Off-Roading or 4×4 is currently a very popular motoring activity in the Philippines. Born in the mud and lahar flows of Pampanga and the never-ending flooding of Metro Manila, many motorists chose to buy pick-ups and trucks and tweaked them to become off-road capable.
In fact, last 2017, one of the segments that showed a big jump in sales and popularity was the truck or pick-up segment. Considering that it has no excise tax (then and now) and the new designs have improved from the old bumpy and hard ride to the modern car like feel, the pick-up became a popular alternative.
The Nissan Navara, the Mitsubishi Strada, the Toyota Hilux and the Ford Ranger have all evolved into not merely a utility vehicle but also a fashion and lifestyle cars.
Last month, Ford unveiled the much-anticipated Ford Ranger Raptor. This high-speed desert racer lovingly called the “Baby Raptor” in Dearborn, Michigan is an offshoot of that massive all-terrain racer F150 Raptor. It will soon be in Manila.
“Our performance vehicles bring a different customer into Ford showrooms and Ranger Raptor will help conquer new customers looking for a Ranger with immense off-road capability like no other. The Ranger Raptor showcases the best of Ford Performance’s expertise in performance vehicle design and engineering,” Trevor Worthington, vice president, Product Development, Ford Asia Pacific, said.
The Ranger Raptor stands at 283mm of ground clearance and 150mm wider front and rear track telling everyone this is a serious off-road performance machine. It sports an aggressive grille with the big bold FORD block lettering in the middle. The front fenders are made from durable composite materials and the front bumper includes new LED fog lamps with air-curtain ducts, which reduce air resistance.
Inside the Ranger Raptor are sports seats uniquely designed and trimmed in Technical Suede for maximum grip, providing optimum support during high-performance off-road driving or while cruising in town.
The steering wheel features perforated leather hand grip sections, paired with Raptor DNA lightweight magnesium paddle shifters for crisp gear changes. The Raptor logo is debossed into the spoke bezel of the steering wheel and an “On-Centre” marker (a red stripe at the top-middle of the wheel) gives you confidence to know where the wheels are pointing.
The Ranger Raptor is powered by a new 2.0-liter Bi-Turbo diesel engine that delivers a maximum of 213PS (157kW) of power and 500Nm of torque. This power plant offers both high performance and efficiency, thanks to its combination of small, high pressure turbo and large, low-pressure turbo that work to provide performance when needed.
The powertrain has been designed for the most powerful and highest stress applications, running a thermal cycle on the engine, heating both turbos to the point of glowing red for 200 hours non-stop. The high-grade alloy turbo housing ensures durability up to 860oC exhaust temperature, while the turbo bearings and low-pressure turbo are being water cooled to reduce temperature and protect the air induction components.
The engine is controlled by a 10-gear automatic transmission, something really new to the performance pick-up segment. The 10-speed automatic transmission is created with high-strength steel, aluminum alloys and composites to optimize durability and weight.