Ford Ranger Raptor confirmed for UK in 2019

After we exclusively revealed the news in July, Ford has confirmed the Ranger Raptor pick-up will go on sale in the UK next year

It has been confirmed the mad Ford Ranger Raptor pick-up truck will be sold in the UK, after Auto Express broke the news exclusively back in July.

Revealed at the Gamescom trade fair in Cologne, Germany, Ford confirmed the Ranger Raptor will arrive in Europe next summer. Powered by a 210bhp 2.0-litre EcoBlue diesel engine with 500Nm of torque, Ford hopes the Raptor will boost the pick-up’s performance both on and off-road. The engine drives the pick-up through the same ten-speed automatic gearbox as the US-spec F-150 Raptor. To ensure optimum performance in any conditions, drivers have six different modes – two for on-road use, and four for off-road driving.

• New Ford Ranger Raptor review

The reason Ford chose the Gamescon fair is due to the fact the Ranger will appear in Microsoft’s new Forza Horizon 4 X-Box driving simulator. The game will be released on 2 October 2018.

Buoyed by the global reaction to the F-150 Raptor, Ford of Britain had been lobbying hard for the Ranger Raptor to be sold on these shores. The Ranger is already the best-selling pick-up in the UK, so a performance version would appear to be a natural fit.

Built in Thailand, the Raptor has undergone a significant makeover by Ford Performance – the division responsible for the F-150 Raptor, GT supercar and Focus RS. No prices have been confirmed, but a starting figure of around £40,000 is likely.

We’ve already driven the Ford Ranger Raptor in one of the truck’s biggest markets. It showed incredible talent when we subjected it to the tough Australian outback, suggesting performance in the UK should be more than adequate.

On the outside, the Ranger Raptor is marked out by a new grille, extra ground clearance and LED fog lamps in the front bumper. Those bumpers have to be flared so that they can accommodate the larger wheels, which are mounted on long-travel suspension.

As the vehicle is intended to go a very long way off the beaten track, the front bumpers are made of composite materials that are better able to withstand the expected dents and dings. The side steps are made from a tough aluminium alloy and include holes to drain sand, mud and snow.

• Watch the Ford F-150 Raptor in action

Inside the rough and tough theme continues, with unique seats that are designed to give greater support at high speeds off-road, and they include suede sections to hold occupants in place. There’s even a red stripe on the steering wheel to show which way the wheel is pointing.

Naturally, the Raptor’s chassis has been considerably upgraded to cope with the demands of high-speed use off-road. So, not only is the frame tougher and stiffer, but the brakes have been upgraded, too. The race-bred suspension has been set up to tackle undulating off-road terrain at speed, as well as giving a comfortable ride on-road.

There’s also a unique ‘bash plate’ underneath, while the tyres have been specially developed, with tough sidewalls and a special tread pattern designed to give grip in mud, snow and sand. Even the standard sat-nav gets the off-road bug, with a ‘breadcrumb’ feature that allows drivers to lay a trail and retrace their steps in unfamiliar terrain.

This is all part of the standard Sync3 infotainment system, while the Raptor is also packed with driver-assistance technology – such as Electronic Stability Control, Trailer Sway Control and a rear-view camera – to make everyday life easier.

Ford of Britain is currently deciding whether to sell the Ranger Raptor at its flagship Ford Store showrooms or at its commercial vehicle dealerships. It’ll arrive in the UK in ‘mid 2019’ with prices starting from around £40,000.

These are the best pick-up trucks on sale in 2018…

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