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Aussie-developed Ford Ranger Raptor set for Europe

Ford to expand 157kW/500Nm 2.0-litre diesel Ranger Raptor sales to Europe in 2019

Ford logo23 Aug 2018

FORD of Europe has confirmed it will next year launch the Australian-developed Ranger Raptor, a “bad-ass” performance ute motivated by the same 2.0-litre EcoBlue diesel engine sold Down Under.
 
As reported, the Ranger Raptor was subject to high-speed off-road tests in the Australian Outback, with Ford Asia Pacific’s Victoria-based product development centre heavily involved in the project, including its design and engineering.
 
Previously only sold in Asia-Pacific markets, such as Australia and Thailand, the opening up of Ranger Raptor sales in Europe inches the model closer towards its rumoured availability in North America, where it is expected to instead use an EcoBoost petrol engine, possibly the 2.7-litre V6.
 
Ford Motor Company last week released pricing and specification for the US-market regular Ranger, which will employ the 2.3-litre EcoBoost four-cylinder engine from the Mustang sportscar and Focus RS hot hatch, but its outputs remain unknown.
 
The Ranger Raptor’s twin-turbocharged EcoBlue unit has been the subject of much debate since the model was outed, with Ford Asia Pacific last month forced to defend its suitability as a performance vehicle.
 
Specifically, it produces 157kW of power at 3750rpm and 500Nm of torque from 1750 to 2000rpm, while drive is sent part-time to all four wheels via a dual-range transfer case and a 10-speed torque-convertor automatic transmission with magnesium paddle shifters.
 
As a result, the 2404kg Ranger Raptor can sprint from standstill to 100km/h in 10.5 seconds while on the way to its top speed of 170km/h. It is priced from $74,990 before on-road costs in Australia.
 
While the Asia Pacific-market Ranger Raptor is built in Thailand, the European-market version will be produced in South Africa, where it will also be sold. The regular Ranger has been Europe’s best-selling pick-up since 2015.
 
According to Ford Performance director of Europe Leo Roeks, the Ranger Raptor will offer a new level of off-road performance for European buyers when it enters showrooms in 2019.
 
“Forget everything you think you know about pick-ups,” he said, “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.
 
“The new Ranger Raptor delivers all the tools a thrill-seeker could ask for. Like a motocross bike, snowmobile and an ATV in one – it’s the ultimate adventure pick-up.”
 
The announcement was made at the Gamescon trade fair in Cologne, Germany, where Ford Motor Company also revealed that the Ranger Raptor will feature in Microsoft’s upcoming Forza Horizon 4 racing video game for the Xbox One.
 
Australian sales the 4x2 and 4x4 Ranger have steadily improved this year, with 25,056 examples sold to the end of July – a 1.4 per cent increase over the 24,714 deliveries made during the same period in 2017.
 
As such, the Ranger is the second best-selling model in the ute segment, trailing the Toyota HiLux (30,149 units) but ahead of the Mitsubishi Triton (15,233), Holden Colorado (11,065), Isuzu D-Max (10,439) and Nissan Navara (9494), among others.
 
As previously reported by GoAuto, Ford Australia currently holds about 1000 Ranger Raptor pre-orders, which it hopes to deliver by Christmas. The model officially launches in October.

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