• Ford's new 292kW V6 Ranger Raptor features a 2.5-inch active valve exhaust system.
• It allows owners to select the exhaust sound they want, including Quiet mode, so you don't wake your neighbours with a rowdy roar at start up on early mornings.
• If you love the sound of the new Raptor's exhaust, you can download it as a ringtone for your phone -find the link at the end of the article.
Ford's next-generation Ranger and Ranger Raptor will be launching imminently in South Africa. The automaker reckons its new Raptor is built to dominate the deserts and master the mountains with its 3.0-litre twin-turbo V6 engine under the bonnet. It dishes out a fantastic 292kW, ultimately making it SA's most powerful bakkie when it arrives.
But today, we're focusing on something else… the pickup truck's new active valve twin exhaust system and four drive modes. One of the modes is 'Quiet mode' for those early morning starts, which will keep your neighbours from sending angry messages on the Neighbourhood Watch WhatsApp group about the inconsiderate driver with the raucous V6 bakkie.
According to the Blue Oval brand, the system is designed to control the noise emitted from the new Raptor's powerful 3.0-litre twin-turbo V6 engine. This is thanks to an active exhaust system that opens valves – much like a saxophone or a large pipe organ – to change the car's sound based on the driver's mood. This feature is not entirely new and can be found on the brand's sports car, the Mustang. However, it is the first time it is now being deployed on the popular range-topping bakkie and also includes a Baja exhaust mode.
Justin Capicchiano, Ford Performance and special vehicle engineering manager, says: "For the next Ranger Raptor, we wanted to make the character of the car come alive, to emphasise the power and define the presence of the vehicle, but not make the car tiring when it didn't need to be. We spent hundreds of hours tuning and developing the vehicle's sound and think we have something that sounds right for the bakkie."
So how does it work?
The driver can control the system based on their preference using the 'Exhaust Mode' button or automatically according to one of the four drive modes they've selected: Quiet, Normal, Sport or Bajai.
By selecting Quiet mode, owners can keep the exhaust sound to a minimum. Even better, the Raptor allows the scheduling of "quiet start", which will enable owners to set their vehicle to always start in Quiet mode or set a quiet time (with start and end times).
To change the exhaust sound, all you have to do is press the button on the steering wheel that looks like an exhaust pipe. The first press displays a pop-up message on the digital instrument cluster of the selected mode, while pressing the button again allows you to change the chosen exhaust mode.
• Quiet – Quietest setting for all driving conditions.
• Normal – Default setting provides a balance of comfort and feedback. Applied by default to Normal, Slippery, Mud/Ruts and Rock Crawl drive modes.
• Sport – Slightly louder than usual for spirited driving.
• Baja – The loudest setting for off-road use only. Maximum exhaust noise under all driving conditions.
"There's a lot involved in the science of sound, and we wanted Ranger Raptor to sound the way it looks and drives. The team had to consider and model everything from the whistle produced by the turbochargers to filtering out prolonged tones when driving at a constant speed," said Capicchiano.
"From computer modelling to physical prototypes, the intention was to create a distinctive and emotionally exciting engine note that will have the hair standing up on the arms of those who hear it. We want you to know it's a Ranger Raptor driving down the road before you see it."
Raptor fans who want to enjoy the distinctive Baja exhaust note, a ringtone has been created. It can be downloaded from the Ford South Africa website here.