Launched in Thailand early this year, Ford drew the line along the sand when they unveiled the 2019 Ford Ranger Raptor. A welcome addition to the already successful Ranger line of Ford, the Ranger Raptor caught the fascinations of truck enthusiasts all across Asia and the Pacific. Ford Group Philippines (FGP) brought the 2019 Ford Ranger Raptor to our shores in early October, with a launch drenched by torrential rain, but no combination of the elements will ever stop the Raptor Ranger, which just proved more why this is the most capable truck in its class. When the opportunity came to test drive it on different terrains, this writer just jumped right the chance.
The “Raptor" nameplate first appeared in 2010 when Ford's special performance arm, SVT or Special Vehicle Team took and turned it into a street going Baja runner. This came from its predecessor, the F-150 SVT Lightning, running for 2 generations from 1993-2004. The 2010 Ford SVT Raptor became an instant hit, even with non-truck enthusiasts. The first generation Ford F-150 SVT Raptor was kitted out with Fox Racing shocks, 35-inch BF Goodrich All-Terrain tires, bucket seats, and a 5.8L V8 engine.
Getting a reference for just how well the Ranger Raptor can out perform a standard truck, FGP provided a 2019 Ford Ranger Wildtrak 4x4, and a mix surface course of dirt and
At first glance, it may look like a regular Ranger, but it isn't. The grille is special to the Ranger Raptor, having F O R D in big bold letters across. The track is noticeably wider, with the flared wheel arches, broadening its shoulders. It is taller, having more ground clearance than any other Ranger. The wheels have also grown much chunkier, so it can dig itself out of hairy situations. There are bucket seats inside, lined with like material to keep you, and your passenger from sliding about. A leather wrapped steering wheel, with an orange center line at the top crest to sure you know which way is straight. But one difference that really stood out, are those Fox shocks, with what may seem like suspension travel that can go on for days. Much like its older cousin the F-150 Raptor, the Ranger Raptor gets fitted with Fox shocks right out of the showroom. An astronomical difference between the baseline truck and the Ranger Raptor is just how comfortable it is all throughout the rough stuff. Ruts and dips still forced the Ranger Raptor to move about, but it was so well dampened. The suspension is so good, after the abuse, the Ranger Raptor drove back to Manila, without a hitch.
Inspired by the Baja 1000 race in Mexico, the Ranger Raptor is as agile as a trophy truck. Thanks to the terrain management system, you can enter the Ranger Raptor into a ‘Baja Mode’. Perfect for the speed test we placed the truck through. A two-kilometer stretch of ahead of us, and a truck begging to open the taps to its 2.0L Bi-Turbo the 213PS of power, and 500Nm of torque. This writer topped out at 109km/h, because of softer resulting to less traction. The truck also gave you confidence during quick turning maneuvers, with the bigger wheels equipped as standard, and the widened stance. At one point in time the only real downfall of this truck my own capabilities, and fear to push it to the very limit.
Many trucks to be a competitor of the Raptor badge for years, and this argument could go on for days between lovers of Ford, and other brands. For the Philippines though, no truck has come close to even giving the Ranger Raptor a challenge. Creating a brand new segment of Performance Off-Road Truck. At the introductory price of PHP 1.899million, the 2019 Ford Ranger Raptor is a very good bargain for those looking for a serious off roader. Maintaining it won’t be difficult, because Ford claims it could be serviced only once a year, and those Fox shocks should last you the life of the truck, unless you decide to run it through a Baja 1000 every year. Though you
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Text and photos by: Matthew Emmanuel Buhion