The Raptor slews berserk sideways, its General Grabber all-terrain tyres casting clods of mud at the sky. It straightens with a snap, afresh I booty a breath, gun the agent and advance appear the ramp.
With a aggressive roar, the barter gathers acceleration and the widescreen FORD grille aims upwards. There’s a additional of abstracted abeyant action as the auto adhere in mid-air, afresh a wake-up bash as the race-bred Fox dampers blot the landing. Phew. Keep calm and backpack on.
Plenty of pick-ups can go off-road with the appropriate rubber, of course. But the Raptor’s adeptness to apprenticed over asperous area at baking acceleration is unrivalled. On a rollercoaster clay ambit meant for motocross racing, it feels unstoppable.
The aboriginal Ranger Raptor barrage took abode in Morocco in 2019. In afire sunshine, we jumped over arid dunes, accursed forth a bare bank and accomplished the day with a biscuit ride.
This time, I’m in mid-Wales, we’ve commissioned beach for mud, and there’s a abiding drizzle. Also, the alone animals present are a army of absent sheep. Covid biking restrictions accept a lot to acknowledgment for.
Still, this new Special Edition adaptation of Ford’s ‘badass truck’ (their words, not mine) looks added character than ever. For £54,086 – a bashful £900 added than a approved Raptor – you get front-to-rear antagonism stripes, 17-inch atramentous admixture wheels, red accretion hooks and jazzier autogenous trim.
Whether in city Marrakesh or Merthyr Tydfil, you actually won’t go unnoticed.
The flagship Raptor isn’t the alone archetypal to get a makeover. Indeed, with a new Ranger due in 2023 (expect all-American administration and 3.0-litre V6 agent option) the accomplished agency has been reworked.
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New additions to the Ranger, er, ambit accommodate the Wolftrak, a ‘no-nonsense’ barter aimed at ‘customers in farming, forestry and alfresco following industries’, the adequate Stormtrak and the adventurous MS-RT – the closing with a ancillary skirts, faux carbon fibre trim and 20-inch OZ Antagonism alloys.
Ford hopes this flurry of new models will bolster the Ranger’s ascendant position as the UK’s acknowledged pick-up. “We accept about 40 percent of the bazaar and are aiming for 50 percent,” says PR bang-up John Gardiner.
Some would altercate the Raptor’s able 213hp 2.0 agent agent is its Achilles’ heel. After all, the US-market Ford F-150 Raptor gets a able-bodied 450hp 3.5 petrol V6 – and there’s a tyre-smokin’ Shelby Mustang-powered V8 adaptation in the works, too.
In truth, a burden accommodation of aloof 545kg, compared with about 1,100kg for added Rangers, is mostly what holds the Raptor back. Being clumsy to backpack one tonne agency it isn’t classed as a bartering vehicle, so business users can’t abatement the VAT. For abounding analeptic buyers, that agency a amount backpack of about £17,000 against a Stormtrak with the aforementioned engine.
Then again, the Raptor has never been a rational choice. Think of it as a fun agent (a added versatile, family-friendly another to a £50,000 sports car, perhaps) and its shortcomings are easier to overlook.
It’s actually acknowledgment than best achievement SUVs – and far added capable, too.
That adequacy was approved time and afresh in Wales, forth blooming lanes, in a addled quarry and on the motocross track. With 283mm of arena clearance, an 850mm wading abyss and huge access and abandonment angles, the Raptor is like the Terminator: it actually will not stop.
At times, the adverse amid the barbarous area and lashing rain outside, and my ambiance central – adequate by a acrimonious bench and alert to podcasts – seemed about surreal. Surely off-roading shouldn’t be this comfortable?
Perhaps that’s why Ford adored the acrobatics for the end. Because the Raptor is best back pushed above your abundance zone. Two years on, there’s still annihilation absolutely like it.
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