It's been rumoured for a while, but now Ford has confirmed that its blistering Ranger Raptor pickup is coming to the UK by the middle of next year.
This thing looks insane, with a bi-turbo version of Ford’s 2.0 litre EcoBlue diesel engine delivering 213 PS and 500 Nm of torque. That's allied to a new 10-speed automatic gearbox (racing-style paddle shifts are available). There's no getting away from who made this truck with massive Ford lettering right up front above a skirt with newly-designed LED fog lamps.
Ford stress-tested the engine including working the high-pressure and low-pressure turbochargers until they glowed red-hot for 200 hours non-stop. The two turbochargers work in series at lower speeds. For more demanding work, the larger low-pressure turbocharger delivers peak power.
Ford Performance has carried out a lot of work, optimising the chassis for high-speed off-road driving and go-anywhere capability. The suspension has also been designed for high impact work while BF Goodrich specially developed the 285/70 R17 tyres. There's also a load of under-body protection for jumps and humps.
The Ranger Raptor has six driving modes including sport, grass/gravel/snow, mud or sand, rock and Baja mode for high-speed off-roading. Naturally, there are also numerous driving aids including a version of Ford's stability control tech that minimises the risk of rolling. There's also a mode that's designed to maintain stability when you have a trailer attached as well as descent and hill start modes.
Flared composite front wings are to designed to shrug off damage from off-road adventures and, naturally, they also allow for greater suspension travel. Side boards also prevent stones from being thrown up against the rear of the track. They also have drainage points to cope with snow or mud.
Inside the seats are specially designed for fast driving off-road with firm cushioning and suede-effect materials to grip you onto the seat.
The timing of the Raptor's European launch coincides with Gamescom 2018. Why? Ford and Microsoft have joined forces to add the Ranger Raptor to the upcoming Forza Horizon 4 game.