 500Nm. It may feel underpowered on paper, given the size and mass of the car, however, when you’re behind the wheel, it doesn’t fall short in terms of performance – especially off-road.
The 10-speed automatic works wonderfully and does what it’s supposed to, brilliantly. It comes with six driving modes, inherited from the F-150, which make it a born climber.
We tested it in Morocco in conditions that were quite extreme, and it simply bewitched us with its performance. Every morsel of power is delivered with perfection, and even on difficult terrain, it makes you feel as if you’re driving on a perfect highway.
The beauty of this car, however, is that in spite of it being a brilliant off-roader, it doesn’t make too many sacrifices in terms of drivability on the asphalt. NVH levels are very well contained – it has very little body roll and makes virtually no noise. Since it’s fitted with massive tyres though, you have to be careful with your steering inputs at high speeds.
In terms of comfort, it’s a proper car and is loaded to the gills – keyless, dual-zone climate control, SYNC3 with an 8-inch touch screen, xenon headlights, lane keeping assist, emergency braking, active cruise control, you name it!
There’s one tiny detail, however, that may be a little too American for people of other persuasions – you sink the gas pedal to the ground, and, surprisingly, you’re not immediately hit with a bucket of torque. In other words, there’s no sense of urgency. In spite of this, things are not bad, as the automatic gearbox is quick to slot into the right gear.
All told, the Ranger Raptor makes a compelling case for markets other than the US. In fact, we’ll go as far as to say that it makes even sense for a country like India too. After all, pick-up trucks are steadily gaining popularity here – just look at the number of Isuzu V-Cross pick-ups that you see plying on our roads nowadays. So, if by some miracle Ford does decide to bring the Ranger Raptor to India, naturally as a niche product, it’s likely to find quite a few takers. For some of us it may be the closest we’ll ever come to living the American dream.
The instrument cluster shows you the six driving modes on offer. And don’t miss the dedicated hip-hugging seats. You also get an on-centre marker on the steering wheel to ensure that the wheels are always pointing in the right direction. The suspension and wheels, meanwhile, mean business – while the 10-speed gearbox appears massive.
- Ranger Raptor
Engine: 1,996cc / In-line 4 Cylinder / Bi-Turbo
Power: 211bhp @ 3,750rpm
Torque: 500Nm @ 1,750 to 2,000rpm
Transmission: Four-Wheel Drive / 10-Speed Automatic
Performance: Max Speed – 170km/h / 0 – 100km/h in 10.5s
Average consumption: 11.2 km/l
Size and Mass: Wheelbase – 3,220mm Length – 5,370mm Width – 2,030mm Height – 1,870mm Weight – 2,510kgs
© Riproduzione riservata