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Driven: Ford Ranger Raptor misses AEB – for now

Race-ready: The Ranger Raptor features unique Fox Racing Internal Bypass twin-tube shock absorbers with position sensitive damping on both of its axles.

Autonomous emergency braking on hold for incoming Ford Ranger Raptor flagship


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25 Jul 2018

FORD’S Ranger Raptor performance ute flagship will miss out on autonomous emergency braking (AEB) when it is launched in October, with fewer than half of the incoming updated Ranger variants getting the key safety feature at launch.
Speaking to journalists this week at the Ranger Raptor international media launch at Tipperary Station in the Northern Territory Outback, Ford Asia Pacific vice-president of product development Trevor Worthington revealed AEB would eventually be available on all Ranger variants, including Raptor.
“For the change that we’re making with the (updated Ranger), about 70 to 80 per cent of our Rangers (sold) will have AEB,” he said.
“There are a couple of derivatives that we’re still delivering the plan on, so we’ve got a firm plan to introduce AEB on all the other Rangers, and we’re working on it.
“You’ll notice there are some physical differences between the (updated Ranger) and the (Raptor) that we’ve had to do that mean (AEB) will be available in the not too distant future.
“We know how important it is. We’ve got lots and lots of safety features, so it’ll be available soon.”
At $74,990 plus on-road costs, the Raptor commands an $11,000 premium over the Ranger Wildtrak on which it is based.
Advanced driver-assist systems in the Raptor currently extend to lane departure warning, lane-keep assist, high-beam assist, driver attention alert, traffic sign recognition, cruise control, a speed limiter, rear parking sensors, a reversing camera, hill-start assist, hill-descent control, trailer-sway control and roll-over mitigation.
When questioned by GoAuto about the reason for the AEB delay, Mr Worthington said the complexity of the Raptor’s development meant several challenges.
“Programs like these are very, very complex with all the technology, and there’s a lot of new uniqueness with this vehicle that really means we weren’t able to do it for (the first production car),” he said.
“We’ve got a firm plan. We’re working on the plan, and we’ll let you know when we’ve got a firm date.”
Mr Worthington added that delaying the Raptor’s launch to ensure it included AEB in line with its flagship positioning was never a consideration.
“It’s really just about the logistics of the complexity of programs like this,” he said. “With Ranger, we’ve always been the leader with technologies that our customers appreciate, so there’s no backing off from that as our position.
“It’s really a question of making sure we deliver everything our customers are going to want. People are going to love the (updated) Ranger; they’re going to love the Ranger Raptor.
“We’ll be in a position next year to let you guys know when the rest of the range – the 20 per cent that don’t have the feature – will get it.”
Mr Worthington confirmed that AEB will be introduced as part of a rolling update to the Raptor – likely with pedestrian recognition alongside forward collision warning and adaptive cruise control – instead of waiting until a more significant model-year change is reached.
As previously reported, AEB is standard on Wildtrak variants of the updated Ranger, while their XLT siblings can be optioned with the safety technology as part of a $1700 package, which also includes five other features.
The Raptor is motivated by an all-new 2.0-litre EcoBlue twin-turbocharged four-cylinder diesel engine that produces 157kW of power at 3750rpm and 500Nm of torque from 1750 to 2000rpm.
These outputs are achieved by a smaller high-pressure turbocharger with variable geometry that spools up first, while a larger sequential low-pressure unit with fixed geometry fires up at higher engine speeds.
Drive is sent part-time to all four wheels via a dual-range transfer case and a 10-speed torque-convertor automatic transmission with magnesium paddle shifters.
As a result, the 2404kg Raptor can sprint from standstill to 100km/h in 10.5 seconds while on the way to its top speed of 170km/h.
Claimed fuel consumption on the combined cycle test is 8.2 litres per 100 kilometres, while carbon dioxide emissions have been tested at 212 grams per kilometre.
While the Raptor matches the regular Ranger with its independent MacPherson-strut front axle, it picks up a Watts link axle with long-travel outboard coil-over dampers for its rear end.
Additionally, unique Fox Racing Internal Bypass twin-tube shock absorbers with position sensitive damping are found on both axles, with the rear also featuring a piggy back remote reservoir.
Meanwhile, forged-alloy upper and cast-alloy lower controls arms help reduce weight over the regular Ranger’s steel units.
The Raptor’s terrain management system features six modes – Normal, Sport and Weather (2WD), Mud/Sand and Baja (4WD), and Rock/Gravel (4WD Low) – that allow the driver to adjust the automatic transmission and the tweaked electronic traction and stability control systems to suit driving conditions.
Ventilated disc brakes (332 x 32mm) replace the regular Ranger’s rear drums, while larger vented rotors (332 x 24mm, up 9.5mm in diameter) are also an upgrade up front alongside twin-piston callipers.
Other standard equipment includes dark-coloured 17-inch alloy wheels, 285/70 BF Goodrich KO2 all-terrain tyres, spray-on tub-liner, an Ezy-lift tailgate strut, a power-operated tailgate lock, underbody protection, dusk-sensing HID headlights, LED daytime running lights, front LED foglights and rain-sensing windshield wipers.
The Raptor’s body kit has chassis-mounted front bumper with air curtains, a high-strength steel bash plate, sheet moulded front fenders, a rear bumper, four tow hooks, black wheel-arch extensions, a Ford-branded front grille, a sculpted bonnet and heavy-duty skid plates.
Inside, an 8.0-inch Sync3 touchscreen infotainment system, Apple CarPlay support, satellite navigation, power-adjustable sport seats, a sport steering wheel with a red on-centre marker, Technical Suede and leather-accented upholstery with blue contrast stitching, bespoke instrumentation, scuff plates, dual-zone climate control and keyless entry and start feature.
Braked towing capacity is 2500kg – 1000kg less than the Wildtrak on which the Raptor is based, while maximum payload falls short of one tonne, at 758kg.
Compared with the Wildtrak, the Raptor is 330mm wider, at 2180mm, partly due to its 150mm-wider front and rear tracks. It is also 25mm taller, at 1873mm, and 9mm longer, at 5398mm, while its wheelbase is unchanged, at 3220mm.
Approach, departure and breakover angles are 32.5, 24 and 24 degrees respectively, while ground clearance is 283mm. The Raptor’s bespoke tub is 1743mm long, 1560mm wide and 964mm tall.

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