THE roughest, toughest and most powerful version of Ford's new Ranger truck is on its way to the UK.
According to Ford it's new Ranger Raptor is a "bad-ass" pick-up truck and, with a bi-turbo engine and extreme styling, it fits the good ol' boys image perfectly.
Unlike the regular Ranger, the Raptor isn't designed for workaday duties on construction sites or farms - it's been developed by Ford Performance for the true enthusiast off-roader: thrill seeking drivers who want to challenge themselves and their vehicle in the most extreme conditions.
"Forget everything you think you know about pick-ups," says Leo Roeks, Ford's European performance director. "Our new Ranger Raptor is a different breed - a thoroughbred desert racer and extreme lifestyle off-roader that can toil with the best of them in the harshest of working conditions."
It's powered by a bi-turbo version of Ford's twoâlitre EcoBlue diesel engine that delivers 213PS and 500Nm of torque and is mated to Ford's new 10-speed automatic gearbox.
Multiple driving modes are available - there are six terrain management modes in all, designed to tackle a wide range of specific terrain and driving scenarios ranging from normal, via sport, snow, mud, rock to what Ford calls "Baja" mode which is designed for high-speed off-road performance, "just like drivers need in the famous Baja Desert Rally".
A considerable amount of work has gone into the chassis and underpinnings. Built to withstand high-impact off-road events, the Raptor has a super-strong reinforced chassis frame which uses high-strength, low-alloy steels to endure the punishment delivered by off-road racing.
It's fitted with race-bred suspension specifically crafted, says Ford, to tackle fearsome terrain at high-speed. The shock absorbers feature Position Sensitive Damping which provides higher damping forces at extremes and lower forces in more moderate conditions for a smoother ride on-road.
A massive 2.3mm thick "bash" plate made out of high strength steel is fitted to deflect off-road obstacles in addition to the Ranger's standard engine and transfer case under-shields.
Features of the rugged styling include flared composite front wheel arches and a dramatic new grille inspired by the even more awesome Ford Fâ150 Raptor.
Blue stitching and leather accents feature throughout the interior. Lightweight, racing-style magnesium paddle shifters sit behind a bespoke steering wheel, which uses an on-centre marker to help drivers keep track of wheel position off-road.
Driver assistance and safety technologies include an enhanced stability control system incorporating a roll mitigation function.
The Ranger Raptor is expected to be available for British thrill-seekers in the second half of next year.