Ford Philippines recently took the local motoring media on a 600-kilometer journey from Sequoia Hotel in Quezon City to the Highland Bali Villas Resort and Spa in Pantabangan, Nueva Ecija to demonstrate how its Ranger lineup lives up to its wittingly crafted “Built Ford Tough” slogan through one of the most grueling terrains in the country.
But before heading out for an almost four-hour journey en route to Nueva Ecija, the participants from different media outfits made a quick detour to Clark, Pampanga to see how the Ranger variants’ off-road capabilities would fare in the punishing landscape and the unpredictable conditions over at Sacobia River.
Since we were divided into two groups to maximize our seat time with each variant, I decided to get up close and personal with the Ford Ranger 2.0-liter 4X4 Wildtrak to see what it could do on a series of tailor-made steep obstacles situated on the side of the lahar beds.
As I stepped on the accelerator, the Wildtrak responded fittingly, maneuvering swiftly through the obstacles which demanded precise steering.
I went through the same obstacles over and over while I was waiting for my turn to test-drive the Raptor. I thought it was just a matter of time before I pushed the Wildtrak to its breaking point, but the pickup truck delivered with ease, proving itself as a tough off-roader you can truly depend on.
After my jaunt with the Wildtrak, I stood at the edge of the lahar beds and marveled at the Raptor that was gliding through the brutal terrain of Sacobia River.
When it was my turn to see if the Raptor’s reputation was well-earned, a thunderstorm suddenly inundated the once-parched river – turning it into raging watercourse almost 350mm deep.
There was a brief hesitation at the back of my mind if I should proceed with the test drive but realized that it would be a great opportunity to see for myself if the Raptor’s “Baja” mode could also overcome ‘baha’ (flood)-like situations that’s way too prevalent on the streets of the metro.
When I finally stepped on the gas pedal, the Raptor’s 2.0-liter bi-turbo diesel engine roared to life and swiftly surged through the river like it was some sort of an amphibious vehicle.
Sitting behind the wheel of the Raptor as I cut through the river like what Moses did to the Red Sea, I realized that the Raptor is indeed in a league of its own.
Yes, there may be other 4X4 pickups or even SUVs that could easily overcome the Sacobia. But the difference is, the Raptor can easily take on any type of difficult off-road terrain very easily.
The Raptor’s impressive off-road speed is possible because of its plethora of feats underneath, such as its new chassis frame consisting of high-strength low-alloy steel and its Fox-manufactured position-sensitive damping shock absorbers which provide higher damping forces at full jounce and rebound to enable improved off-road capabilities.
Aside from its excellent off-roading capabilities, the Ranger Raptor also comes with an array of driver-assistive technologies such as a fully integrated voice activation system that offers the driver hands-free control.
It also sports a handy satellite navigation system for off-roaders as it functions on its own, especially when you’re entering remote areas.
When I finally reached the end of my turn and I stepped out of the Raptor, I couldn’t agree more that this super truck is built to be punished. Indeed, the Ranger Raptor earns its badge as a super truck that is “Built Ford Tough.”