(In the interest of full disclosure you should know the author is a moderator at the Facebook ZR2 owner's club).
THE 2018 FORD RANGER RAPTOR is one of this year's most anticipated new vehicles, with Facebook pages dedicated to it and Internet forums and news stories melting the internet. While undoubtedly high-strung, the team thermo-tested the sequential turbo setup for reliability at glowing red-hot temperatures for 200 hours continuously.
The new engine is backed by Ford's 10-speed automatic transmission as seen in the F-150 Raptor which is lighter and optimised for durability and features "live in drive" function that allows for manual shifting override at any time.
THE rampaging Ford Ranger Raptor, which will soon set a new Australian benchmark for sports utes, is ready to roar.
Like the F-150 Raptor, the Ranger Raptor gets Ford's Terrain Management System. "Just like the F-150 Raptor, the Ranger Raptor builds upon the core capability of the range of vehicles it comes from and carries the unmistakable Ford Performance DNA appearance", Ford said.
Colours include include lightning blue, race red, shadow black, frozen white, and hero colour, conquer grey. Other upgrades include dent-resistant front bumpers, its ground clearance has increased to 11-inches and a Fox Racing Shox shock absorbers. Underbody protection is courtesy of a 2.3-millimeter thick bash plate, armoring the radiator, sump, front differential, power steering pump, and other components.
At the rear, a modified rear bumper comes with an integrated tow bar and two recovery hooks rated at 3.8 tonnes. Higher up, the new rear tray has grown to measure 1560mm x 1743mm and Raptor badging and stickers adorn the tailgate with new EZ lift struts that reduce lifting effort by 66 per cent. The chassis uses various grades of high-strength low-alloy (HSLA) steel.
Inside, there are unique seats designed for high-speed off-roading, trimmed in "technical suede".
The new Ford pickup truck has been created to ensure extreme off-road capability and stability, and the innovative new Watt's linkage rear suspension with coilover rear springs helps ensure rear axle lateral stability, and improves ride and handling.
The Ranger Raptor borrows many styling cues from its big brother, the F-150 Raptor, including its grille with the large block FORD lettering. What Ford is doing in the Ranger Raptor, though, deserves some extra attention.
Baja mode - Vehicle responsiveness is tuned for high-speed off-road performance, just like drivers need in the famous Baja Desert Rally.
"It is unbelievable to enable this level of performance and create a vehicle that can provide off-road enthusiasts such an adrenaline rush", he added.
"A lot of pickup truck buyers around the rest of the world are diesel buyers". It was designed by Ford Performance for the "true enthusiast off-roader", and Ford says it strengthens the company's commitment to deliver "Built Ford Tough" pickup trucks to customers in Asia Pacific. There are also airbags and a reversing camera with rear parking sensors, the image is projected onto the 8.0-inch infotainment touchscreen which offers Sync3 and Apple and Android connectivity.
Ford's comprehensive Electronic Stability Control (ESC) system is also there to help in hard cornering and braking situations.
Ford Australia has not announced pricing or availability but has confirmed it will be launched locally this year, with dealers already taking orders.