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Ford readies stock next-gen Ranger Raptor for Baja 1000

Image: Ford

Image: Ford

Image: Ford

Image: Ford

The Baja 1000 is one of the most demanding off-road endurance races in the world and has long since served as a proving ground for many manufacturers since its inception. This year, Ford has commissioned the next-generation Ford Ranger Raptor to compete in the hallowed rally.

Image: Ford

It’s “Baja-ready” which could mean several things, but as far as performance hardware goes, this rallying Raptor is completely stock. It’s competing in the SCORE stock class which highlights the performance of stock bakkies. Ford has collaborated with Kelly Racing from Australia, as well as the US-based racing team, Lovell Racing.

Image: Ford

Here’s a quick refresher on the next-gen Ford Ranger Raptor’s inner workings. It’s much wider than the current generation Raptor and features a brawny 3,0-litre petrol-powered twin-turbo V6 producing 296 kW and 592 Nm. It’s bigger, badder and Baja-ready. We’ll see this iteration of the Raptor in SA sometime after Q1 next year. Clear additions for safety to the bakkie include a snorkel, bash bar, light bar, and a storage cage hosting two off-road tyres.

Image: Ford

Interestingly, Ford plans to showcase the capabilities of alternative fuels. The Raptor participating in the Baja 1000 will utilize Ford’s low-carbon biodiesel, which is composed of one-third of biofuel and a mixture of ethanol and bionaptha. Ford continues to power through towards its goal of a completely carbon-neutral supply chain and production lineup by 2050, while continuously demonstrating the capability of alternative fuels.

Image: Ford

The rally-ready Raptor will take part in the Baja 1000’s first race segment this month with rally veteran and Ford Performance-backed driver, Brad Lovell. Lovell is a decorated off-road driver that has paced along the Baja California Peninsula many times before.

“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.” —Brian Novak Ford Performance Off-road Motorsports Supervisor.

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