Fords’ hottest big bakkie
The new Ranger SVT Raptor will be launched in 2017, but won’t be coming to SA’s shores
GO ahead. Make snide remarks about men having to compensate, but I likes me a beeeg bakkie.
And they don’t come much bigger and badder than the Ford Ranger SVT Raptor.
Ford may well have called it the EST Raptor, as this is the group’s strongest, fastest, biggest and hottest bakkie yet.
Sadly, for us big bakkie lovers in South Africa, a right-hand steering version will not be made, so the Raptor will not go on sale locally. (Although there is a way around this. Sort of. More below.)
Ford plans to launch its new Baja-style performance Raptor only in 2017. For those who don’t know, the Baja is a desert race in Mexico that the Americans deem almost as tough as the Dakar. (For more on how hard the Dakar is, read South Africa’s fastest rider’s story on page 8.)
The important difference between the Dakar and the Baja is that Baja racers can go foot flat all day in huge rally bakkies and then retreat to cold beers in air-conditioned camper vans as the sun sets.
The Raptor is styled to be both the huge rally bakkie and the air-conditioned camper van all in one.
In the words of the American magazine Car and Truck : “The Raptor flies over dry riverbeds at crazy speeds but rides like a Lincoln on-road.”
The current Raptor uses a 6,2-litre V8 engine. Giving a tiny nod to the certainty of higher oil prices to come, the 2017 Raptor will have a twin-turbocharged 3,5-litre V6 engine with direct fuel injection, which promises to be more powerful and less thirsty than that the V8 guzzler in the Raptor.
The V6 engine will be linked to a 10speed automatic transmission.
This will be the first commercial deployment of the 10-speed transmission jointly developed by Ford and GM, and odds are this gearbox will soon appear in the Mustang.
Under the 35-inch wheel arches, Fox Racing shocks keep the big wheels on the ground, a Torsen limited-slip front differential keeps them turning and a new transfer case ensures the best torque is applied — aided and abetted by an electronic Terrain Management System. This computer brain gives the driver the usual Normal, Rock and Mud pre-set options, but adds three more: Street, Weather and Baja. Street is obvious, weather means deluge and Baja presumably means sand with cacti.
Two years from now, the new Raptor is expected to sell from about $50 000 (about R582 000) before import taxes.
If your accountant thinks this is a bit steep, tell him the engineers at Ford Performance have tuned this bakkie to take on the Baja Rally straight off the show room floor and that by comparison, one of the Dakar-ready Racing Rangers built by Neil Woolridge in Pietermaritzburg will set you back a few million.
South Africans who would like to experience some of the Raptor thrill can leave about R32 000 and their 3,2 Ran- ger at a branch of Steve’s Auto Clinic. After a week or so, they can return to fetch the Ranger, which will now have a bonnet scoop, fender flairs, mid-bumper LEDs and even an imitation Raptor grille. A De Graaf custom exhaust and some custom electronics will have boosted power from the 3,2-litre 177 kW and 566 Nm.
This is good for a 12 second 0-100 km/ h and good enough to take on the Yanks’ Raptor in the corners.
Not coming to a dealer near you at all. The Ranger SVT Raptor, Fords biggest, hottest 4x4 bakkie yet.