It took a decade, but finally America is letting the rest of the world taste the Raptor magic. In terms of heritage, style and capability, the F-150 Raptor still rules supreme. The rest of the world wanted a piece and, finally, Ford is spreading the love.
Enter the Ranger Raptor, created by Ford Australia and packaged for the world. But is it a Raptor in name only, or the real deal? Our first drive in Australia revealed an underwhelming four-cylinder diesel engine and fears that Ford Performance may have sold customers short.
Second chance for the Ranger Raptor to prove itself comes on Morocco’s Atlantic coast. And we’re promised this will be a real opportunity to see if the Baja spirit endures, remixed for a global audience.
But not before confronting Chief Program Engineer Damien Ross about that engine. As the Ranger Raptor progressed from long-held dream to reality, he boasts of trips to America to sample F-150s at Ocotillo Wells and meetings with U.S. colleagues to concoct the ingredients list for creating a true Raptor. You can hazard “a four-cylinder diesel will be enough” wasn’t on that list.
Keen to talk positives, he cites the switch to coil springs and a Watt’s linkage on the rear axle as “a big engineering decision” with significant cost implications. “Our dynamics team said we had to have it,” says Ross, “and it’s what makes the Ranger Raptor special and gives it genuinely different characteristics to the F-150. I consider that car has a raw character, but ours is a little more sophisticated and therefore better suited to the roads in markets we’ll be selling in.”
Hands up, the Ranger Raptor exceeds expectations in a test of this nature. Those fearing Ford would palm the rest of the world off with a trim level can stand easy. This truck is a more powerful engine away from a slam dunk, but the Ford Performance team has successfully remixed an all-American dish for global consumption with some style. Spice it up just a tad more, and it’ll truly be a taste of Raptor insanity the whole world can enjoy.