Highlights include beefy shocks, aluminum control arms, and a Watt’s Link

The 2019 Ranger Raptor is making headlines as it finally debuted in Bangkok, Thailand. As expected, the truck takes the same approach to high-speed off-roading as its big brother, the Ford F-150 Raptor. There are a few major differences, however, not the least of which is the Ranger Raptor’s suspension.

The mid-size truck does use Fox Racing Shocks at all four corners, an independent front suspension, and a solid rear axle. However, the similarities stop there. All four of the Ranger Raptor’s Fox shocks measure 46.6mm in diameter for improved off-road refinement on high-speed bumps compared to the standard Ranger. Fox uses Position Sensitive Damping technology to give the shocks variable rates. With mild bumps, the shocks provide a soft ride thanks to lower damping forces. Driven hard over rough terrain, the Fox shocks provide higher damping deeper into the shocks’ travel. This keeps the truck from hitting its bump stops while still providing a tailored ride in a variety of situations.

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What's Under the Skin of the 2019 Ford Ranger Raptor?
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Of course, the instantly recognizable Fox Racing blue color is easily seen between the front wheels and bumper.

The front suspension uses aluminum controls arms, both top and bottom, to manage the movement of the wheels. The shocks are mounted inside the coil springs in a MacPherson strut configuration. Of course, the instantly recognizable Fox Racing blue color is easily seen between the front wheels and bumper.

Out back, the solid rear axle is held in place with multi-link track bars and is sprung with coil springs, unlike the traditional leaf springs of the F-150 Raptor. In fact, the shocks are mounted inside the coil springs, much like the MacPherson strut used up front. The Ranger Raptor also boasts an innovative Watt’s Link mounted to the rear of the differential housing. The special bracketry allows the axle to freely move vertically while not allowing any horizontal movement. The track bars mounted to the front of the axle are responsible for the axle’s positioning fore and aft. They also help manage axle wrap under heavy acceleration.

When it comes time to stop, the Ranger Raptor uses upgraded disc brakes behind each all-terrain tire. Doing most of the work, the front brakes use dual piston calipers that are 9.5mm larger than stock. They clamp on large, 13-inch vented rotors that are 1.25 inches thick. Out back, 13 x 0.94-inch vented rotors are capped with a single-piston caliper that’s also larger than the standard Ranger’s.

What's Under the Skin of the 2019 Ford Ranger Raptor?
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Ford’s tire choice remains the same for both Raptor pickups – BFGoodrich All-Terrain T/A KO2 tires. On the Ranger Raptor, they are sized at 285/70R17.

Should the Ranger Raptor happen upon a less-capable vehicle that has become stuck, it boasts four tow hooks. The two front tow hooks are rated at 9,920 pounds while the rear tow hooks can handle 8,377 pounds. Naturally, the receiver hitch can be used as a recovery point, too. While Ford didn’t give its maximum weight rating, the Ranger Raptor as a whole is rated to pull a 5,511-pound trailer. We’d bet its shock rating is nearly double that.

The Ranger Raptor’s defense against underbody trail damage comes via beefy skid plates. The corrugated plate is 2.3mm thick and is stamped from high-strength steel. It protects everything below the front steel bumper and down to the front suspension crossmember. Two other skid plates used on the convention Ranger protect the engine and transfer case.

Of course, none of this would matter if the Ranger Raptor didn’t have a strong backbone. Ford gave the truck a new and reinforced ladder frame that’s said to have been specifically designed to handle the rigors of high-speed off-roading. The frame includes provisions to accommodate the larger suspension system, along with the upgraded bumpers and underbody skid plates.

What's Under the Skin of the 2019 Ford Ranger Raptor?
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Ford’s biggest surprise for the 2019 Ranger Raptor, at least for those trucks in the Asia Pacific market, is an all-new 2.0-liter twin-turbo four-cylinder diesel.

Ford’s biggest surprise for the 2019 Ranger Raptor, at least for those trucks in the Asia Pacific market, is an all-new 2.0-liter twin-turbo four-cylinder diesel. The engine was designed with Raptor duties in mind and was subjected to thousands of hours of grueling torture testing. The engine uses compound turbos to eliminate turbo lag while providing huge amounts of boost. The result is 210 horsepower and 369 pound-feet of torque.

Not surprisingly, Ford is using its new 10-speed automatic transmission. Ford hasn’t released any information on the Ranger Raptor’s transfer case or whether the rear axle includes electronic locking differential or a Torsen limited slip in the front. We’re betting the T-case will use the same style technology as the F-150 Raptor, though, since Ford is using the same driving modes as the F-150 Raptor.

These modes include Normal, Sport, Grass/Gravel/Snow, Mud/Sand, Rock, and Baja. Like with the F-150 Raptor, these modes likely change the engagement and behavior of the T-case, all by toggling through the drive modes via the selector switch on the steering wheel.

Ford hasn’t released any info on a U.S.-spec Ranger Raptor, though we fully expect that to happen sooner rather than later. The standard Ranger will arrive in the U.S. for the 2019 model year, so news will likely break before the fall of 2018.

Stay tuned to TopSpeed.com as we continue our coverage of the 2019 Ford Ranger Raptor.

References

Ford Ranger

What's Under the Skin of the 2019 Ford Ranger Raptor?
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Read our full review on the 2019 Ford Ranger Raptor.

2019 Ford Ranger
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Read our full review on the 2019 Ford Ranger.

2017 Ford F-150 Raptor High Resolution Exterior
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Read our full review on the 2018 Ford F-150 Raptor.

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