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Wednesday, December 1, 2021

Ford Ranger Raptor: the £50,000 pick-up that challenges the bounds of commercial vehicles

Best of all, prices start at around £64,000 in the UK, some £14,000 more than buying a diesel Raptor from your local dealer. Ford’s most extreme off-roader already looks hardcore enough but Hennessey offer further upgrades still, with a suspension kit and 35-inch tyres for another £13,000 more.

Built by Ford Performance, the non-performance UK Raptor is a case of the bark being worse than the bite. I’m slightly embarrassed driving a truck this size that is so insecure in its monster skin. All those aggressive decals and archaic name badges seem prehistoric in 2021.

When I’m out and about I generally try and park the Raptor somewhere it isn’t going to offend anyone. Those quiet corners of a supermarket car park, where it doesn’t matter if you take up two spaces instead of one.

The Raptor’s aggressive vibe might mean something if it could be brutally quick on road. Instead, this is a 2.5 ton behemoth that would barely manage to beat a Nissan Micra in a drag race.

I’m starting to think that a standard Ford Ranger might be a better all-round proposition. Cheaper, less in your face, VAT-qualifying and available with higher payload capacity. On the other hand, a Ranger doesn’t look like it could swallow a Micra whole.

The demand for lifestyle pick-ups in the UK shows no sign of abating, even with the rise and rise of the go-anywhere, do-anything SUV. The £50,000 Raptor does seem a big spend for a car originally designed as a utility vehicle and often found at a builder’s merchants.

Frock horror

At risk of angering some readers, it’s fair to assume most Raptor owners are likely to be men. The big Ford is more macho than a wrestler’s jockstrap.

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