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Raptor more than just powertrain: Ford

Go, go power Rangers: Although the new look Ranger line-up (left) will benefit from Ford’s beefier 157kW/500Nm 2.0-litre twin-turbo diesel engine, the flagship Raptor (below) will still carry enough differences to justify its $74,990 before on-roads pricetag.

Ford rakes up about 1000 Raptor orders despite Ranger and Everest gaining powertrain

8 Jun 2018

THE availability of the flagship Ranger Raptor’s 2.0-litre twin-turbo diesel in the mainstream pick-up and related Everest SUV line-ups will not dilute the hardcore appeal of the top-shelf Ford Performance model, according to the Blue Oval’s president and CEO Graeme Whickman.
Speaking to GoAuto at the launch of the updated V8 Mustang this week, Mr Whickman said the flexibility and uniqueness of the Raptor’s modifications still place it in a league above the Ranger and Everest.
“The Raptor is more than just its powertrain … and if you drive a Raptor, you’ll know what I mean because it’s hard for me to try to convince you of this, but the package of the vehicle, the ability to drive the way it does – it’s obviously got a powertrain that is very interesting as well – but everything about it just fits nicely,” he said.
“It’s built to fit together in a way where you get a very specific driving experience.
“You’re not going to take a Wildtrak into a sand dune environment, that’s not what it’s built for, so its (Raptor) specialness is part of the completeness of it.
“What I actually predict is that you’ll see more Raptors than many people expect … driven around in city environments because the vehicle, when you drive it, the driveability is amazing, its ability on the road, it’s amazing, and then you take it into a sand dune environment and it’s like ‘oh my god’.”
Mr Whickman confirmed that interest levels have been tremendous for the Raptor, with Ford already taking around 1000 orders of the $74,990 before on-roads pick-up that is due to hit before year’s end.
“We’re probably approaching around 1000, many of those have got deposits and expressions of interest run into the thousands,” he said. “We’ve got all these orders and lots of interest, and we haven’t even let anybody drive it yet.”
Revealed in February this year at a special event in Thailand, the Raptor will cost $11,000 more than the dual-cab Ranger Wildtrak with the same 157kW/500Nm bi-turbo engine and 10-speed automatic transmission.
However, the Raptor also gains Fox Shox long-travel suspension, upgraded underbody protection, bigger brakes, wider front and rear tracks, and higher ride height, as well as bespoke styling from its widebody, 17-inch wheels and unique front grille.
Although pricing for the twin-turbo Everest has yet to be revealed, if it mirrors its Ranger sibling’s $1200 price premium, the top-spec Titanium with seven seats could outprice the Raptor at around $75,901.
Mr Whickman shot down the idea that offering the new 2.0-litre engine is the beginning of the end for the previous range-topping 147kW/470Nm 3.2-litre turbo-diesel five cylinder, which will carry over into the facelifted Ranger and Everest, but could not confirm the powerplant’s viability beyond.
“We’re just offering the choice to consumers,” he said. “We realise that some people have a very keen interest in fuel economy as an example, they have an interest in the different types of technology in terms of the 10-speed, so we’re basically giving them a choice.
“You look at other manufactures that have placed a bet on one particular choice, it might not have worked so well for them so they’ve actually had to go back and change that approach.
“We don’t want to make that type of mistake, we want something that is going to be of interest to customers, some of those are looking for the latest iteration in powertrain technology, some want the tried and tested, and that’s how we’ve gone about it.”
So far in 2018, Ford’s Ranger sales have hit 17,338 units to the end of May, a slight improvement over the 16,587 new registrations over the same period last year, and is on track to finish out the year as Australia’s second most popular vehicle behind the dominant Toyota HiLux (20,615 year to date), but ahead of Corolla (15,363 YTD) and Mazda3 (13,763 YTD).

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