THE first Ford Ranger Raptor will turn its wheels in anger in Australia in about September, and for a price that will make it significantly more expensive than the $65,000 entry-level HSV Sportscat and even the headline $72,000 Sportscat+.
Ford Australia today announced the 157kW/500Nm twin-turbo 2.0-litre diesel-engined Raptor will cost from $74,990, making it the most expensive one-tonne dual-cab ute ahead of the $68,490 165kW/550Nm 3.0-litre V6-engined Volkswagen Amarok TDI550 Ultimate that'll late this year gain a performance bump to 190kW/580Nm.
But that price is still lower than many had anticipated and makes it $4000 cheaper than what you’d hand over for a HSV-badged Maloo – if you can find one.
Despite not knowing the price, it is believed that more than 100 buyers have already slapped down a deposit for the Aussie-hardened, off-road focused trade ute.
They'll get a pretty well-specced ute for their money. The Raptor will be the most technologically advanced version of the trade ute when it goes on sale, including keyless entry and push-button start, and an electronic tailgate lock. Inside, the carryover 8.0-inch touchscreen will include Ford’s latest SYNC 3 software with standard satellite navigation.
You’ll sit on leather-accented bucket seats, and the Raptor-specific instrument cluster will let you know you’re in something special via bespoke graphics. The steering wheel will include an embossed Raptor logo, and include a, rally-spec 12 o-clock band to indicate the straight ahead position.
The Ranger Raptor won’t be a track-day specialist. Instead, it will thrive off-road, with long suspension travel supported via Fox Shox dampers, aluminium upper and lower control arms, skid plates protecting vital underbody components, and a Watts link rear end.
Front and rear tracks have also been widened, the ride height raised, and wading depth increased to 850mm. The 10-speed automatic transmission will receive its prompts from the driver via magnesium paddle shifters when in manual mode.
The Raptor’s on- and off-road settings will include a Baja setting optimised for dirt work, while a low-range transfer box and locking rear diff will help to focus the driveline’s torque.
“It’s clear that there’s an appetite for a performance pick-up, and we’ve worked hard to deliver something that fits the bill as a genuine performance product,” Ford Australia chief executive Graeme Whickman said. “The Ranger Raptor is the real deal: its unique engineering and performance aspects make it unlike any other Ranger – or any other truck on sale, for that matter.”
The Ranger Raptor, which tapped Ford’s Australian-based engineers and designers to help with its development, will sell in a single configuration. You’ll spot it easily enough in the rear-view mirror with a blacked-out grille featuring prominent “Ford” lettering, bi-xenon headlights with LED daytime running lights, and more aggressive front bumper.
Ford’s Ranger is currently Australia’s best-selling 4x4 ute, outperforming the Toyota Hilux which will soon add more visual appeal via limited-run models that will turn up the visual appeal, but keep the same wick.
Of note too, Mercedes-Benz will later this year introduce a 3.0-litre V6-engined version of its X-Class trade ute as the luxury car maker aims straight at the hearts, and wallets, of worksites. The high-end version of the V6-engined X-Class is expected to trump the Raptor on both performance and price.