Fast Ford Ranger coming here
The Ford Ranger Raptor, the tough, high-performance version of Ford's pick-up, has made its European debut at the Gamescon trade fair in Cologne, with the company confirming that the model will go on sale in Ireland in 2019.
The Raptor, which made its world debut in Thailand last year, is designed for high-speed off-roading, the 213hp, 2.0-litre twin-turbo EcoBlue diesel engine taking care of the speed part with the mud-plugging dealt with by the reinforced chassis, specially designed suspension, stout tyres and thick, protective plates underneath.
It's an aggressive looking beast with a big Ford-emblazoned grille modelled on that of the company's other Raptor - the F-150. The front arches are flared in black composite to shrug off minor incidents and allow for oversized tyres and longer suspension travel. One can't help but notice the bash-plate protecting the oily bits of the underside - it's made from 2.3mm-thick, high-strength steel, useful for barrelling over rocky surfaces. The tough look is finished off by the 285/70 R17 BF Goodrich off-road tyres.
Yes, it's a high-performance off-roader, but the Raptor is pretty sophisticated inside. The seats are grippy and bolstered to keep occupants steady in hairier moments. Techwise, there's infotainment galore with an eight-inch colour touchscreen display and the sat nav system even offers a clever little "breadcrumb", which leaves a virtual trail for anyone going seriously off-piste.
Speaking of which, there are six driver-selected modes to optimise the Raptor for the conditions - the fairly usual batch of Normal, Mud/Sand, Grass/Gravel/Snow, Rock and, quite excitingly, "Baja", which, according to Ford "tunes responses for high-speed off-road performance, just like drivers need in the famous Baja Desert Rally." Expect plenty of more sensible driver-assistance features like Electronic Stability Control, Trailer Sway Control, Hill Descent Control and Hill Start Assist.
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