It hasn’t come as much of a surprise that the car Ford was keeping under wraps is the Ranger Raptor. And why choose Gamescom? Well, along with the show taking place in Ford Europe’s home town of Cologne, the Ranger Raptor is making its debut in a racing game. Which game won’t come as a huge shock either: Forza Horizon 4.
The Ranger Raptor is the latest in Ford’s performance pick-up range. It’s based on the Euro market Ford Ranger, and packs a two-litre bi-turbo diesel engine good for 210hp and 368lbft of torque. Ford pairs this with a 10-speed automatic transmission, shared with the F-150 Raptor.
To help it cope with some serious off-road conditions, Ford fits FOX shock absorbers. The dampers feature 1.8-inch pistons with Position Sensitive Damping to adapt to speed and road conditions. There’s a terrain management system that feature normal, sport, grass/gravel/snow, mud/sand and rock modes, along with a “Baja” mode for high speed off road performance:
BF Goodrich has developed special 285/70 tires for the Ranger Raptor, with a tough sidewall and knobbly off-road tread pattern. These fit over the Ranger Raptor’s unique 17-inch wheels, with themselves hide 332mm vented brake discs and two-piston brake calipers.
The vehicle uses a unique, reinforced chassis frame, with high-strength steels to stand up to off-road racing. There’s specific underbody protection including a bash plate made of high-strength steel and measuring in at 1/10th-inch thick.
But for most of us the first experience we’ll got of the Ranger Raptor is in Forza Horizon 4. Alongside unveiling the car, Ford revealed that it’s to be added to the car list of the open-world racer which, for this iteration, is based in the UK.
Visitors to Ford’s stand in Hall 8 at Gamescom will find a pair of Ranger Raptors flanking the exhibit space. In the middle there are eight Forza gaming pods and a 4D racing simulator. The fastest driver each day on the 4D simulator will win an exclusive day with the M-Sport Ford World Rally Team, near Cockermouth in the UK.
Ford has played a major role in the franchise for years now. In 2017’s Forza Motorsport 7, 72 of the Blue Oval’s vehicles are available to players. According to Microsoft, players have spent a combined time of almost three centuries driving them around the game’s circuits.
Dan Greenawalt, the creative director at Turn 10 Studios and the Forza franchise comments:
“Since the Ford GT graced the cover of Forza Motorsport 6 in 2015, millions of gamers have driven Ford performance cars on Forza’s virtual roads, experiencing these impressive cars at their limits in Forza’s world-class simulation engine. Almost 700,000 unique Forza drivers already added the F-150 Raptor to their virtual garage, and there’s little doubt the Ranger Raptor will be just as coveted.”
Roelant de Waard, vice president of marketing, sales and service at Ford of Europe, adds:
“There’s a genuine fun-factor about this unique vehicle, a rally-style pick-up that will bring smiles to drivers and gamers across the world. It’s also a stunning addition to the virtual Ford garage that already includes some of the most driven vehicles on Forza, and we know gamers everywhere will enjoy all the on- and off-road thrills Ranger Raptor has to offer.”