The Ford Ranger Raptor is the ultimate in 4x4 double cabs here in SA, it's the halo model that sits atop the Ford range, the one that people have on their lotto winnings car list, myself included. Every model built has an immediate buyer too, showing that people who want something special are prepared to shell out decent money, and the Ranger Raptor is very decent money. There's a new model planned for the end of 2022, and so to keep prospective buyers happy until then, Ford SA have created the Ranger Raptor SE - or Special Edition. The base for the Ranger Raptor SE remains pretty much the same mechanically and feature-wise, as seen when I had one on test a while back, but the addition of attention-grabbing feature highlights and a sportier interior trim have been added to make the truck just that it just that much more exclusive. And it works!
The main features like the Fox Racing suspension, the amazing Terrain Management System, the super smooth 10-speed auto and the 157kW/50Nm 2.0 bi-turbo diesel all remain the same, which is good because you don't mess with things that work. The combination of the mechanical and electronic bits in the Ranger Raptor are what make the truck special, and sought after. They're so good that I can't possibly think what would change in the next model. It also explains why the limited edition SE version has tweaks centred more around styling and visuals.
It comes in some special colours; Performance Blue, Frozen White, Conquer Grey and Agate Black, and the addition of a pair of red-edged matte black stripes over the truck as well as on the lower body sides, rear wings and tailgate looks freaking rad man! There's also some sticker work surrounding the headlights, much like. Another noice change is having the meaty tow hooks finished in red making a great contrast to the surrounding factory bashplate.
On the Ranger Raptor the flared arches, front and rear bumpers, handles and the grille are all in a single shade of grey, but on this new Raptor SE they've all be made matte black. A subtle change with a brilliant visual impact. They've also added in the sports hoop usually reserved for the Ranger Wildtrak, and it suits the Raptor SE perfectly. The lockable Mountain Top black roller shutter, as seen on the limited edition Ranger Thunder, has been added to the Raptor SE. This addition is brilliant, and makes so much sense on a Raptor seeing as the load bin on these isn't meant for huge loads, but more to store your goodies when you're overlanding at highway speeds.
The cabin sees a few tasteful changes too. The stitching on the seats, steering, door cards is now in red instead of blue - a small but cool change. The instrument panel is also now finished in Raceway Grey, and the red stitching just works with this. The seats in the Ranger Raptor SE are finished in a brilliant Technical Suede and while they look like race seats, they're ridiculously comfortable. Of course they offer up great support during high-performance off-road driving - which oddly happens A LOT in a Raptor. More red is seen in the needles for in dials, proper sporty vibes. The steering wheel also gets red stitching with a red centre locator, and having magnesium paddle shifters added makes for a brilliant visual.
To sample the Ranger Raptor SE, a bunch of us were able to drive a convoy of them from CT International through the Tankwa Karoo. These roads are usually quite uncomfortable, but the suspension in these Raptors is so damn good that it feels like the roads flatten out into smoothness. This is one of those things that need to be felt, words don't really do the drive in the Raptor SE any justice. Bang the drive mode into Baja and you can comfortably exceed highway speeds on gravel roads, it's amazing. You still need to exercise caution though, because if you do manage to cock up on gravel, physics takes over and you're just a passenger.
In the overnighter trip, we had pretty much all kinds of weather, but it made near as no difference to the drive and comfort in the Raptors. It did add in mud, lots and lots of mud, which made for even more epicness, and some rad pics.
The Ranger Raptor Special Edition is not cheap, you're looking at a price tag of R965 300, R45 000 over the "regular" Raptor. There's definitely more than enough changes to warrant the increased price. If you had to try and do all these changes in an aftermarket capacity you'd be spending way more than that price difference, that's for sure. What you have here is a Ranger Raptor that's a little more exclusive, and it a brilliant almost mid-life tweak keeping the nomenclature fresh and relevant until the new model arrives. There's a reason it's touted as the best premium truck (bakkie) available.