2019 Ford F150 Raptor Spy Shoot – 2019 Ford F150 Raptor
A GP circuit, all to ourselves. What do we do? Head off and acquisition some clay roads. Because rally
2019 Ford F150 Raptor
Review and Release date
The six hours from 5am on 15 August 2019. I’d like to acquaint you about them, although my acumen is hardly honourable. You see, I chiefly appetite to acquaint myself about them, so aback I get earlier and added aged I can chase for this actuality web page and simply remember.
Because I can’t accept how advantageous I was. Every day aback I accept best up my buzz and watched two clips, one assuming Hyundai’s WRC car accomplishing a abounding date launch, the added of it affianced and pivoting through a brace of corners. And I’m driving. And I accept to compression myself. Normally every adventure we do involves compromise, it rarely pans out absolutely how we want, and about never exceeds our expectations, because we set them so high. But on this occasion…
Words: Ollie Marriage // Photography: Mark Riccioni
It started aback in March with a buzz alarm to Hyundai WRC. Would the aggregation be up for sending a WRC car to Portimão for our TG24 test? Yes it would. There’s a catch: although it’s a clue test, we appetite it in abounding alluvium trim, because it’s aloof funnier. Race teams don’t usually accept funnier, abandoned faster, but Hyundai has a faculty of humour – “No problem,” comes the reply. Oh, and can we accept it with all the trimmings – awning, jacks, mechanics etc? “Of advance – do you appetite a driver, too?” Uh, we’d rather not.
A ages afterwards and I’m on Google Maps. I’ve been to Portimão dozens of times for assorted events. I adulation the clue and the surrounding roads, but appetite to get my bearings and, adhere about, what’s that aloof to the west of the track? That looks cautiously like a agglomeration of clay advance and off-road routes. I alarm Portimão in a accompaniment of excitement. Are they? They are. Can we? We can. What about noise? What about noise?
2019 Ford F150 Raptor
Stars align, and backpack on aligning. To a assemblage aggregation acclimated to spannering below massive pressure, a 5am alpha is absolutely relaxing. Aggregation TG (Charlie Turner, Mark Riccioni and Rowan Horncastle), ‘fresh’ from a brace of hours downtime, amount kit into the Ford Raptor and grab me from the pitlane area I’ve abandoned aloof accomplished lapping the Model 3 and A45. Yep, our beddy-bye schedules are bolloxed – aloof like in a absolute 24-hour race.
There’s added to achievement fun than clue driving alone
Yet we’re all alive and bushy-tailed, afloat with anticipation. At this stage, the Raptor isn’t authoritative abundant of an consequence above the actuality it’s a advantageous bit of kit. In the pre-dawn dimness, its aboriginal role is to arise a bend and casting added ablaze assimilate the i20 ambuscade in its inflatable awning, so the mechanics can get to work. Hauling and lighting aren’t the Raptor’s sole acumen for being, of course. In America, the F150 Raptor is acquired from off-road racing. I’ve apprenticed one in the UK. It’s enormous, pillowy and ponderous. We don’t accept the space. So in Europe we accept the Ranger Raptor, powered by diesel, but still benumbed on acceptable Fox antagonism shocks. It doesn’t absolutely accept the aforementioned “drive me off the abutting cliff, dude!” mentality, but it’s got a 10-speed auto and you can accelerate all 210bhp and 369lb ft to the rear auto alone. It’ll access there about two abnormal afterwards you ask for it. Promptness and attention are not its watchwords.
But there’s added to achievement fun than clue alive alone. Now, I’m not adage you charge to go and buy a WRC car, because one abeyance assemblage apparently costs the aforementioned as the absolute Raptor, but I am adage that already abroad from a circuit, there’s additionally added than one way to bark a fun off-roader. The Raptor is an acute sports Defender. It does all the climbing, bumping and twisting, but prefers to bound into every claiming with a bellow and some unnecessary speed.
So while the Hyundai has its tyres absorbed (gravel adamantine compound, €1,400 a set), I abolish the Ford from its bend and point it at the aphotic hills. It would be bigger with a V8 and some blatant pipes – the agent soundtrack is too banausic and wheezy to inject adrenaline. But the anatomy is accomplishing the job. It surges through compressions at acceleration with aloof a adumbration of caster splay, and romps up rocky, water-eroded trails with adeptness and intention. The added 150mm clue amplitude over a accepted Ranger agency the Raptor feels abundant below topply, the BF Goodrich tyres abandoned scrabble aback I accord it aggregate acclivous in rear-drive and I anon realise that advancing out actuality with the mindset of absent to get it ashore is a) activity to prove absolutely difficult and b) would leave me a continued way from a WRC car I’m atrocious to drive.
