4x4, Bakkies, Buyers' advice, Ford, Motoring News, new models, off-road

Ranger Raptors set to hatch first half of 2019

  • Trial units done, full-scale SA production next
  • R3bn investment, extensive Silverton upgrade
  • R160-million invested for 2019 expansion
2019 FORD RANGER RAPTOR: Global bakkies to be assembled in South Africa. Image: Ford SA
2019 FORD RANGER RAPTOR: Global bakkies to be assembled in South Africa. Image: Ford SA

PRETORIA, South Africa – The concept of Ford’s Ranger Raptor is closer to reality with the first trial units emerging from Ford’s plant in Silverton, Pretoria.

They are the first Ranger units to join the Ford Performance catalogue, a high-speed, but also off-road, bakkie and the benchmark for its segment.

It will be launched in South Africa in the first half of 2019. Until then, in preparation for mass production, Silverton has built the first 10 Ranger Raptors as a tooling trial to validate the high-tech assembly-line.

2019 FORD RANGER RAPTOR: Global bakkies to be assembled in South Africa. Image: Ford SA
2019 FORD RANGER RAPTOR: Global bakkies to be assembled in South Africa. Image: Ford SA

The line was extensively upgraded thanks to a R3-billion investment into Ford’s SA operation.

Ockert Berry, Ford’s Middle East and Africa operations vice-president, told the Corner in a media communication:

NEW CONVEYORS, TOO

“This was a momentous occasion – we witnessed our first Ranger Raptor test unit leaving the line after more than 18 months of upgrades and modifications at Silverton.

“We are also handling other parts of the line, including new shipping conveyors. This is an additional R160-million investment in preparation for our expanded production capacity in 2019.”

READ MORE Ford features on Carman’s Corner

Berry added that the Raptor was ‘’an exciting and very important’’ model that will not only pioneer a dimension in the bakkie market but also be the first Ford Performance model to be produced in South Africa for export to Europe, the Middle East and throughout Africa.

2019 FORD RANGER RAPTOR: Global bakkies to be assembled in South Africa. Image: Ford SA
2019 FORD RANGER RAPTOR: Global bakkies to be assembled in South Africa. Image: Ford SA

Power will come from a new 157kW / 500Nm, two-litre, bi-turbo engine to be assembled by Ford in Port Elizabeth and equipped with new 10-speed auto transmission.

WHICH WOULD YOU BUY: Hilux or Ranger?

‘’The Ranger Raptor,’’ Berry adds, ‘’has the punch to match its muscular and assertive design and off-road ability.’’

READ MORE Ranger Raptor features here

Also aboard will be ‘’position sensitive’’ shock-absorbers, a terrain management system with a ‘Baja’ mode, a toughened / reinforced chassis, and powerful all-disc brakes and model-specific BF Goodrich tyres.

2019 FORD RANGER RAPTOR: Global bakkies to be assembled in South Africa. Image: Ford SA
2019 FORD RANGER RAPTOR: Global bakkies to be assembled in South Africa. Image: Ford SA

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