The all-new 2022 Ford Ranger Raptor recently arrived in Malaysia with a price tag of RM259,888, complete with a five-year/160,000km manufacturer’s warranty. While that may seem like a lot to pay for a pick-up truck, there’s more than meets the eye with the new Ranger Raptor.

If the words ‘Ranger Raptor’ were not written on the spec sheet or brochure, it could’ve easily fooled you for a new thoroughbred performance car by Ford. Heck, it might as well be as these are a few of the cool, sportscar-like features you’d never expect a pick-up truck to have.

Rally car-style turbo anti-lag system – instant torque!

Aside from headlining the news as the most powerful production Ranger ever with 397 PS and 583 Nm of torque from its new 3.0-litre twin-turbo V6 petrol engine, the Raptor also gets a revised 10-speed automatic gearbox. But that’s not all, as a new drive mode has been introduced and its name alone induces excitement – Baja.

Select it and everything from the engine and transmission, down to the suspension goes into its sportiest setting but there’s more. In Baja Mode, the turbochargers will continue spinning for an additional three seconds after the driver has lifted off the throttle. If the driver gets back on the accelerator within that time, the Raptor is able to deliver instant torque for even more responsive acceleration – just like a rally car!

Active valve exhaust system – Quiet mode to be neighbour-friendly, Baja Mode for max volume

If you’re reading this, it’s very likely that you can identify and appreciate the bellow of a V6 engine, so it would be a crime to not let the twin-turbocharged unit in the Raptor sing. Ford clearly understands this and as such, has fitted an active valve exhaust system in the new Raptor, featuring an X-pipe and electronically-controlled valves to offer different exhaust notes.

It may look discreet, but the noise it makes is anything but. You even get different modes for the exhaust – Quiet, Normal, Sport and Baja – with Baja being the loudest. These modes can be selected via a dedicated button on the steering wheel. Yes, we’re still talking about a pick-up truck.

Fox adaptive dampers – soft for extra comfort or stiff for more control at a push of a button

Fox dampers are not uncommon to the Raptor as the previous generation model was already fitted with them. With the new Raptor, however, comes an even more advanced Fox adaptive suspension with new 2.5-inch Live Valve internal bypass shock absorbers. These are filled with Teflon-infused oil for 50% less friction for an even smoother ride.

There are even sensors to monitor the driver’s input and road condition 500 times a second to adjust the damping rates accordingly, in order to deliver the best possible ride in all driving conditions. Ford said it’s the most sophisticated dampers ever fitted in a Ranger.

Bottom-Out Control System – leave the squatting at the gym

Part of what makes the Fox dampers the most sophisticated ever in a Ranger is the Bottom-Out Control system it features. As the name suggests, the race-proven system essentially prevents the rear end from squatting under hard acceleration. The fact that this is fitted to the Ranger Raptor in itself says a lot about the performance on offer here, doesn’t it?

The system works by stiffening the rear dampers in the last 25% of travel. Less squat at the rear, more control at the front end, more power on the road. You see where we’re getting with the Raptor, don’t you?

Trail Control system – have you ever heard of cruise control for off-road use? Now you have.

As aptly highlighted by Ford, the Ranger Raptor may be inspired by desert racers but it also ‘excels at the slow stuff’. It may not be a ‘sportscar-like’ feature, but it’s too unique to not mention. The Trail Control system is essentially like cruise control but for off-roading.

By simply selecting the Trail Control icon on the Tesla-style 12-inch vertical infotainment touchscreen, the system is activated and can operate at up to 32 km/h. The speed can be set by the driver from the steering wheel like you would with a regular cruise control system. The driver is only required to steer the car while acceleration and braking are managed by the car. The feature also works for hill descends as well.

All that said, there’s only so much about the Raptor we can convey through words but from what was mentioned, don’t you think the Ranger Raptor is more sportscar than pick-up?

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