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What's Under the Skin of the 2019 Ford Ranger Raptor?

What’s Under the Skin of the 2019 Ford Ranger Raptor?

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.

Continue reading for the full story.

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The 2019 Ranger Raptor is the Diesel-Drinking Off-Road Beast We've Been Needing

The 2019 Ranger Raptor is the Diesel-Drinking Off-Road Beast We’ve Been Needing

A look at Ford’s new 2.0-liter I-4 turbodiesel

Ford’s new 2019 Ranger Raptor is making big waves as its debut in Thailand reaches America’s shores. Anticipation for the truck garnered nearly limitless speculation from industry analysts and journalists. Everyone basically knew the Ranger Raptor would be wider, taller, have a dolled-up interior, and ride on Fox Racing Shocks. Those were easy guesses. But one thing nobody saw coming was Ford’s new twin-turbo, 2.0-liter four-cylinder turbodiesel under the hood.

The new engine was designed to offer more power and better fuel economy, but with less weight than traditional turbodiesels. Ford’s engine testing included running the engine wide open nonstop for 200 hours with both turbos glowing red hot. The engine was then subjected to countless miles of off-road driving and other extreme regimens. The result, hopefully, is an engine that will last the life of the truck without major mechanical issues.

Speaking of the turbos, Ford is using the age-old trick of compounding the turbos. Rather than having two identical turbos, they are different sizes. The smaller, high-pressure turbo works to combat turbo lag since its smaller size allows it to spool more quickly. This turbo then feeds the larger one, which runs at a lower pressure but with much more air volume. Combined – or compounded – the two turbos work to quickly spool at lower engine revs but deliver big boost pressures at higher engine speeds.

Ford’s result is this: 210 horsepower and 369 pound-feet of torque.

The longitudinally mounted engine mates exclusively with Ford’s new 10-speed automatic transmission, which it co-developed with General Motors. Both the engine and transmission are specifically tuned for the Ranger Raptor, including for severe off-road duty.

Despite the Ranger Raptor’s soft, off-road-oriented suspension, it’s rated to tow 5,511 pounds on its standard two-inch receiver hitch. That’s 511 pounds more than the Chevrolet Colorado ZR2 Duramax is rated to pull. As for power, the Ranger Raptor boasts 29 horsepower more and the same torque figure. Add to that the Ranger Raptor’s four additional gears in its transmission.

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

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This Is It! Meet the 2019 Ford Ranger Raptor!

This Is It! Meet the 2019 Ford Ranger Raptor!

It debuted for Asian markets, but don’t worry, it’s coming here

Ford has finally pulled the covers off its much-anticipated 2019 Ranger Raptor. This is the hard-core off-road version the world has waited for. It boasts many similar attributes to its big brother, the Ford F-150 Raptor, but benefits from a smaller size, a Watt’s link and coil spring rear suspension, and a twin-turbodiesel powerplant. The debut event took place in Bangkok, Thailand, where pickups are extremely popular. And while Ford hasn’t admitted it yet, the Ranger Raptor will arrive in the U.S. Keep reading to learn all about it.

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Mercedes-Benz X-Class Vs. The Competition

Mercedes-Benz X-Class Vs. The Competition

‘Ze Germans reimagine the pickup segment, but how does it stack up?

Mercedes-Benz just made quite the splash when it dropped the new X-Class. Framed as the first truly “upscale” pickup truck, the X-Class intends on redefining the midsize segment with unprecedented levels of luxury and refinement. It might seem like a strange combination to mate luxury with pickups, but as Mercedes points out, “the number of pickups for private use is increasing. They are no longer viewed purely as workhorses.” As such, the X-Class aims to broaden the pickup’s buyer appeal, seeking out folks like “land owners and farmers in Argentina, business owners and building contractors in Australia, families with an affinity for premium products in Brazil, trend-conscious individualists in South Africa and Great Britain as well as sporty adventurers in New Zealand and Germany.” Sounds like quite the collection of buyers. But here’s the thing – is the X-Class really all that revolutionary?

To find out, we placed it alongside some of its biggest competition, including the Toyota Hilux, the Volkswagen Amarok, and the Ford Ranger. And, since its possible Merc might bring the X-Class stateside eventually, we threw in the GMC Canyon Denali as well. Read on for all the specs and info you need, and let us know in the comments how you think the X-Class stacks up.

Continue reading to learn more about how the Mercedes-Benz X-Class compares to the competition.

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2019 Ford Ranger Raptor

2019 Ford Ranger Raptor

Ford likely developing a Raptor version of upcoming Ranger pickup

The Ford F-150 Raptor was supposed to be a specialty truck designed to last a few model years before being retired. That was in 2010. To Ford’s surprise, the desert-running truck struck a nerve and people lined up to buy them. The Raptor jumped generations with the 2015 F-150’s switch to aluminum body panels, returning to showrooms for the 2016 model year. Well, Ford decided to capitalize on the Raptor’s success and capability by extending the same hard-core off-road tech to the mid-size Ford Ranger pickup.

