In an attempt to meet the ambitious performance targets it set for the Ranger Raptor, Ford engineers turned to the 10-speed automatic from the full-size F-150 Raptor.
The transmission, according to John Fallu, transmission and driveline engineering manager for Ford Asia Pacific, was chosen because it meets "both our refinement and performance benchmarks" for the Raptor.
“The torque converter is selected specifically for trying to meet – and improve – the launch performance of the engine, so as to meet customer expectations," he said, speaking exclusively to CarAdvice.
“As far as refinement goes, it’s just incredible. Even the shift busy-ness you would expect from more gear shifts just isn’t perceptible, because it’s just so smooth in that regard – almost imperceptible, and there’s even rev-matching on the downshifts.”
Some might argue 10 ratios is overkill, but Fallu says Ford did extensive testing before finally selecting the 10-speeder.
“We actually did simulations during the exhaustive testing process for the optimum number of gear ratios for a rear-wheel drive truck of this size and power... we looked at seven speeds, nine speeds all the way up to 12 and 13 speeds, to see if – from a performance perspective and an efficiency perspective – what truly is optimal for the design.
“The ratios are very evenly steeped, so the total span is a 7.4 gear ratio span in the transmission for a less perceptible shift characteristic. What we were looking for is that uniform shift feel as you’re going up through the gears.”
Interestingly, that same transmission is capable of handling up to 336kW and 691Nm of torque, as it does in the F-150 SVT Raptor truck in the USA.
Unfortunately any questions to Ford execs on more powerful engines were quickly dismissed.
Listen to Tony Crawford discuss the Ford Ranger Raptor below, and catch more like this at caradvice.com/podcast.