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Ford Ranger Raptor could be priciest ute in Oz

Rapturous applause: Despite the Ranger Raptor’s $74,990 before on-roads pricetag, Ford’s new flagship pick-up is still expected to be a hit with customers thanks to the unique combination of performance and practicality.

Ford’s hi-po Ranger Raptor expected to rocket to top of dynamite dual-cab segment

13 Feb 2018


THE hotly contested 4x4 dual-cab ute segment will likely be topped by the just-revealed Ford Ranger Raptor, which is expected to land in Australian showrooms wearing a circa-$80,000 pricetag.

Adding to the Australian-developed Ranger, the Raptor not only heralds the arrival of a cutting-edge 2.0-litre twin-turbo diesel powertrain and uprated suspension, but its updated chassis also set it apart from its closest rivals.

Ford Asia Pacific vice-president of product development Trevor Worthington said the customer would ultimately decide the commercial success of the Ranger Raptor – though GoAuto understands that deposits have already been taken from keen buyers.

“We never talk about how many we think are going to sell,” Mr Worthington told journalists at the reveal event in Thailand.

“If they (customers) aren’t looking for a vehicle like this, but they want to buy something that's going fit their lifestyle needs, their work needs, this vehicle will fit the bill. Let's just see how many we sell.”

Two of the most expensive utes currently in the sector currently are both European the Volkswagen Amarok V6 Ultimate costs $68,490 before on-road costs, while the newest entrant into the burgeoning sector, the Mercedes-Benz X250d will cost $61,600. A six-cylinder version of the X Class is expected to push the asking price past the Ultimate when it arrives mid-year.

HSV’s two-model Colorado Sportscat range – which features enhanced suspension and braking mods made to the Holden Colorado, though not to the same level of the Raptor – is expected to cost around $65,000 and $72,000 respectively when the pair launches later this month.

The Ranger line-up is currently topped by the $59,590 3.2-litre five-cylinder turbo diesel Wildtrak, with Toyota offering its $54,440 2.8-litre four-cylinder turbo-diesel HiLux SR5 as a rival. Holden’s Colorado Z71 costs $54,990, while Nissan’s Navara ST-X wears a $51,990 sticker.

In the power race, the Amarok’s 3.0-litre V6 offers 165kW (180kW on overboost) and 500Nm (550Nm on overboost), pipping the Raptor’s 157kW and 500Nm from its 2.0-litre four-cylinder twin-turbo diesel. While several other utes offer 500Nm of torque, the HiLux lags behind the pack with just 130kW and 450Nm.

However, the Mercedes-Benz X-Class 3.0-litre turbo-diesel V6 will be the pinnacle of pick-up performance thanks to its 190kW/550Nm engine.

When it comes to factory modifications, the Ranger Raptor will reset the bar when it launches locally mid-year, thanks to its thoroughly reworked suspension layout.

The chassis has been reinforced at both ends to accept high-dollar Fox Racing Shox and longer fixed-rate springs, while front and rear tracks are wider, and the rear live axle has been fitted with a what-is-old-is-new-again Watt’s linkage to improve roll behaviour and add traction.

Rear disc brakes are a rarity in the sector, too, while the ten-speed transmission is positively space-aged.

The ute’s traction and stability control systems have been worked over, while the new 2.0-litre four-cylinder diesel features sequential turbocharging, belt-in-oil ancillary operation and an intake manifold that is integrated into the cylinder head.

In comparison, the HSV Sportscat has a new bodykit, new dampers and wheels, and an updated front braking system, while the rest of powertrain (save for calibration work) is stock, right down to the bend-die mild steel exhaust system.

Toyota recently announced a trio of tweaked HiLuxes – known as the Rogue, Rugged and Rugged X – but the changes are only cosmetic.

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