mid-size truck - aftermarket
Ever since the first F150 Raptor hit the market we have been asking for a Ranger counterpart. And it seems that ever since the last generation of the Ranger, the market has somewhat demanded the release of this model. Through countless custom formations and aftermarket creations, we have seen what the public views as a Ranger Raptor. Some where well worth the extra money whereas some were only worth a quick view online. But whatever the case was, we all wanted a Ranger Raptor.
So now it seems that Ford has been listening all along as they are finally set to release their own take on the Ranger Raptor. But don’t get your hopes up if you live in any of the new Ranger markets as only markets which had the last generation will be allowed to have this new great model. This may seem odd, but in a way, it is a smart move on Ford’s part, as they want to test this new model in true mid-size markets rather than cannibalizing sales in markets dominated by full-size pickups. But don’t worry as the next generation Ranger will bring the Raptor to the world masses.
It sure took a while to get here but the new Ranger Raptor will definitely be worth the wait. And it seems that it will be well worth the wait as this is a true Ranger Raptor which has almost everything we ever wanted. Off-road suspension and tires, Raptor grille, broad shoulders, extensive ground clearance and even a proper skid plate. And like its bigger brother it won’t be coming with a big block V8 that most consumers would have loved, but we can start with this for now.
Up front this new Raptor really means business, as it utilizes the F-150 Raptor grille and adds on a few subtle touches to make it more Ranger inspired. The standard outline is there, but when you think about it, Ford could have use this as an excuse to update the aging grille. They did however manage to integrate the headlights into the design of the grille. But unlike that of the F150, these headlights are flat facing, not inset. And inset could have added a bit more brunt to the front along with a black accent surround.
Ford did however add in one very useful front skid plate which is more than what you need and will come in handy when you’re trying to make that 10ft jump across the dunes. Added to this they have added in a few well integrated tow hooks. These could come be useful when you get stuck in the sand after your 10-foot jump.
There was however one thing that Ford again forgot to do for the Ranger Raptor. Seems they lost their way when it came to the hood as there is a lack of a proper hood cowl. A cowl hood could have emphasized the broad shoulder appeal and boosted the performance appeal of the Raptor. It could have been utilized for some hot air exhausting as well as Ford could have added on some side cowl exhaust ports. This too would have enhanced the overall appeal and better helped the engine bay breath when pushed to its limits.
Along the side is where this standard Ranger is lost to some oversized wheels and wide body wheel arches. Ford has capitalized on a wide body stance as both the front and rear wheel arches have been enlarged to suit both the larger wheels and enhance the look of this model.
One downside to this was the overuse of black plastic cladding. The colour and material do fit nicely, but they could have been toned down a bit. Better integration here could have helped the overall appearance as well as the cladding does come off as cheap slap stick approach. Bringing down the size could help here along with the addition of screw points. This would enhance the use ability of the Ranger and better enhance the overall appeal of the cladding.
Ford did pick out some great wheels as they do fit well with the overall design. Along with their colour and size, these wheels are rather easy to clean as well. Their design helps keep mud off of your brakes, which is great for those weekend mud-run rides into the bush.
Depending on where you live will determine a few of the side profile features as well. In some parts of the world you may be graced with a rear sport bar and box cover which help add to the overall appeal of the Raptor. And if you feel like spending a bit more, you can opt for a light bar to add to the top of your sport bar. Would have been nice if it was factory, but at least they do have the sport bar to start from. It was also nice that Ford used the same colour coding and material as the rest of the accessories so that they would all blend together.
Moving to the rear of the Raptor you will find that not much has changed here between the standard Ranger and the Ranger Raptor. This is where Ford really lags behind as the Ranger Raptor has hardly any new updates besides the Raptor logo and smoked lights. Ford could have spent a bit more time back here as this is what you will see first when its parked or you come up on it on the highway.
So, unlike the F150 Raptor you won’t find a dual exhaust, embossed logo or accent pad. No, Ford has done away with this for the Ranger Raptor, opting only for a Raptor logo instead. But this does leave the door open for more on the next Ranger Raptor as it does create a clean slate for improvement. So, all is not lost on the rear.
As it seems that Ford has left out some great features which they could have carried over all is not lost though. They did manage to integrate some useful tow hooks into the rear bumper. These will be great when you get this little beast stuck and have to call in help from a friend. You may also want to ask that friend for some help cleaning out your rear exhaust ports as Ford has left them out of the rear integration. Meaning that you may need to find them so that you can clean them out properly. Had they gone with the same integration as the F150 Raptor, you wouldn’t have to worry as they are right at the rear of the truck.
All around the appeal of the new Raptor is powerful, as it does utilize the most powerful name in off road trucks to its best form. But with a few minor touches this little beast could be a true show-stopper within the ring of mid-size power trucks. And like its bigger brother the appeal of performance is true to its form and each piece of the Raptor flows with one another. Good Show Ford.
But it may be too late for the North American market as Chevrolet is looking to release the Colorado ZR2 Bison and Toyota already has their Tacoma TRD off road package. Even with the credibility of the Raptor name behind it, the Ranger Raptor may have a hard road ahead of it when it finally arrives on our shores. Lets just hope they listen to us and make the needed changes before them bring out the 2nd generation Ranger Raptor. We can only hope.
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