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  • Overall: 4.5/5

2019 Ford Ranger Raptor

Key Specs
USEU
Cylinders
L4
Displacement
1995 cm3
Power
156.7(213)/3750 KW(hp)/RPM
Torque
368.8/1500-2500 lb-ft/RPM
Fuel System
Turbocharged Direct Injection
Fuel
Diesel
Top Speed
106 mph
Acceleration 0-62 Mph
10.5 s
Drive Type
All Wheel Drive
Gearbox
10-Speed automatic, paddle-shift gearbox
Front
Ventilated Discs
Rear
Ventilated Discs
Tire Size
285/70 R17
Unladen Weight
5699 lbs
Gross Weight Limit
6812 lbs
Length
212.5 in
Width
85.8 in
Height
73.7 in
Front/rear Track
61.4/68.6 in
Wheelbase
126.8 in
Ground Clearance
11.1 in
Cargo Volume
27.1 cuFT
Aerodynamics (Cd)
-
City
22.2 mpg
Highway
29.4 mpg
Combined
26.4 mpg
CO2 Emissions
233 g/km
Power pack
-
Nominal Capacity
-
Maximum Capacity
-
Charger type
-
Charging time (normal)
-
Charging time (quick)
-
Range
-
Low
-
Medium
-
High
-
Extra high
-
Combined
-
CO2 Emissions (Combined)
-
Cylinders
L4
Displacement
1995 cm3
Power
156.7(213)/3750 KW(hp)/RPM
Torque
500/1500-2500 Nm/RPM
Fuel System
Turbocharged Direct Injection
Fuel
Diesel
Top Speed
171 km/h
Acceleration 0-62 Mph
10.5 s
Drive Type
All Wheel Drive
Gearbox
10-Speed automatic, paddle-shift gearbox
Front
Ventilated Discs
Rear
Ventilated Discs
Tire Size
285/70 R17
Unladen Weight
2585 kg
Gross Weight Limit
3090 kg
Length
5398 mm
Width
2179 mm
Height
1872 mm
Front/rear Track
1,560/1,742 mm
Wheelbase
3221 mm
Ground Clearance
282 mm
Cargo Volume
767 L
Aerodynamics (Cd)
-
City
10.6 L/100Km
Highway
8 L/100Km
Combined
8.9 L/100Km
CO2 Emissions
233 g/km
Power pack
-
Nominal Capacity
-
Maximum Capacity
-
Charger type
-
Charging time (normal)
-
Charging time (quick)
-
Range
-
Low
-
Medium
-
High
-
Extra high
-
Combined
-
CO2 Emissions (Combined)
-
Car video reviews:
 

Driven: 2019 Ford Ranger Raptor

Only a handful of writers have inspired as much interest among readers – both young and old – as Lloyd Chudley Alexander. Specialized in fantasy novels, the American author is also the man behind one of my favorite quotes, the kind of words to live by.
2019 Ford Ranger Raptor 101 photos
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“Fantasy is hardly an escape from reality. It's a way of understanding it,” said Alexander, and this also stands true to the automotive industry’s extremely few exceptions from the rule. The Ranger Raptor is one of them, a different breed of mid-size pickup and a middle-finger salute to the cookie-cutter modus operandi of the bean counters.

Considering that Ford came out with the F-150 Raptor for 2010, you could say the Ranger Raptor took too long to hit dealership lots. By the same account, the Blue Oval missed out on the mid-size pickup boom in North America by taking an eight-year sabbatical while the T6 Ranger thrived everywhere else in the world, including Australia.

Only recently, the Ford Motor Company announced that it’s ramping up production at Silverton Assembly in South Africa by adding a third shift. This is supposed to sustain the momentum of the Ranger in Europe, a continent where FoMoCo dominates the segment.

There are many reasons the Ranger is such a commercial success so late in the product’s lifecycle, but we’re not talking about that today. We’ll try to understand what made Ford pour a lot of resources into the development of the Raptor, which isn’t designed to tow heavy trailers and neither features the payload capacity of the bone-stock Ranger.