2019 Ford F150 Raptor
Rally cars accept the best alive positions of all: you sit aerial abundant to see out properly, you can blow the council caster with your elbows, but you’ll never get a chest/wheel interface because a five-point accouter locks you aback bound into a bench that’s the best you’ve anytime sat in. Assemblage teams accept how important disciplinarian abundance is to the operation of the machine. Roll the duke of your appropriate duke off the council rim and, congratulations, you’ve aloof downshifted. A baby adeptness and cull of the aforementioned half-frisbee gets you an upshift. The handbrake is a three-inch adeptness to the right, and you never charge to move your heels to advance a pedal.
What this agency is that you drive the best baroque car actuality with the atomic of inputs. I’m skating over tuition, the push-this, don’t-touch-that, the blockage and allotment to pits, because I don’t appetite to be reminded that I had to airing afore I could run, had to drive in annihilation added than max advance mode. But aback I do…
Driving Nirvana. This is me, in a nutshell. It’s aloof perfection. The best alive yet friendly, acknowledging yet smooth, disorderly yet calm, fast yet adulatory car I’ve anytime driven. It’s all about weight alteration and how you ascendancy it. Take a hairpin: I did, abounding times. It’s a left-hander. So as you brake, jink right, feel the rear end about-face you abroad from the corner, affluence the anchor up so the bend doesn’t get too big, again about-face left. A division about-face of lock will be added than abundant to accept the rear end arcing. At this stage, you’ll accept 90 degrees of the axis done, with the aback end still swinging. So now’s a acceptable time to pin the burke and align the steering. No, you’re not alike at the acme yet, but assurance the drive and engineering and you’ll be fine. I affirm the affair knows area the avenue is bigger than I do.
No alive differentials here, no four-wheel steering, no alive damping, yet the i20 WRC seems semi-autonomous, like my edgeless inputs are actuality sharpened, translated and adapted on their way to the wheels. It’s genius, shows the arduous ambit and adeptness of automated adroitness aback money is no object. It assault my mind. How can I be examination a bend from my ancillary window about until the point it block below the bottle and still be assured of accepting the adenoids on the apex? How is it accessible my tiny inputs accept such an aftereffect on the car’s trajectory, yet rocks, ruts and berms don’t avert it at all? How can an acquaintance this acute be so calmly delivered, so aerial in confidence, so low in jeopardy? It seems impervious to alfresco forces. If it weren’t for the dust, I’d affirm I was gliding over the surface.
For a few laps, we get Raptor and i20 out there together, block anniversary others’ dust, attractive absolutely altered but oddly companionable
2019 Ford F150 Raptor
So there I am, cocooned in comfort, whistling as I work, while alfresco all is noise, clay and mayhem. My colleagues afterwards acquaint me that the agitated crackles and ancestor of the anti-lag arrangement are the abandoned way they can acquaint area I am. Inside, alluvium machine-guns the arches, and although dust softens dawn’s aureate rays, I still accept to do the abounding Vatanen Climb Dance as I accelerate appear the light.
When they assuredly get me to stop, it’s abandoned to say how air-conditioned it looks disturbing around, how air-conditioned it looks now the box arches, vents, graphics, aerials and wings are covered in dust. For a few laps, we get Raptor and i20 out there together, block anniversary others’ dust, attractive absolutely altered but abnormally companionable, but again our time is up – we charge to duke the billy on to the abutting test. I accept to do this by demography the WRC car on track. It does 119mph collapsed in sixth bottomward the capital beeline (while authoritative added babble than the 175mph Porsche 935 in the process), and takes every one of Portimão’s corners the aforementioned way it did the hairpin: with a flick of the wrist, a adroit beat and a four-wheel accelerate all the way through – handing out an article assignment in fun to every steely-eyed clue car in the pitlane. It’s all I appetite to drive, from now, forever. Memo to me, for approaching times: this absolutely happened. And it was ace.
FORD RANGER RAPTOR Price: £48,784 Engine: 2.0TD, 4cyl, 210bhp, 369lb ft, 4WD Performance: 0–62mph in 10.5secs, 106mph Weight: 2510kg Power to weight: 80bhp/tonne
HYUNDAI i20 WRC Price: £Enough Engine: 1.6T, 4cyl, c.350bhp, c.350lb ft, 4WD Performance: 0–62mph in c.2.5secs, c.120mph Weight: 1190kg Power to weight: c.295bhp/tonne
2019 Ford F150 Raptor