Debuting for the 2019 model year, the Ranger Raptor is wider, taller, and rides on Fox Racing Shocks and all-terrain tires similar to its big brother’s. Ford also decided the Ranger Raptor needed its own powerplant, electing to design and build a 2.0-liter four-cylinder turbodiesel that makes a respectable 369 pound-feet of torque.

Ford’s initial debut of the 2019 Ranger Raptor happened for the Asia Pacific market that includes countries like China, Thailand, India, the Philippines, and Australia. The U.S.-spec model is expected to debut in the coming months, if not weeks.

Update 02/08/2018: Ford has debuted the 2019 Ranger Raptor for the Asian Pacific market. We’ve got all the details in the review below.

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2016 Ford Focus RS – Driven

2016 Ford Focus RS – Driven

The hottest hot hatch is hella fun!

The Ford Focus RS is finally blitzing across American soil after exclusively blasting around European hedgerows and rally circuits. Launched for the 2016 model year, the Focus RS uses some high-tech mechanics, EcoBoost power, and ultra sticky rubber to out-class its competition: the Subaru WRX STI and Volkswagen Golf R. Ford thought I should try the car myself, so a Focus RS coated in Stealth Gray arrived in my driveway. The tester came packed with nearly every option, including the 19-inch aluminum wheels wrapped in Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 tires. Yeah, it was a fun week.

The RS, or Rally Sport, nomenclature started back in 1970 with the Ford Escort RS1600. It was among the first road-going cars to employ a four-valve cylinder head design. Decades later, Ford launched the 2002 Focus RS. This three-door hatch paid homage to Rally Sport-badged Fords before it, while igniting the hot-hatch segment. Sadly, production was kept to only 4,501 examples. Ford got wise by the decade’s end and launched the second-generation Focus RS for 2009. Still, production was kept to small quantities. That has changed with the third-generation Focus RS. Ford plans to produce the 350-horsepower beast through the 2018 model year, capstoned with a 1,500-unit Focus RS Limited Edition model And as mentioned, the Focus RS is selling in both Europe and North America.

So what’s it like to live with the 2016 Ford Focus RS? Keep reading to find out.

Continue reading for our review of the 2016 Focus RS

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Top 3 Changes 2018 Brings to the Ford F-150

Top 3 Changes 2018 Brings to the Ford F-150

This is an extensive mid-cycle refresh!

The venerable Ford F-150 is undergoing yet another transformation for the 2018 model year. It was just back in 2015 that Ford debuted a completely new F-150 that used an aluminum body, a stronger steel frame, a more car-like interior, and a new 2.7- liter EcoBoost V-6 engine. Now just three model years later, the F-150 again goes under the knife. So what’s different? Plenty – keep reading for the details.

The Powertrain – Ford has replaced or reworked every engine for the 2018 F-150. Well, that is if you include the all-new, second-generation 3.5-liter EcoBoost V-6 that debuted for the 2017 model year and carries over into 2018. Starting at the bottom, the old 3.5-liter V-6 is replaced with a more high-tech 3.3-liter V-6. This engine features direct fuel injection for a more precise burn and better efficiency. Ford says the engine should produce the same 282 horsepower and 253 pound-feet of torque as the outgoing 3.5-liter, but offer better fuel economy.

The 2.7-liter EcoBoost V-6 now enters its second generation, just like the 3.5-liter EcoBoost in 2017. It now comes with both port and direct fuel injection, reduced internal friction, and “improved robustness.” We’re guessing that last part includes beefed-up internals. Sadly, Ford did not spill the beans on horsepower or torque specs, but we expect it to make more than the first-generation 2.7-liter’s 325 horsepower and 375 pound-feet of torque, plus with better fuel economy. Even less information was provided about the 5.0-liter V-8, but Ford says horsepower and torque will significantly increase.

Of course, the biggest news is the addition of a 3.0-liter turbodiesel V-6. It will bear the Power Stroke name and is expected to offer class-leading horsepower, torque, and highway fuel economy. The Ram EcoDiesel currently has the title of 29 mpg highway. Ford should have no trouble hitting or exceeding 30 mpg. That’s because the Power Stroke will turn Ford’s new 10-speed automatic transmission. In fact, all F-150 engines will use the 10-speed automatic except for the base 3.3-liter, which will use the carry-over six-speed automatic.

Ford also made shockwaves by announcing the F-150 will offer a hybrid powertrain by 2020. No official information was released about the system, likely because the powertrain is still firmly locked in development. We’ll bring you more as we have it.

We’ve got two more categories for the 2018 F-150, so keep reading for more!

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2016 Ford Ranger Wildtrak

2016 Ford Ranger Wildtrak

Ford has just introduced the Wildtrak trim level on its all-new global 2015 Ford Ranger pickup truck. The Wildtrak sits atop all other trim levels in the Ranger lineup and offers a wide array of standard features, such as electronic driver’s aids, along with a unique look inside and out.

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2016 Ford Ranger Wildtrak

2016 Ford Ranger Wildtrak

Ford has just introduced the Wildtrak trim level on its all-new global 2015 Ford Ranger pickup truck. The Wildtrak sits atop all other trim levels in the Ranger lineup and offers a wide array of standard features, such as electronic driver’s aids, along with a unique look inside and out.

