We’ve all heard about how the Ranger Raptor is “inspired” by the demanding Baja rally races, but saying it is one thing, actually doing it is another. In an effort to demonstrate its tenacity, Ford has announced that it’ll actually be taking the all-new Ranger Raptor to tackle the SCORE International Baja 1000 rally, or what it calls “one of the toughest off-road races in the world”.
The Baja-prepped Ranger Raptor is the work of Ford Performance, who partnered with Australia’s Kelly Racing and US-based Lovell Racing – the former built the car, while the latter, led by multi-time off-road champion and Off-Road Motorsports Hall of Famer Brad Lovell, will develop and run the racing programme at Baja itself.
The car has been built and tested in Australia before being brought over to the US for final development and testing, ahead of the demanding endurance race which begins on November 18.
“By entering this event, we’re building on the hundreds of thousands of kilometres of development testing and pushing the Ranger Raptor to new extremes,” said Ford Performance Off-Road Motorsports Supervisor, Brian Novak. “The Baja 1000 is a demanding event and a well-known proving ground for off-road vehicles. We are excited to compete in this extreme event with Ranger Raptor.”
The race-prepped Ranger Raptor is built to the rules of the Baja rally’s stock class, which are meant to demonstrate the capabilities of the stock street trucks, instead of using a purpose-built space frame chassis. Additionally, the Ranger Raptor will also be racing on a low-carbon biofuel blend formulated by Shell, which consists of more than 30% sustainably sourced bio components, demonstrating the potential of these fuels in the most demanding environments.
The all-new Ranger Raptor will be taking on the mantle in continuing Ford’s rich history in the demanding Baja rally races, including an overall win with the Bronco all the way back in 1969, and more recently in 2017 with the stock F-150 Raptor, where it finished on the podium before driving an additional 644 km home.
Aside from the stock cars, Ford has also participated in the Baja 1000 with several purpose-built Trophy Trucks, where it recorded a long list of overall victories.
The all-new Ford Ranger Raptor was recently launched here in Malaysia, where it’s priced at RM259,888 on the road, without insurance. It’s now powered by a 3.0-litre twin-turbocharged V6 petrol engine instead of a turbodiesel mill, sending 397 hp and 583 Nm of torque to all four wheels.