The world’s biggest bakkie company is going all-in with its Raptor.
Ford is keen to keep reaping the potential profits of a global bakkie market which shows no signs of ebbing, and that is good news for South African fans of the brand.
It has already been confirmed that South Africa will remain a crucial production hub for the next-generation Ford Ranger – and now there is some greater clarity on potential powerplants.
As demand for Ranger increases in America, the bakkie has been allocated greater technology and engineering resources in terms of specification. The result is that Ford will be investing handsomely to ensure a global Raptor is part of the derivative mix, for next-generation Ranger.
Perhaps the only point of criticism with the current Ranger Raptor is its lack of overtaking performance. The 157 kW turbodiesel engine struggles to move all the heavy-duty Raptor hardware with aplomb and American bakkie customers will demand greater performance.
Ford will use its sophisticated 2.7-litre V6 turbopetrol engine for the North American market Ranger Raptors. Whether that engine will be applicable for the South African market, is debatable, as local bakkie drivers have an aversion to large-capacity petrol powerplants.
Whereas the current T6 Ranger Raptor is only available with the single 2-litre bi-turbodiesel engine, the 2022 model year version is expected to also have a 3-litre version. This will be a repurposed F-150 turbodiesel, producing 186 kW and 600 Nm from its V6 configuration. The 2-litre will also continue to be offered for the Raptor in the next generation. There is no indication yet if the V6 turbodiesel will be made available to SA-built Raptors but with the 2022 Amarok set to be built by Ford South Africa as well, it could make a case for it in terms of scale.
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Ford is cleverly leveraging its various engine resources across all bakkie platforms and Ranger owners will benefit most, as larger F-150 engines find their way into the ‘smaller’ double-cab bakkies.
The 3-litre V6 engine is adequately powerful to not require any modification for its Ranger Raptor application. It will also offer drivers an 18% increase in power over the 2-litre bi-turbodiesel, which should solve the throttle response issues suffered by current owners, due to the less than ideal power-to-weight ratio of their Raptors.