August 15, 2018
Right now, there are 2019 Ford Ranger Raptors kicking up red dirt and flying over gravel roads and dirt tracks driven by wild eyed Australians with huge grins on their faces. What better place to test the Ranger Raptor’s twin-turbodiesel, Fox shocks, and 10-speed automatic transmission than the Australian Outback? The problem is, this isn’t a test, this is home for the Ranger Raptor.
At least officially.
There’s no question that Australia needs this mid-size 4x4 because the country is a giant off-road park surrounded by a beautiful coastline and getting to a neighbor in the outback takes a little adventure driving to accomplish. But there are plenty more folks, a lot of them in the Sacramento area, that would like to try their hand with a Raptor.
Elk Grove Ford is not going to get out front of any official Ford announcements, but we do think that off-road enthusiasts should at least be aware of what might be coming to the USA. We’ve got the F-150 Raptor and that is one awesome, powerful, hunk of machinery, but for off-roaders who want to actually park their ride inside their garage, the Raptor Ranger just might fit the bill.
The Outback Experience
The Ford Ranger Raptor was officially introduced in Thailand and Ford made a point to stress that the Ranger Raptor is targeted at the Asia-Pacific market, with no mention of bringing it to North America. At the Detroit show this year. Jamal Hameedi, head of Ford Performance (home of the ST brand) said “To me, the most important thing now is that every human being in the world has access to a Raptor. So, if it’s North America, you get an F-150 Raptor; the rest of the world, you get a Ranger Raptor." Well, if every human being can’t have world peace we guess that access to a Raptor is a good second choice.
Meanwhile, there are rumors that a plant in Michigan is being retooled for Raptor Ranger production.
But let’s talk about what the Ranger Raptor looks like on the ground in Australia and why it is getting so many rave reviews from drivers known for their love of kicking up dirt and climbing rocks in the Outback track.
Looks as Awesome as it Is
For starters, the Ranger Raptor looks similar to the F-150 Raptor and it has borrowed many of the F-150’s design and technology. In case you forget who built this ride, the small blue oval on the grill has been replaced with FORD in giant all-cap letters. The branding is carried throughout the exterior and interior with the Raptor logo almost everywhere you look including the giant keyless entry and start key fob.
This truck is armored up for the Outback. It has skid plates, recue hooks, thick steel bumpers front and back, and magnesium alloy running boards to protect from an encounter with a rock or canyon wall. The 17” wheels are wrapped in B.F. Goodrich all-terrain tires made specially for the Raptor, and the Fox shocks are paired with independent front suspension and coil-sprung Watts-link solid rear axle.
The big news is the twin-turbodiesel that produces 210 horsepower and 369 lb-ft of torque. The two turbos are sequential. One kicks in at low RPMs and then turns off and passes the task to the second turbo at higher RPM. Don’t count on seeing this in the U.S. We suspect an EcoBoost turbocharged 4-cylinder will take over the power task. But that’s okay because of the amazing 10-speed automatic, borrowed from the F-150, keeps the engine at optimal RPM under all conditions.
We’d like to see this machine on our lot at Elk Grove Ford. If, and when it does, we’ll be sure to let you know. In the mean time, check out our inventory of the Ranger’s big brother, the F-150 Raptor.
Come out and see us for a test drive today.