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FORD RANGER 3.0T V6 RAPTOR 4WD

Ford, having achieved tremendous success with the original Ranger Raptor, unleashed its next-generation performance beast last year. This new iteration swiftly claimed the throne as the most exhilarating bakkie in the market, setting a high standard for competitors to follow. Join us as we explore some of the Raptor’s advancements in performance, ride and handling, interior design, and equipment.

The previous Ranger Raptor, equipped with a relatively unremarkable 2.0-litre biturbo diesel engine, left room for improvement. Addressing this, Ford introduces a new 3.0-litre V6 petrol engine, exclusively for the Raptor, transforming its power dynamics. This robust engine produces an impressive 292 kW and 583 Nm of torque, propelling the Raptor (according to outside sources, as Ford does not reveal the local figure) from zero to 100 km/h in a mere 7.7 seconds – a substantial improvement over the previous diesel’s 10-second mark. 

The introduction of an anti-lag system enhances acceleration out of corners, and an electronically-controlled active exhaust system amplifies the auditory thrill. However, the newfound power comes at a cost, with Ford claiming a fuel efficiency of 11.5 l/100 km, although our everyday driving results showed a significantly higher average at 16.9 l/100 km during our test period.

RIDE AND HANDLING

Beyond raw power, the Raptor’s capabilities extend to its ride and handling, setting it apart as a performance-driven pick-up. The Baja driving mode, designed for fast off-roading, introduces a new level of fun and adjustability. Our experience on a few challenging local terrains, including steep descents and rock bits, showcased the Raptor’s prowess. Equipped with front and rear locking differentials and an array of off-road modes, it navigated obstacles effortlessly. The Fox suspension system, a reworked version of the impressive setup seen previously, contributes to a superior ride quality, even on the tarmac. The Raptor proves its worth, not just as a powerful machine but as a well-rounded off-road performer.

INTERIOR

A significant leap forward in interior quality defines the latest Ranger Raptor. The introduction of a 12” portrait touchscreen, running Ford’s latest Sync 4 software, stands out as a technological centrepiece. The user-friendly interface complements traditional analogue climate controls, creating a seamless blend of modernity and familiarity. High-quality leather and suede performance seats adorn the cabin, offering a perfect balance of comfort and support. While rear seat space accommodates adults comfortably, the bulky sports seats slightly impact overall roominess. It’s worth noting that the Raptor, consistent with its off-road focus, sacrifices payload capacity, offering 652 kg – a compromise for those seeking a more practical pick-up.

That said, the Raptor is positioned at the pinnacle of the Ranger line-up and boasts a rich array of features. Matrix LED headlights, electric and heated front seats, wireless smartphone charging, and a 360-degree camera contribute to its allure. The large touchscreen, complemented by a digital dial display of similar size, enhances the Raptor’s technological sophistication. These features, combined with an impressive off-road specification, make the Raptor an enticing choice for enthusiasts seeking a comprehensively equipped off-road machine.

The new Ford Ranger Raptor stands as a benchmark and a redefined icon of excellence. Building upon the success of its predecessor, this latest iteration, powered by the V6 engine, exhibits a sportier and more capable demeanour. 

The transformation in performance over the previous Raptor, coupled with a wealth of features, solidifies its position as a phenomenally fun-to-drive bakkie that seamlessly blends power, capability, and advanced technology.

LAST WORD

With its next-gen advancements, the Ford Ranger Raptor emerges as a force to be reckoned with in the bakkie landscape. As the most exhilarating offering in its segment, it raises the bar and redefines the expectations for performance-oriented pick-ups. 

Ford’s commitment to innovation and pushing boundaries is evident in the Raptor’s powerful V6 engine, superior ride dynamics, and feature-rich interior. The verdict is clear – the Ford Ranger Raptor is not just a vehicle; it’s a statement, an embodiment of power, capability, and uncompromising performance in the performance bakkie realm.

FORD RAPTORENGINEPOWER 
(kW @ r/min)
TORQUE 
(Nm @ r/min)
TOP SPEED
(km/h)
0-100 KM/H
(seconds)
FUEL 
(l/100 km)
PRICE
Ford Ranger 3.0T V6 Raptor 4WDV6; 2,996 cc turbodiesel292 @ 5,650583 @ 3,500N/AN/A11.5R1,184,100
Isuzu D-Max 3.0TD AT35 4×4In-line 4-cyl; 2,999 cc turbodiesel140 @ 3,600450 @ 1,600-2,600N/AN/A8.5R1,159,900
Volkswagen Amarok 3.0TDI V6 Aventura 4MotionV6; 2,993 cc turbodiesel184 @ 3,250600 @ 1,750-2,250180N/A8.4R1,184,200

Report by BERNIE HELLBERG JR | Images © FORD SOUTH AFRICA

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