Ford Ranger Raptor is the car you really desire

We take a look at a product that is specific to Asia-Pacific markets and shares its underpinnings with the Ford Endeavour (making it a likely candidate to come to India in 2019).

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One vehicle style that has evaded most Indian buyers till now is a pick-up truck. A few years ago, Tata brought out the Xenon XT and it could be bought by regular folk with regular driving licenses. Sadly, it was pulled from the market. However, a certain Japanese company (Isuzu) thought that Indian market is ready for pick-up trucks. This resulted in the D-Max V-Cross coming to India and that too for a competitive price (launch price – Rs 12.80 lakh ex-showroom; price today starts from Rs 14.31 lakh ex-showroom). The time is ripe to bring another pick-up truck to India and the Ford Ranger seems like a good pick for this purpose. However, such a discussion warrants talk on the 2019 Ford Ranger Raptor. The 2019 Ranger Raptor takes the regular Ranger pick-up truck and amps up its capability to 11 and marks the first time anything outside the F-150 has got the Raptor treatment.

Specifications 2019 Ford Ranger Raptor
Price AUS $74,990 (approx. Rs 38.25 lakh) ex-showroom
Engine Liquid-cooled, twin-turbocharged 2.0-litre inline-four EcoBlue diesel
Power 210HP
Torque 500Nm
Transmission 10-speed automatic
Front Suspension N/A
Rear Suspension N/A
Front Brake 332mm disc, twin-piston calliper
Rear Brake 380mm disc, single piston calliper
Length 5,398mm
Width 2,180mm
Height 1,873mm
Wheelbase N/A
Mileage N/A
Fuel Tank Capacity N/A

What’s new about the 2019 Ford Ranger Raptor?

This is the first time ever the Ranger pick-up truck has been given the Raptor treatment. To that end, it has got revised body work to give it the show for the go. The front end looks more aggressive than Ford Ranger’s with beefed-up wheel arches, flared fenders, blacked out grille with bold FORD lettering running between headlamps, and redesigned (frame-mounted) bumper. The raised suspension gives the truck a purposeful feel (and 281.9mm ground clearance). Not to miss are the gills on the side, the blacked-out B pillar, and the big rear-view mirrors with integrated turn signals finished in black.

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At the rear, the taillamps have been revised. The embossed RANGER logo on the tailgate is gone and is replaced by RANGER and RAPTOR badges on either side flanking the FORD logo. All around, the body cladding adds to the muscular feel of the performance truck. The tow bar and tow hooks have been integrated into the rear end of the truck. A bash plate up front and skid plates, both front and rear, round up the new bits in looks department.

Underneath the bonnet is an all-new 2.0-litre twin-turbocharged four-cylinder EcoBlue diesel engine from Panther family that makes 210HP power and 500Nm torque. This engine is mated to a 10-speed automatic gearbox (the same one GM and Ford jointly developed and is found on the 2018 Ford F-150 Raptor and 2018 Mustang GT). The transmission powers all four wheels of the pick-up truck and features a Live in Drive function that allows the driver to take control of the gear shifts with paddle shifters anytime. Good amount of technology has been used in developing the engine of this vehicle. The evidence of this is provided by Inconel’s use in the turbines of the turbos that spin at 2,40,000rpm.

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The 2019 Ford Ranger Raptor features high-strength low alloy (HSLA) steel chassis, water-wading depth capacity of 830mm, and 32.5-degree approach, 24-degree ramp-over and 24-degree departure angles. There is Watts linkage type rear suspension with coil-over springs. Speaking of springs, Fox racing shocks can be found under the Ford Ranger Raptor and they feature position sensitive damping (PSD). Then there are the 17-inch six-spoke alloy wheels and bigger brakes on offer. Those flared fenders and beefed-up wheel arches accommodate the wider front and rear tracks, and the BFGoodrich performance tires on the vehicle. The Terrain Management System features an extra Baja mode (exclusive to the Raptor model) and works alongside four-wheel drive system (with high and low ranges) and a locking rear differential.

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Inside, the Ranger Raptor has an all-black colour scheme with contrast stitching in blue on steering, seats, door panels, gear shifter, handbrake lever, and the centre armrest. The blue stitching runs across the width of the dashboard (on the upper part) as well. The three-spoke leather-wrapped (with perforation) steering wheel gets a red stripe on the 12 o’ clock mark and wheel-mounted magnesium paddle shifters as well. The part-leather sports seats get embroidered RAPTOR logos.

The instrument cluster get analogue tacho and speedo with white lettering. These dials flank the digital display in the centre, below which sits the display for transmission gates. There are brushed aluminium inserts on the steering wheel, vertically-laid A/c vents, and door handles. The centre console of the Ranger Raptor’s interior is highlighted by an 8.0-inch SYNC 3 touchscreen infotainment system. The HVAC controls sit below the touchscreen but (curiously) get no dedicated readout.

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Is the 2019 Ford Ranger Raptor worth consideration?

The Ford Ranger Raptor shares its underpinnings with the Endeavour (which itself is based on Ford Ranger). This means that bringing it to India should not require as huge investments as it does when bringing in an all-new model. Bringing the Ranger Raptor to India as a limited-run model will help Ford gauge the market’s readiness for introduction of its Ranger pick-up truck in the country.

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The 2019 Ford Ranger Raptor is not exactly cheap in the markets it will go on sale in. In Australia, it will cost AUS $74,990 (Rs 38.25 lakh approx. as per current exchange rate) before taxes. This is not exactly cheap but then, the prices of the Endeavour in India start from Rs 26.32 lakh (ex-showroom). Considering the performance bits and the work put in to develop the Ranger Raptor, its India price (upon conversion from Australian price) seems fine.

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What makes this vehicle worth consideration is its potential as a niche product. The Isuzu D-Max V-Cross, despite being a niche product and having limited after-sales support, is quite popular in India. This proves that niche products can work in India, like the Ranger Raptor here, especially when they come from manufacturers like Ford. Also, Ford pick-up trucks are already known around the world. This would only make it easier for Ford to sell this vehicle in India. All Ford has to do is bring it here. It just may do so too in 2019, if not in 2018, that is.

2019 Ford Ranger Raptor – Synopsis

  • Priced at AUS $74,990 (approx. Rs 38.25 lakh per current exchange rate) before taxes
  • Based on Ranger truck with beefed up chassis and mechanical components
  • Features all-new twin-turbo 2.0-litre four-cylinder EcoBlue diesel engine with 210HP power and 500Nm torque
  • 10-speed automatic gearbox, developed by Ford and GM, powers all four wheels and is the only transmission on offer
  • Features Fox racing shocks with position sensitive damping, bigger brakes, and 17-inch wheels with BFGoodrich performance tires
  • Watts’ linkage type rear suspension setup shared with Endeavour, also gets rear locking differential
  • Terrain Management System features a new Baja mode (exclusive to Ranger Raptor)
  • Water-wading depth up to 830mm; 32.5-degree approach angle, and 24-degree ramp-over and departure angles
  • Interior gets black leather upholstery with part-leather seats and contrast blue stitching on various surfaces
  • Steering wheel gets red stripe at 12 o’ clock mark, wheel-mounted magnesium paddle shifters
  • 8.0-inch SYNC 3 touchscreen infotainment system highlights the center console; HVAC controls do not get dedicated readout

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