Kiwi price re­vealed for Ford Ranger Rap­tor

Upper Hutt Leader - - CLASSIFIED - DAVID LINKLATER

Ford New Zealand has an­nounced a price for the forth­com­ing ex­treme-off-road ver­sion of the Ranger pickup truck, the Rap­tor.

Re­vealed in Thai­land in Fe­bru­ary, the Rap­tor will go on sale later this year at $84,990. That’s a $15,350 pre­mium over the cur­rent flag­ship of the Range lineup, the Wild­trak.

‘‘We’re un­be­liev­ably ex­cited to con­firm that the Ranger Rap­tor is com­ing to New Zealand in 2018,’’ says Si­mon Rutherford, man­ag­ing di­rec­tor of Ford NZ.

‘‘The re­sponse to our an­nounce­ment in Septem­ber, and the in­ter­est from the global re­veal back in Fe­bru­ary to bring it to mar­ket at such an af­ford­able price only adds to the an­tic­i­pa­tion ahead of its ar­rival in lo­cal show­rooms.’’ Ford calls the Rap­tor its first ‘‘per­for­mance ute for NZ’’. That’s off-road per­for­mance, mind.

There was dis­ap­point­ment from some quar­ters at the Rap­tor’s launch in Fe­bru­ary that it didn’t have a su­per-pow­ered en­gine under the bon­net: it’s pow­ered by a 2.0-litre twin-turbo diesel that makes 157kW/500Nm, putting it only slightly ahead of the stan­dard Ranger’s 147kW/470Nm.

Ford says it has tested its new 2.0-litre en­gine ex­ten­sively, in­clud­ing run­ning a ‘‘thermo cy­cle’’ on the en­gine, heat­ing both tur­bos to the point of glow­ing red for 200 hours non-stop.

The bi-turbo set-up has the smaller, high-pres­sure tur­bocharger con­nected in se­quence with the larger, low­pres­sure turbo. At lower en­gine speeds, the two tur­bos work in se­ries, while at higher en­gine speeds, the small turbo is by­passed, with the larger turbo alone pro­vid­ing boost.

Max­i­mum power is not the point of Rap­tor, says Ford. Like the Amer­i­can-mar­ket F150 Rap­tor, the new Ranger is all about ex­treme off-road­ing.

The Rap­tor is larger than a stan­dard Ranger in every di­men­sion, with an in­crease in length of 39mm and height of 58mm, but the big­gest boost is in the Rap­tor’s width, which at 2180mm is a whopping 331mm wider than the stan­dard Ranger due to the mas­sively in­creased track, which is now 1710mm.

Ground clear­ance is also up to 283mm, while the ap­proach an­gle of 32.5 de­grees, ramp over an­gle of 24 de­grees, and de­par­ture an­gle of 24 de­grees are also vastly im­proved over the stan­dard ute.

Ford has se­ri­ously up­graded and re­in­forced the Ranger’s chassis for the Rap­tor, and in­cor­po­rates new ge­om­e­try for the larger sus­pen­sion to al­low for greater wheel travel.

‘‘Ki­wis love the Ranger, and there have been calls for a ve­hi­cle like the Ranger Rap­tor for some time,’’ says Rutherford. ‘‘The Ford de­sign and en­gi­neer­ing team has worked in­cred­i­bly hard with Ford Per­for­mance on this truly unique pro­gram to de­liver a prod­uct that will live up to the Rap­tor DNA, and the high ex­pec­ta­tions of NZers.’’ The Ford Per­for­mance Ranger Rap­tor will be of­fered as a sin­gle specification in NZ.

The styling is head­lined by its ‘‘Ford’’ block-let­ter grille, HID head­lamps with LED day­time run­ning lamps, and unique front and rear bumpers. It wears 33-inch di­am­e­ter BF Goodrich all-ter­rain tyres, flanked by Ranger Rap­tor­spe­cific heavy-duty side- steps.

The long travel sus­pen­sion fea­tures Fox Shox, alu­minium up­per and lower con­trol arms, heavy duty skid-plates and un­der­body pro­tec­tion. Wa­ter wad­ing ca­pa­bil­ity is in­creased to 850mm.

The 10-speed au­to­matic trans­mis­sion has mag­ne­sium pad­dle shifters. Rap­tor has a unique six-mode Ter­rain Man­age­ment Sys­tem (TMS), which in­cludes low and high range four-wheel drive and a lock­ing rear-dif­fer­en­tial.

The Ranger Rap­tor’s TMS in­tro­duces Baja mode, which Ford says of­fers ‘‘ul­ti­mate’’ off-road per­for­mance set­tings.

Other stan­dard equip­ment in­cludes smart key­less en­try, push-but­ton start, power tail­gate lock, Sync3 with an eight-inch colour touch­screen and in­te­grated sat-nav, plus Ap­ple CarPlay and An­droid Auto.

The Ranger Rap­tor will com­pete against HSV’s forth­com­ing Sport­sCat pick­up­truck (based on the Holden Colorado) and per­haps even high­end V6-pow­ered ver­sions of the Volkswagen Amarok and Mercedes-Benz X-class.

Never mind the power, the Ranger Rap­tor is all about ul­ti­mate-off-road per­for­mance. Yours for NZ$84,990.

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