What is it?
Do you ever find yourself looking at the hulking, jacked-up Ford Ranger Raptor pick-up truck and thinking “it’s nice, but it’s not quite lairy enough”?
Us neither: its outlandish off- road suspension-and-tyre package already give it more than enough presence on Britain’s cramped streets (not to mention agreeable levels of countryside competence). But this new Special Edition – which arrives as the current-generation Ranger prepares to bow out – ups the ante with “extra badass as standard”.
Roughly translated, that means it gains racing stripes, red accents inside and out and matt-black trim all round. If it didn’t stick out in the supermarket car park before, you can guarantee that it will now.
As with the ‘standard’ Raptor, its chassis has been heavily strengthened to cope with Baja-style knocks and jolts, its track is extended 150mm over the less hardcore XLT and it rides 51mm higher, courtesy of its beefy Fox shocks and colossal General Grabber AT3 tyres. There’s a suitably imposing front grille, too, modelled on that of the larger and more powerful F-150 Raptor on sale Stateside.
But all those upgrades aside, the powertrain remains largely unaltered over that fitted to more common-or-garden Ranger variants: a 2.0-litre four-cylinder turbodiesel is hooked up to a ten-speed automatic gearbox, sending a sedate-sounding 210bhp to the rear or both axles for a distinctly normal 0-62mph time of 10.5 seconds. Could there be a conflict at hand between the Raptor’s bark and its bite? Especially given daily driving situations don’t give it the chance to excel by virtue of its off-road ability.
What’s it like?
Stripes, stitching and suspension aside, however, the fact remains that the Raptor is barely mechanically altered over the standard Ranger. Any badassery that might have been attributed to you by jealous bystanders outside the local tearoom will be roundly shattered by the grumble of its 2.0-litre diesel four- pot, and its 10.5sec 0-62mph time won’t widen many eyes, either.
That said, it’s an effective and none-too-ruinous powertrain in day-to-day driving scenarios. We got 30mpg on a 100-mile motorway run, during which the motor was unintrusive (save for a piped-in synthetic growl at full throttle) and shifts from the 10-speed automatic gearbox were well timed.