Ford of Romania invited autoevolution in lovely Sibiu for a few days of driving the wheels off the Ranger Raptor, both on and off the road. But it’s the off-road part that captured our attention during the briefing. More to the point, we’ve been invited to test the pickup’s capabilities on a Red Bull Romaniacs hard enduro rally course near Sibiu.

Created in 2004, Red Bull Romaniacs is described by the organizers as “the world’s toughest enduro rally.” Searching on YouTube for footage of the madness is enough to confirm that claim, and as you’d expect, we couldn’t say no to driving the Ranger Raptor on such terrain.

Development of the Ranger Raptor started with essentials such as the frame. Ford Performance built upon the regular model’s body-on-frame architecture, applied know-how from the F-150 Raptor, then optimized the high-strength low-alloy steel to sustain off-road driving at incredible speeds. Even the side rails utilize HSLA steel to absorb impact forces, but the chassis would be nothing without a world-class suspension.

Once again, the American automaker collaborated with Fox Racing for the high-performance dampers with Position Sensitive Damping technology. Forged aluminum was used for the upper arms of the suspension and cast aluminum for the lower arms, translating to supreme durability.

As with any respectable off-road vehicle, the Ranger Raptor-exclusive BF Goodrich tires feature an aggressive tread pattern that might lead you into thinking the pickup steers like… well, like a truck on public roads. That’s hardly the case once you get in the driver's seat, but the surprise is even greater in the twisties. The steering feels more immediate and responsive than that of the bone-stock Ranger, and the ride quality is uncannily comfortable.

Even the rear end of the Ranger Raptor, which is lighter than the front because there’s nothing in the bed to hunker down the truck, doesn’t feel bouncy or disconnected. If you thought the Mercedes-Benz X-Class feels comfy on public roads, Ford did a better job than the Germans.

Something else that caught our attention is how tame the Ranger Raptor feels with every single one of its electronic nannies in normal mode. If you were to drive it without knowing there’s a bed out the back, it wouldn’t come as a surprise to mistake this bad boy for a family-oriented SUV.

On the other hand, it’s impossible to mistake the Raptor for a utility vehicle, even for a bog-standard Ranger. Exclusively available with the double cab, the newcomer has 51 millimeters of additional ground clearance, is 44 millimeters longer, sits 52 millimeters higher, and it also happens to be wider thanks to flared wheel arches and pumped-out, muscly fenders.

Impressive it may be from the outside, but the interior is business as usual. Only the steering wheel and instrument cluster indicate the Ranger Raptor is not your average pickup truck, but the more perceptive enthusiast will also notice the seats feel a bit snugger than standard. All in all, Ford Performance didn’t go all out with the cabin design, and that’s perfectly fine with us.

While we were heading to the off-road course on motorways, the active noise canceling and acoustic glass worked wonders as far as wind noise is concerned. Once we got on one-way rural roads, the width of the Ranger Raptor became more apparent than ever before.

It should be mentioned, however, that the 10-speed automatic transmission feels like it can’t settle down unless you’re driving steadily at an adequately high speed. Fishing for gears is a known characteristic of the 10R80, which features three overdrive ratios for greater fuel economy. In comparison to the six-speed automatic that Ford utilizes in conjunction with the inline-five turbo diesel, this transmission does feel a notch above in every respect even though the 6R80 is a good tranny in its own right.

Sport mode instructs the 10-speeder to shift higher up the rev range, giving a better feel altogether and providing more immediate response while cornering. On that note, the EcoBlue bi-turbo diesel complements the Ranger Raptor like a hand in glove in most driving scenarios.

The subdued sound of the 2.0-liter engine is alright while driving on the road, and the NVH inside the cabin drowns out most of the vibrations and clatter. Switching to more aggressive, rev-happy driving comes with a different setting for the noise-canceling system, which pipes artificial engine sounds into the cabin.

As opposed to how the technology was a few years back, the induction and exhaust notes sound a lot better thanks to the magic of software. Don’t, however, expect the EcoBlue to mirror the aural pleasure of the Coyote V8 or even the EcoBoost V6 because that’s not possible with today’s technology.

