Go behind the scenes at Ford Design and see in a minute and a half what it takes to turn a drawing in a sketchbook into the most powerful Ford Ranger ever seen in Europe: the new Ranger Raptor.
Hundreds of sketches, thousands of kilos of clay and hundreds of liters of paint. People often think of making new cars as complicated machines that assemble vehicles on giant production lines, but the whole process starts with manual labor.
The Ranger Raptor’s design began with an instruction that formed the backbone of the design, incorporating the inspiration and all desired features.
“Once the creative brief was established, the designers began drawing, which always starts with pencil and paper,” said Dave Dewitt, exterior design manager, Ranger Raptor. After approving the hundreds of sketches, the digital design team creates a virtual representation of them. This serves as the main reference document and is used for the next step: making a clay model.
Using more than 4000 kilos of clay, machines first make 1:3 scale models and then full-size models. These are then molded into the final shape by clay artisans. Ford’s design chiefs approve the clay model, after which it is ‘frozen’. Clay modelers also make full-size models of steering wheels, dashboards and seats.
While modelers are at work, the color and materials team begins selecting fabrics, textures and colors to emphasize the Ranger Raptor’s new look and feel within the vehicle’s design DNA.
Customers can choose from seven exterior colors, including the eye-catching Code Orange and Conquer Gray (unique to the Raptor), which further enhance the car’s exclusive and sporty character. For even more visual flair, Ford offers fender decals that give the Raptor a racing character.
Interior designers ensure that the Raptor’s interior feels like a cockpit, yet is as practical as a pickup’s interior should be.
While the various teams work on the interior and exterior, the engineering design team dives deeper into the car to ensure that the sporty character also penetrates below the surface.
After a lot of hard work – much of it done by hand by a team of talented creatives and craftsmen – the end result is the all-new Ranger Raptor.
The Ranger Raptor’s sporty chassis is wrapped in a striking and defiant exterior. Not only does it take the Ranger to the next level, but it also screams Ford Performance and is clearly related to the F-150 and Bronco Raptor.
“The principle of our design brief for the Ranger Raptor was ‘form follows function’ and the goal was to take the Ranger to the next level,” said Max Tran, chief designer of the Ranger Raptor.
The team was also tasked with conveying the Ranger Raptor’s history through its design. “You have to get a clear picture of the power, performance and capabilities of the Ranger Raptor at a glance while recognizing that it is part of the Ford Performance and Raptor family.” Dewitt said.
Raptors are unmatched off-road, and while each model has its own character, the design must have certain Raptor family traits. These include the distinctive FORD lettering on the black grille with Matrix LED headlights that run from fender to fender, durable steel front and rear bumpers built for rough terrain, a high-strength steel skid plate, functional hood and side vents, and wide mudguards.
The Ranger Raptor incorporates all of these elements and further differentiates itself from the regular Ranger with a hood bulge that hints at the power plant below, a dual exhaust mounted high for obstacle avoidance and Precision Gray color accents.
“With our design, we’ve made sure that the Ranger Raptor stands alone as a vehicle, not only alongside the Ranger, but also within the Raptor family,” says Dewitt. “If you put them all together, you can see the differences, but also the elements that connect them.”
According to Nick Eterovic, interior design manager for the Ranger Raptor, the pickup’s interior should give customers confidence that they can take full advantage of the car’s strong performance.
“Our design team needed to deliver a clean interior for an off-road pick-up with racing qualities and the comfort and convenience of a modern car,” said Eterovic.
The Ranger Raptor’s interior is just as expressive as the exterior, with Ford Performance Code Orange detailing throughout. The dashboard and door panel tops are made in Terra Suede. This material is soft, but at the same time strong and easy to clean. And it has a matte finish that reduces glare and adds to the premium, sporty look of the interior.
Unique to the new Ranger Raptor are the Ford Performance seats, inspired by the seats in a fighter jet. They have side padding that provides grip and keeps the occupants in place regardless of the terrain. The seat material is both functional and aesthetically pleasing, with a newly developed “super matte” seat cover accented with suede. Each Ranger Raptor has a double cab adapted for the Dutch market to be able to provide the Raptor with a gray license plate.
The sturdy steering wheel has a thumb rest, an orange top center marker and magnesium paddle shifters for manual gear changes. The Ranger Raptor-specific ‘My Mode Button’ allows owners to select Normal, Sport or Baja mode 2 for steering, suspension and exhaust, among other things. There is also a silent mode if you need to leave early.
Ford’s new adjustable 12.4-inch digital instrument cluster with specific start-up animations to match the Raptor’s sporty character completes the interior. Complementing the digital cluster is a 12-inch portrait touchscreen in the center that runs Ford’s latest SYNC 4A infotainment system. 3
“The all-new Ranger Raptor is as striking and expressive on the inside as it is on the outside. From the digital instrument cluster, finger-operated modes for things like damping, exhaust flaps and steering, to the heavily padded seats, the special Off-road fenders on the touchscreen and Code Orange accents, the Ranger Raptor is designed to jump right into action,” said Eterovic.