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The new Ford Raptor is a handsome hulk

The Raptor is an off-road version of the normal Ranger bakkie that has a stronger chassis, a suspension with 32% more front travel and 18% more at the Watt's link rear, and an impressive 272 mm of ground clearance.

HIS enormous size belied his lack of good looks, as anybody from my age who grew up seeing The Incredible Hulk on television would attest. Regardless, we adored him because he defeated evil with conviction. This hulk, which I am describing, has stunning good looks. The all-new Ford Ranger Raptor.

At the moment, there is no faster or more off-road-capable bakkie than the powerful Ford Ranger Raptor. Read on!

Not your regular bakkie

The Raptor is an off-road version of the normal Ranger bakkie that has a stronger chassis, a suspension with 32% more front travel and 18% more at the Watt's link rear, and an impressive 272 mm of ground clearance.

Fox dampers, which were also used by its forerunner, provide ride quality, but this vehicle's version is more technologically advanced, with position-sensitive damping that changes in response to road conditions.

A major selling point of Ford's beefy new bakkie, which costs close to US$90 000, is its ability to ride comfortably on tough terrain. Another thing entirely is doing it with the rumble and roar of a racing automobile.

The new diesel-powered dual turbo V6 Raptor has almost double the engine output of its 2,0-litre turbo diesel predecessor, and in terms of straight-line speed, it resembles a humongous Ford Mustang with a load bin.


Thanks to my rich cousins, I got to drive a Ford Raptor in South Africa last month, and it seemed like it could go from zero to hundred kilometres in under eight seconds. It's the combination of speed and sound that creates such an impression.

I drove it on the N3 from Johannesburg to Durban. I was able to reach 100 km/h in 8 seconds. This bakkie is faster than any other I have driven, surpassing even my 9-second 0-100 km/h time in the VW Amarok. Others have achieved better times, but it must be on the race track.

With its anti-lag technology and 10-speed automatic gearbox with paddle shifters located on the steering wheel, the huge Ford delivers a daring sensation with each pedal press.

The Raptor is like a large pit bull pulling on its leash whether you're running, passing, or doing anything else. Getting a 2.4-tonne bakkie to move with such unbridled enthusiasm is an engineering wonder; what's more, it sounds like a sports car. In its most aggressive setting, the Raptor's exhaust produces a deep-throated rumble reminiscent of a Mustang.

Modes and moods

When you donot want to annoy your neighbours, you can easily lower the tailpipe drama with a push of a button. But if you are in the mood to have a party, crank up the pipes and get a bakkie on steroids.

Additionally, the wheel-mounted controls allow the driver to adjust the suspension and steering settings, and a single button can save and access their preferred combination.

One of the off-road driving modes allows you to unleash the full power of this bakkie's engine, gearbox, and stability control system, much as in the Baja 1000 off-road event in Mexico.

Most of my high-speed pursuits on the N3 took place under Baja, playing straight into the Raptor's strength. It is also one of the best off-roaders I have ever driven.

With its increased power and Baja mode, the new Raptor is far more enjoyable to ride than its predecessor. If you desire to transform it into a rally vehicle and your insurance coverage is complete, you have the option to disable the stability control, thereby intensifying the enjoyment. Only partial disablement was possible in the previous Raptor.

The newest Raptor is a brazen and angry bird. The bakkie's performance is commensurate with its aggressively athletic appearance, which exudes power thanks to its towering posture, flared wheel wells, and striking black Ford grille writing.

The large Ford excels on rocky routes thanks to its locking front and rear differentials, three modes (2H, 4H, and 4L), and a dial between the front seats that lets the driver select between slippery, rock crawl, sand, and mud/ruts. We tested the car on almost every imaginable off-road terrain, and it performed well on every one.


The Raptor's roomy interior, well-appointed amenities, and bump-absorbing suspension make it an ideal everyday driver. The seats, shaped like jet fighters, offer ample legroom and provide exceptional support and comfort.

Integrated into the infotainment system is a massive 12-inch touchscreen that supports both Apple and Android wireless smartphone communication. Ports for both front and rear passengers to charge their devices are also available.

A 400W inverter is used to power the load box with 240V and a 12V plug.

Cameras and sensors make parking this broad behemoth less stressful, yet it is still a struggle. The driver can see what is going on all around them in real time thanks to a 360-degree camera system with a split-view display.

The massive bakkie exudes refinement, with no external noises that require activating the costly 10-speaker 660W Bang and Olufsen music system. The wide, hefty tyres produce a little more road noise than standard rubber, but other than that, they are perfect.

My decision

"Sexy Hulk" is the best way to characterise this bakkie. The new Raptor, for example, has a thirst problem. The previous diesel model returned an average of around 10 litres per hundred kilometres, while its petrol-powered successor guzzled more than 22 litres per hundred kilometres in high-adrenaline mode and 14,9 litres when driven more conservatively. The manufacturer's stated 11,5 litres are not attainable.

While traveling straight, Raptor rides and sounds like a Mustang with a load bin. Being free of the need to avoid potholes is a liberating feeling.

The Ford Ranger Raptor's 285/70 R17 BF Goodrich all-terrain KO2 tires glide effortlessly over these common obstacles that may puncture vehicles' rims. Mustangs are loved by everyone.

The new Ranger Raptor represents a paradigm shift for those who are able to shell out close to US$90 000 plus fuel expenses. Putting its sexy and screaming appearance aside, it is, without a doubt, the most agile and competent off-road bakkie available.

On average, a Zimbabwean single garage will be 3,1 metres in height, 3,5 metres in width, and 6 metres in length.

With dimensions of 1,92 m in width, 5.38 m in length, and 1.96 m in height, the Ford Ranger RAPTOR 3.0 (4x4) will fit well in your garage.

Ford has delivered the goods. End of story. An off-road weapon that doesn't need a great deal of driving expertise, the Ranger Raptor is well built and engineered.


0-100km/h: 6.7 seconds (as tested)

Capacity: 3.0l

Fuel combined (L/100km): 11.5

Power: 292kW

Tank Size (L): 80

Top speed: 180 km/h

Torque: 584Nm

Transmission: 10 Speed Automatic

Type: Selectable 4WD, low range transfer case

Type: Ten-speed Auto

  • andrew@muzamhindo.com

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