Silverton, Pretoria - To celebrate the European debut of the Ranger Raptor performance bakkie, Ford has released this two-minute action video, highlighting its off-road capabilities against a group of dune buggies and motocrossers in a spectacular open-cast quarry chase sequence.

The Raptors that will be sold in Europe from mid-2019 will be built at Ford’s Silverton assembly plant east of Pretoria, and they’ll have the same two-litre bi-turbodiesel EcoBlue four as the South African-market version, delivering 157kW and 500Nm via a 10-speed automatic transmission with paddle-shift override, and two rear-wheel and four all-wheel drive modes.

But power, they say, is useless without control. What makes the video possible is the Raptor’s long-travel off-road suspension, with aluminium control arms, a special coil-over rear axle setup with a built-in Watt’s linkage, and position-sensitive 46.6mm Fox shocks that have firmer damping at the top and bottom of their travel to cope with gnarly airtime and softer damping in the middle for a comfortable ride on smooth surfaces.

And when you push even that a bit too far, there’s a 2.3mm steel bash plate to protect the engine and gearbox from marauding rocks.

If you don’t want to wait until the middle of next year to get the feel of the Ranger Raptor, it’s also featured in the newly released Forza Horizon 4 video racing game, which is why the European launch took place, not at a motor show but at the Gamescom trade fair, in Cologne, Germany.

IOL Motoring