Ford says the Wildtrak is the truck for those wanting “...genuine 4WD capability with stand-out styling and premium features.” That’s certainly the case when scanning the truck’s features list. The truck boasts a slew of electronic driver assist features like Lane Keeping Alert and Lane Keeping Aid; Adaptive Cruise Control; Forward Alert; and Driver Impairment Monitor.

Such features make the Wildtrak sound like a high-end luxury sedan, but the Ranger still offers some impressive truck-like stats. Like the standard Ranger, it can ford 31.5 inches of water, clear obstacles with its nine inches of ground clearance, and tow an impressive 7,716 pounds from its hitch.

Sadly for us in the U.S., the Ranger remains out of reach. Its high levels of luxury and capabilities make it too competitive against the F-150. Adding the truck to the U.S. lineup would simply cost too much money and would rob sales of the F-Series – or so Ford has said.

For those markets around the world that get the Ranger, including Australia, Asia, Europe, South America, and Africa, the Wildtrak bridges the gap between utilitarian trucks and high-end crossovers.

Continue reading to learn more about the Ford Ranger Wildtrak.

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Ford Fiesta ST Vs. Mini Cooper S

Ford Fiesta ST Vs. Mini Cooper S

Compared with our friends in Europe, where hot-hatches are as plentiful as 500-year-old cathedrals and socialized medicine, we in the United States and the rest of North America have been fairly limited in our hot-hatch options. That’s changing. The Volkswagen Golf GTI has always been the constant — not always great, but excellent in recent years. It had the market all to itself until the first Ford Focus ST and Mini Cooper S were introduced in the early 2000s. Three generations later, the Focus got bigger, but the Mini stayed more-or-less the same size. So, to cover its bases in the junior hot-hatch segment, Ford launched the Fiesta ST for the first time in the U.S.

That pretty much brings us up to date. On paper, the current Mini Cooper S and Fiesta ST couldn’t be more evenly matched. Both have torque-happy turbocharged engines producing between 190 and 200 horsepower. Both are roughly the same size to within a few inches. Performance figures and fuel mileage are so similar that you would need a data logger to detect the difference. But despite having similar mission briefs, these are two very different cars with different personalities, tailored to appeal to different end users. Lets take a closer look at both to see which you should put in your driveway.

Continue reading to find out which of the two cars we find better.

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2016 Ford F-150 Gets CNG Capability

2016 Ford F-150 Gets CNG Capability

Ford has announced it will offer its Compressed Natural Gas and Propane prep package on the 2016 F-150. What’s more, Ford is upfitting the 5.0-liter V-8 rather than the 3.7-liter V-6 as it has in years past. That means CNG/P customers get the upgraded capability with the V-8, but at the same $315 upfit charge.

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2015 Ford Ranger

2015 Ford Ranger

Ford has officially announced its latest version of the global Ranger at the 2015 Bangkok Motor Show, the midsize pickup that roams nearly every continent except North America. The truck is heavily revised for 2015, with a new exterior look and interior design leading the headlines.

The truck’s updates are partly in response to increases sales. 2014 saw an impressive 40 percent increase over 2013 sales with its market share growing some 4.5 percent to capture an overall 21 percent stronghold.

Though the truck market outside the U.S. is very different, global truck buyers are looking for the same upgraded refinements – at least judging by the changes found on the new Ranger. It includes more digital displays, the latest version of SYNC, and a cabin with improved NVH levels.

Returning for 2015 is a competent off-roader. An electronic, part-time 4WD system is assisted by an electronic locking rear differential and tidy exterior dimensions that afford generous ground clearances.

New are a slew of electronic safety systems designed to keep the driver out of trouble and others that keep occupants safe if trouble does happen.

Continue reading to learn more about the new Ford Ranger.

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2015 Ford F-150 - First Drive

2015 Ford F-150 - First Drive

Ford may be a massive automaker with products stretching the globe, but much of its success rides in the bed of the venerable F-150 pickup. The F-Series as a whole (F-150, F-250, F-350, and F-450) ranks as the best-selling vehicle in the U.S., pulling in nearly 500,000 sales in 2013. Revamping your top product is risky business, so Ford spent the better part of five years developing what was to become the all-new 2015 F-150.

Before the truck hits showrooms later this year, we flew down to San Antonio, Texas – the heart of truck country – to give the new F-150 a spin. Ford had nearly every flavor of F-150 present, from XL-trimmed work trucks to full-on luxury models branded with King Ranch and Limited badging. All four members of the F-150’s engine lineup were present, too.

During our time in the hill country surrounding the Alamo, we had the chance to subject the F-150 to everything from drag racing and autocross cones to mud-strewn canyons and 9,0000-pound trailers hitched to the receiver. It was definitely a wide sampling of driving situations.

Ford hasn’t taken the competition coming from GM and Ram lightly. A handful of Silverado and Ram 1500 examples were on hand for side-by-side testing on the autocross course and towing loops. While our time behind the wheel of all three trucks was limited, we came away with a good understanding of where Ford stands in relation to the competition.

Click past the jump to see if the all-new 2015 Ford F-150 can best the competition

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