It should be only matter of time before the US-spec Ranger Raptor breaks cover.
Last year, Porsche made history when it debuted the GT2 RS at the E3 games conference rather than a traditional auto show. It was a sign that automakers are starting to see video games as a viable promotional tool since a lot of car enthusiasts play racing games such as Forza Motorsport.
At this year’s Gamescom event in Cologne, Germany, Ford has pulled the same trick with the European debut of the 2019 Ranger Raptor. Why did Ford use a video game event to reveal the potent pickup, you may ask? Because the 2019 Ranger Raptor will be added to the upcoming Xbox open-world racing game Forza Horizon 4, set for release on October 2.
“Forget everything you think you know about pick-ups,” said Leo Roeks, Ford Performance Director, Europe. “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.”
Launching in Europe next summer, the toughest version of Europe’s best-selling pickup combines performance and off-road agility, with heavy-duty suspension that can tame off-road terrain and deliver a smooth ride in urban areas and on highways. A reinforced chassis frame uses high-strength, low-alloy steels that can withstand brutal punishment. The front suspension has upgraded Fox Racing shock absorbers, while the rear set-up features a new Watt's linkage system with coilovers. It also rides on all-terrain BF Goodrich tires specially developed for the Ranger Raptor.
Visual updates include a new grille inspired by the F-150 Raptor and striking flared composite front fenders. Inside, the bolstered seats are "specially designed for off-road high speed support.” Blue stitching and leather accents feature throughout the cabin, and the racing-style paddle shifters are made of magnesium.
Like the Australian version, power is provided by a 2.0-liter twin-turbo diesel engine that sends 210 hp and 369 lb ft of torque to all four wheels through the same 10-speed automatic gearbox as the F-150 Raptor and facelifted Mustang. 0-62 mph takes 10.5 seconds before the Ranger Raptor tops out at 106 mph. For comparison, the V6-powered F-150 Raptor produces 450 hp and does the same sprint in 6.1 seconds. Given that it’s essentially a smaller version of the best-selling F-150, it makes sense to sell the Ranger Raptor in the US. Ford hasn’t confirmed if it will be sold Stateside, but a recent US patent filing suggests it’s coming to America sooner, rather than later.