Performance car of the year 2022 Finalist: Ford Ranger Raptor SE
So you’re shocked that we have allowed a bakkie on Performance car of the year? One that’s already about to be replaced at that! Don’t be. A bakkie has even won Pcoty before – the Chevy Lumina SS back in ’09. But this is an old school ladder frame bakkie? Yip, we know. But it’s a very special ladder frame bakkie and it’s incredible off-road capability is what’s earned it the nod alongside M5, E 63 S and RS6, et al.
A DIFFERENT KIND OF PERFORMANCE
Sure, if the BMW sets off and gets to 100 and the Merc launches that instant, and then the Audi sets off the moment the merc gets to 100, the sum of those three cars’ 0-100 will still be quicker than this Raptor. But it’s not its road performance that makes Raptor so special. It’s rather it’s incredible rough road prowess that piqued our attention. The rougher, the better!
This is the latest Raptor SE with an integrated sports hoop and a lockable load bay roller shutter. If that makes a difference. It still only has the regular Ranger Wildtrak’s 157 kW 500 2-litre bi-turbodiesel turning the usual 4×4 drive via a 10-speed automatic. But the rest is radical. As if it escaped the Dakar paddock. Flared composite fenders accommodate custom fat rubber and long-travel suspension. Aggro bash plates protect the underbelly and Tech Suede trim tries hard to keep the cabin relevant.
Forged aluminium front control arms and a completely re-engineered bespoke Watt’s linkage rear end allows unlimited vertical rear axle movement without any lateral play. Race-like ultra-high performance Fox position sensitive dampers are the real party trick. They bring 32% front and 22% more rear wheel travel. A Terrain Management System even adds a wild Baja driving mode.
OBSCENE DIRT DRIVING ABILITY
Raptor rides 51 mm taller on a 150 mm broader track with massive 283 mm ground clearance. Extreme 4×4 credentials spread from 850 mm wading to 32.5-degree approach, 22-degree ramp-over and 24-degree departure angles. At the expense of a ton less towing and slightly compromised load capacities.
Find an extreme mountain trail, washed away wagon track or dodgy dunes and just attack. Pretend you’re fighting Al Attiyah off to win the Dakar. It does it all. This super bakkie is at its best tackling the toughest terrain. The faster, the harder the better. Flat out. It does so with astounding ease. All while retaining quite incredible levels of control and comfort.
Raptor handles like a race truck, soaks up anything you throw at it and rewards the driver with stupendous ability. It hovers over whatever terrain at race pace. As if suspended from above. Leaving those impeccable Fox shocks and race underpinnings to frantically deal with the terrain like a magic carpet ride. Raptor’s only real compromise it that it is rather under-engined. Something we trust that the new one will soon overcome.
DAMN SURE RAPTOR BELONGS IN PCOTY!
All of which is why we allowed this purpose built bakkie onto Performance car of the year 2022. The Ford Ranger Raptor has rewritten the bakkie record books for good with off-road performance like never before. And in our eyes, that’s a perfect fit.
PERFORMANCE CAR OF THE YEAR 2022 FINALIST Ford Ranger Raptor Special Edition Engine:157 kW 500 Nm 2-litre biturbodiesel I4 Drive: 10-speed automatic 4x4 TESTED: 0-100 km/h: 9.69 sec 0-160 km/h: 18.80 sec 400m: 16.9 sec @ 131 km/h 80-120 km/h: 7.45 sec 120-160 km/h: 14.83 sec CLAIMED: VMax: 190km/h Fuel: 8.3 l/100km CO2: 220 g/km Warranty/Service: 4y 120K/6y 90K km LIST PRICE: R950K
Performance car of the year 2022 Program Pcoty ‘22 Introduction Audi RS 6 Avant BMW M5 Competition Ford Ranger Raptor SE Jaguar I-Pace Mercedes-AMG A45 S Mercedes-AMG E 63 S Mini Cooper SE Toyota GR Yaris Volkswagen Golf 8 GTI Pcoty ‘22 Electric Shootout Pcoty ‘22 Super Hatch Shootout Pcoty ‘22 Super Saloon Shootout Pcoty '22 Top Three Pcoty ‘22 Winner