WATCH | Scaling mountains and splashing mud - what the Ford Ranger Raptor was made for


• Ford's Ranger Raptor is a very lifestyle-orientated bakkie.

• The Ranger Raptor has bespoke suspension for impressive off-road dynamics.

• The Ranger Raptor retails for R875 700.

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When it comes to bakkies, consumers often purchase them for practical reasons. Though there's nothing wrong with it, you sometimes want to explore and venture outside of your comfort zones in… well, in comfort.

That's where the Ford Ranger Raptor comes in.

Using the Ranger WildTrak 4x4 Automatic as its base, the Raptor takes things up a notch with a package that is virtually without competition. It's a bakkie that can go almost anywhere without the driver having to fear what's around the corner. It's an impeccable machine and one that'll leave you with a grin as wide as the Atlantic Ocean.

As the above video illustrates, the Raptor can conquer almost anything in its path.

Ford Ranger Raptor

2020 Ford Ranger Raptor (Image: Warren Wilson)

The adventure

While we are no strangers to the Ranger Raptor and its credentials, it is always a welcome experience to drive one of the finest bakkies in South Africa. And part of what makes it such a joy to slide in behind the steering wheel is the suspension. FOX came onboard developed custom shocks for this bakkie, and the result is a vehicle that is deterred by nothing.

On tar, it's a dream. On gravel, you barely feel the unevenness of the surface you're driving on. Just outside Kleinmond, before the R44 meets the R43, we made a left onto Highlands Road. This twisting gravel road runs through the mountainous area and exits several kilometres outside Grabouw on the N2.

Here you can stretch the Raptor's legs and have it run at a decent pace. Some of the bends are blind, so a careful, slow approach is needed. Just a few kilometres from the tar, as the road begins to descend, we stumbled upon a majestic lookout point. The landscape stretches out in front of you and being on top of the world seems like the perfect spot for the Raptor.

Where would you venture with the Ford Ranger Raptor? Email us with your ideal adventure.

Getting muddy

Gravel wasn't the only surface the Ranger Raptor had to contend with. Since plenty of rain has been come down over the Western Cape recently, one of the off-road tracks just outside Cape Town, Melkbos 4x4, provided the perfect proving ground to test the Raptor in some gruelling conditions.

With the tyres deflated to one bar, we set about tackling the first section of the course: a good few kilometres of sand. The heavy rains stiffened the surface, which made allowed the bakkie to venture through it with only the rear wheels providing propulsion. It sure helped to have the stability control deactivated, but the Ranger Raptor was as comfortable in the sand as a gazelle in the savanna.

The second part of the course brought about a different challenge as the bakkie had to endure standing water and scaling several hills. Usually, when wading a trench, one must be cautious about damaging the electronics. But with a wading depth of up to 850mm, the Raptor almost giggled as it did showed the course who's boss.

WATCH: These four boys got a ride to their new school in a Ford Ranger Raptor and it made them feel so cool

When we got to the hill section, we activated 4x4 High and kept the traction control off. The bakkie made mincemeat of what the course threw at it - just highlighting how good the bakkie is.

Ford Ranger Raptor owners will be quick to point out just how capable this bakkie is. If it is venturing into the unknown or scaling a mountain to get to that lookout point, the Raptor is up for the challenge. The bi-turbo 2.0-litre diesel engine is always willing and able to take up a challenge, never backing down with its 157kW and 500Nm.

The 10-speed automatic gearbox goes a long way in keeping engine revolutions down, but it's incredibly punchy when 'Baja' mode is activated, and you engage the next gear via the steering wheel-mounted paddles.

The Ranger Raptor is a truly good bakkie and a good indication of what is expected of a proper recreational vehicle.

Ford Ranger Raptor

2020 Ford Ranger Raptor (Image: Warren Wilson)

Technical specifications:

Ford Ranger Raptor

Engine: 2.0-litre bi-turbo diesel

Power: 157kW

Torque: 500Nm

Gears: 10-speed automatic

Drive: 4x4

Economy: 8.3-litres/100km (manufacturer's claim)

Ground clearance: 283mm

Wading depth: 850mm

Kerb weight: 2338kg

Price: R875 700

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