The Ford Ranger Raptor just made its beastly Euro-spec debut

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Ford has revealed the new Ranger Raptor, the performance version of its hotly-anticipated midsize truck, though US drivers won’t get to enjoy it. The potent off-roader made its debut at Gamescom 2018 in Cologne, Germany today, and will head to dealerships next year.

Unfortunately for drivers in North America, those dealerships will all be in Europe. Right now, there’s no word on when a Ranger Raptor for the US might be revealed. Still, that doesn’t mean we can’t covet this one from afar.

Most interesting is probably Ford’s choice of powertrain. The Ranger Raptor will have a biturbo 2.0-liter EcoBlue diesel engine, paired with the 10-speed automatic transmission from the F-150 Raptor. It’s enough for 210 horsepower, which seems a little on the low side compared to the F-150 Raptor’s 450 hp, but 369 lb-ft of torque, which is far more impressive.

That’s combined with a reinforced chassis frame, which uses high-strength, low-alloy steels to maximize off-road racing capabilities. FOX shock absorbers with Position Sensitive Damping can ramp up the damping forces when you’re pushing hard, but then soften them when you’re back on the road. That way, you get a truck that can handle fast-paced rugged driving but not shake your teeth out when you’re cruising on the highway.

Ford’s Terrain Management System offers a total of six modes. Normal is focused on comfortable driving along with decent fuel economy, while Sport mode is intended for more enthusiastic on-road driving. Grass/Gravel/Snow mode better tackles slippery and uneven off-road surfaces, while Mud/Sand mode does the same but in loose sand and mud. Rock mode is intended for low-speed rocky terrain. Finally, there’s Baja mode, with everything turned up to the max.

46.6mm pistons in the dampers are supported by aline control arms, with a new coilover rear suspension arrangement that was designed just for the Ranger Raptor. An integrated Watt’s linkage allows the axle to shift up and down without excessive lateral movement. A new bash plate underneath uses 2.3 mm thick high-strength steel.

As for the brakes, they get twin-piston front calipers grabbing 332 mm by 32 mm ventilated front discs. The rears get 332 mm by 24 mm ventilated discs. All-terrain BF Goodrich 285/70 R17 tires are custom to the Ranger Raptor, with a full 285 mm wide tread and a tougher sidewall.

Outside, there’s a new grille and Xenon headlamps. The new bumper gets LED fog lamps and functional air-curtain ducts. Flared composite front fenders, side step boards that also protect from rock spray, and oversized wheels complete the look.

Inside, there are extra-bolstered seats with suede-effect trim, blue stitching, and leather accents. Magnesium paddle shifters are paired with a perforated leather steering wheel. There’s SYNC 3 infotainment, too, with an 8-inch touchscreen and a FordPass Connect embedded modem.

While those of us in the US won’t be able to buy the Ranger Raptor for real, that doesn’t mean we don’t get a chance to try it out virtually. Ford and Microsoft have confirmed that the performance truck will feature in Forza Horizon 4, in fact.

Pricing for the new Ranger Raptor hasn’t been confirmed at this stage. It’ll launch in Europe in 2019.




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