Raptor goes to Europe

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Ranger Raptor.
Ranger Raptor.

Ford of Europe has confirmed it will next year launch the Australian-developed but built in Thailand Ranger Raptor, a “bad-ass” performance pick-up using the same 2.0-liter EcoBlue diesel engine sold Down Under.

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 rumored availability in North America, where it is expected to instead use an EcoBoost petrol engine, possibly the 2.7-liter V6.

The Ranger Raptor’s twin-turbocharged EcoBlue unit has been the subject of much debate since the model was shown, with Ford Asia Pacific last month forced to defend its suitability as a performance vehicle.

Specifically, it produces 157 kW of power at 3750 rpm and 500 Nm of torque from 1750 to 2000 rpm, 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. (Another fine example of PR Speak. Who cares what the paddle shifters are made from.)

This gives the Raptor performance figures of zero to 100 kays in 10.5 seconds, with the 2404 kg Raptor a top speed of 170 km/h.

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.”

As previously reported, Ford Australia currently holds about 1000 Ranger Raptor pre-orders, which it hopes to deliver by Christmas. The model officially launches in Australia in October.

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