Ford has confirmed that the Raptor edition of its Ranger pick-up will go on sale in Europe in mid-2019.
Billed by the manufacturer as the toughest, highest-performing model in the range having taken inspiration from off-road racing events, it has debuted at the Gamescom trade fair in Cologne, Germany.
It features a reinforced chassis, using high-strength, low-alloy steels to cope with extreme off-roading, along with race-inspired suspension designed to tackle rough terrain at high speeds.
The brakes have also been upgraded, and the pick-up sits on specially-developed BF Goodrich 285/70 R17 all-terrain tyres, measuring 838mm in diameter and 285mm wide.
There’s also underbody protection in the form of a bash plate made from 2.3mm-thick steel, in addition to the Ranger’s standard engine and transfer case under-shields.
Power comes from a bi-turbo version of Ford’s 2.0-litre EcoBlue diesel engine, which produces 213hp and 500Nm of torque, and is paired with a 10-speed automatic gearbox.
The onboard terrain management system allows the driver to select from six drive modes – normal, sport, grass/gravel/snow, mud/sand, rock, and Baja – with the latter tuned for high-speed off-road performance inspired by the Baja Desert Rally.
Styling changes compared with the regular Raptor include a new grille, front bumper with new LED fog lamps and air-curtain ducts, flared front fenders, and side-step boards designed to protect the rear of the truck from rock spray, and featuring drain points for sand, mud and snow.
Inside, the seats have been designed for high-speed off-roading with dual-firmness cushions, and suede-effect materials for enhanced grip.
There is blue stitching along with leather accents throughout, and racing-style magnesium paddle gear-shifters near the bespoke steering wheel, which features and on-centre marker to help drivers keep track of wheel position off-road.
Onboard technology includes Ford’s Sync 3 communications and entertainment system with an 8in colour touchscreen, including voice-controlled audio, satnav and smartphone connection, along with Apply CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility.
Driver assistance systems include an enhanced version of Ford Stability Control incorporating a roll mitigation function, electronic stability control, trailer sway control, hill start assist, hill descent control and load adaptive control.
Ford says fuel economy and CO2 emissions figures will be published closer to when the Raptor goes on sale.
Ford has also announced that the Raptor will feature in the upcoming Forza Horizon 4 video game, hence making its debut at the gaming industry show – the first vehicle ever to do so.