Ford's wild new Ranger Raptor performance pick-up is coming to NZ
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Ford's latest announcement may well be the joker card that could give their Ranger the Kiwi sales edge in its neck-and-neck battle with the Toyota Hilux. And it hits our shores next year.
It's called the Ranger Raptor; a high performance variant of Ford's ever popular ute (or 'pick-up', or 'truck' ... ). A fresh video of the machine carving up various off-road trails and jumps helps showcase its capabilities, and also helps align it with the 'Raptor' lineage.
While the name is a new one to New Zealand, it's not new in the context of Ford performance utility vehicles. Ford currently make an F-150 Raptor in the US — an off-road warrior with a twin-turbo 3.5-litre EcoBoost V6, unique aggressive styling, and a cult following.
We don't yet know the specs of this new Ranger Raptor, nor do we know the pricing. The video suggests that won't be coming with a six or eight-cylinder engine, but rather a new four-cylinder petrol or a hotted up version of one of its current turbo-diesel units.
“We are very excited to bring Asia Pacific’s toughest and smartest pickup truck to a whole new level,” said Trevor Worthington, vice president, product development, Ford Asia Pacific.
“Ford Ranger Raptor will offer Ranger fans a fantastic opportunity to own an authentic off-road performance version of their favorite truck for the first time.”
While this is big news for the Kiwi market, it's funnily enough even bigger news for our friends in the US. For a long time they've been starved of a small-ute market. They've already been frothing over the news that the world-platform Ranger would be sold in the US from 2020 onwards, and the announcement of a Raptor variant has stirred the pot even more.
Though, for once, it's New Zealand, Australia, and the rest of the Asia Pacific who know they're getting the model while the likes of the US wait and wonder.