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The new Ford Ranger Raptor. A dune dancer

Wow! Talking about taming a desert! That's exactly what happened right in the heart of the Namib desert, where the beastly Raptor was launched. What an ideal location to show off the prowess of the mean-looking Raptor. We conquered the desert and mastered the mountains. I have to say that the second-generation Raptor raises the off-road performance bar as a pickup built for true enthusiasts. Raw power combined with mechanical and technical precision creates quite a thrill. This is what you call setting a high bar higher and the media in general were not disappointed.
The new Ford Ranger Raptor. A dune dancer

Rewriting the rule book

"The outgoing Ranger Raptor that we launched locally in 2019 created an entirely new segment for performance bakkies. It has been exceptionally popular, maintained strong sales demand throughout its lifespan and remains without rival four years later. And now, the Next-Gen Ranger Raptor completely rewrites the rulebook yet again, elevating performance and capability to new heights, both on and off-road," says Doreen Mashinini, general manager for marketing at Ford South Africa.

In fact, the Ranger Raptor is unmissable. It has an aggressive stance with a 3.0L V6 engine under the hood to tackle the most challenging of terrain, let alone the thick, half-meter-deep loose sand of the Namibian desert. Talk about having fun!

Power to the people!

The biggest news for performance fans is the introduction of a new twin-turbocharged 3.0-litre EcoBoost V6 petrol engine, producing 292kW and 583Nm – nearly doubling the power output compared to the previous Ranger Raptor (from 157kW), while adding an extra 83Nm of torque.
The twin-turbo 3.0-litre EcoBoost V6 engine boasts a compacted graphite-iron cylinder block, which is around 75% stronger and up to 75% stiffer than the iron used in traditional castings.

The new Ford Ranger Raptor. A dune dancer

Ford Performance ensured the engine delivers immediate response to throttle inputs, and a race-bred anti-lag system, available in the Baja drive mode, enables rapid delivery of boost on demand by keeping the turbochargers spinning for up to three seconds after the driver backs off the throttle.

Mated to a 10-speed automatic transmission – each gear programmed with its own boost profile – Next-Gen Ranger Raptor’s new engine delivers effortless acceleration on tarmac, gravel, dirt, mud and sand. And, with an electronically controlled active exhaust system that amplifies the engine note in four selectable drive modes (Quiet, Normal, Sport and Baja), the Next-Gen Ranger Raptor’s vocal character ranges from mild to wild.

Steering modes

In addition to the suspension and exhaust modes, drivers can select from four steering modes from the specially tuned electronic power-assisted steering (EPAS): Normal, Sport, Comfort and Off-Road - the latter only available when Baja Drive Mode is selected. The system uses a larger EPAS motor with a faster steering ratio, and delivers improvements in steering effort, response and precision. In Baja mode the steering is specially tuned to sharpen response and precision, assisting the driver to position and control the vehicle with even greater accuracy.

The new Ford Ranger Raptor. A dune dancer

Next-Gen Ranger Raptor’s ability to tackle rough terrain is further enhanced with some serious underbody protection. The front bash plate is almost double the size of the standard Ranger bash plate and made from 2.3mm-thick high-strength steel. This bash plate, combined with the engine under shield and transfer case shield, provides protection for key components like the radiator, steering system, front cross member, engine sump and front differential.

All terrain control

For the first time, Next-Gen Ranger Raptor gets an advanced permanent four-wheel drive system with an all-new electronically controlled on-demand two-speed transfer case. This is combined with the standard rear locking differential, as well as a new front locking differential that takes the vehicle’s off-road capability to new heights.

Sound and light

Matrix LED headlights with LED daytime running lights make their debut on the Next-Gen Ranger Raptor, pushing lighting performance to new levels. Featuring dynamic bending lights, glare-free high beam and auto dynamic levelling, the Matrix LEDs deliver safer lighting for Next-Gen Ranger Raptor drivers as well as oncoming traffic.

The new Ford Ranger Raptor. A dune dancer

A premium 10-speaker 660W Bang & Olufsen® sound system provides exceptional acoustics that will certainly please music lovers.
Integrated into the 12-inch centre touchscreen is a superb 360-degree camera system with split-view display.

Pricing (includes VAT)

Ranger Raptor 3.0L V6 EcoBoost 4WD 10AT – R1,094,900

Included as standard is a four-year/120,000km warranty, four-year/unlimited distance Roadside Assistance and five-year/unlimited distance corrosion warranty. The recommended service interval is 15,000km or annually, whichever occurs first.

Customers have the option of purchasing a Ford Protect service or maintenance plans up to eight years or 165,000km. The warranty can be extended up to seven years or 200,000km, while the Roadside Assistance can be extended for an additional one or two years.

About Naresh Maharaj

Naresh Maharaj is a petrol head who loves cars and writing about them. He is also a Member of the SA Guild of Motoring Journalists. Naresh is also an international sports correspondent and an acclaimed corporate MC and voice-over artist. Naresh is a sports/news producer for community radio stations and also an award-winning sports journalist. Contact Naresh on moc.liamg@123jarahamn.

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