And that’s the thing with the Ranger Raptor; it doesn’t try to be something it cannot be, and Ford Performance didn't try to fool the driver into thinking otherwise. 213 PS (210 horsepower) are enough to sustain 130 km/h (80 mph) on the highway even though this fellow here tips the scales at close to 2.6 tons including the driver.

Torque, however, is what makes the Ranger Raptor a hoot to drive. Off the line, passing on the highway, and kicking the tail out on the trail, those 500 Nm (369 pound-feet) of torque come on strong at 1,500 rpm. In day-to-day driving, the EcoBlue bi-turbo diesel feels even more adequate in lesser models such as the Limited and Wildtrak because those weigh considerably less than the no-nonsense Raptor.

Once we’ve arrived at the site, the driving instructors from Napoca Rally Academy told everyone behind the steering wheel to switch into the vehicle’s most exciting mode – the Baja. Just like the F-150 Raptor in the United States, the Ranger Raptor in Baja mode feels unlike anything else.

Ford Performance knew from the get-go this truck isn’t all about the suck-squeeze-bang-blow hiding under the hood. It’s the Terrain Management System that brings out the potential of the Ranger Raptor, and Baja mode is the secret to the no-holds-barred driving experience the Blue Oval promises in every promotional video of the off-road sports truck.

Baja sets up the traction control in a dedicated setting and eases off the electronic stability control, allowing to slide the rear end without giving you the impression that overcooking a corner on the trail will get you wrapped around a tree. Even on such a difficult course, achieving triple-digit speeds in Baja mode isn’t hard in the Ranger Raptor if you’re a confident driver and if you can accurately estimate the grip and traction.

Grass, dirt, mud, rocks, ruts, and so forth, nothing seems to phase out this thing even when driving like a man on a mission. It’s in off-road situations like these the chassis shines brightest, keeping chassis flex in check to allow the shock absorbers to do their thing.

The difference between the Ranger Wildtrak and Ranger Raptor off the beaten path is so great, you’d be fooled into thinking the two are not related at all. That’s how much R&D went into the underpinnings and fine-tuning of the Ranger Raptor, and not even a Wrangler Rubicon feels as surefooted in challenging terrain at such speeds.

There’s a bit of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde going on with this Ford Performance product considering how distinct it feels from the Ranger Wildtrak and how much fun the driving mode imbues into the truck. With all due respect, the hype surrounding the first-ever Ranger Raptor turned out to be true.

Turning our attention back to that quote from Lloyd Chudley Alexander, the mid-size pickup feels as real as paying a mortgage but also gives you a feeling of fantasy that no other truck in this segment can match. The Ranger Raptor doesn’t have a rival in Europe and Australia, and if Ford were to sell it in the United States, only the Chevrolet Colorado ZR2 Bison by American Expedition Vehicles would come close.

The contender from General Motors doesn’t feature those amazing shock absorbers and well-thought terrain management system, and neither does the Toyota Tacoma TRD Pro. Ladies and gents, this is a vehicle in a class of its own, and Ford Performance knows it all too well.

Because it’s been made to thrill, the Ranger Raptor might feel a bit disappointing at doing truck-like chores. A payload of 620 kilograms and a towing capacity of 2,000 kilograms aren’t impressive at all, but don’t forget the Blue Oval didn’t engineer this pickup to be an all-round workhorse.

What boggles the mind is that the Ford Motor Company, an automaker that profits on volume-oriented vehicles, allowed the mad professors at Ford Performance to come up with such a niche product. There’s no denying the Ranger Raptor won’t sell in big numbers, but who cares anyway? Ranger demand is off the charts, and thanks to the regular model’s success, the go-faster division was allowed to turn a fantasy into reality.

Do we recommend the 2019 Ford Ranger Raptor as a substitute for the Ranger or any other mid-size pickup addressed to the working man? Unfortunately no, that’s not possible in the least with this level of specialized equipment for going off-road. But for the sheer thrill of attacking a trail, fording water as high as 800 millimeters, or bashing dunes to your heart’s content, don’t look anywhere else.

The best thing of all about the Ranger Raptor? That would be the truck's innate ability to put a smile on your face, so wide that you could see it from behind.

 
 
 
 
 

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