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Ford Australia has announced pricing for the hotly-anticipated Ranger Raptor, with proceedings to kick off at $74,990 before on-road costs when it arrives in showrooms later this year.

That means the range-topping Ranger comes in at $13,200 more expensive than the current Wildtrak, and $6500 more than the Volkswagen Amarok V6 Ultimate.

Of course, the Raptor is a very different proposition to both those cars. Power comes from a bi-turbo four-cylinder diesel engine making 157kW and 500Nm, put to all four wheels through a 10-speed automatic transmission.

Drivers can tailor the powertrain and four-wheel drive system using a six-mode Terrain Management System, which includes low-range and a locking rear differential. There’s also a new Baja Mode, borrowed from the better-known members of the Raptor family line offered overseas.

Under the skin, all that electro-trickery is backed by some serious off-roading hardware. Ground clearance is a whopping 283mm, up from 237mm on the Wildtrak, while approach (32.5 degrees), ramp-over (24 degrees) and departure angles (24 degrees) are all improved compared to the current range-topper.

Ford says the ute’s chassis frame is tailored for high-speed off-road use, working in tandem with new coil-over rear suspension and stiffened side rails. There’s also a new, reinforced spare-tyre mounting brace to handle the Raptor’s larger rolling stock.

A set of 17-inch wheels wrapped in 285/70 BF Goodrich all-terrain rubber is standard, complete with thicker sidewalls for the rough-and-tumble of serious off-roading. There are 332mm brake discs at both ends, with twin-piston calipers at the front and single-piston units down back.

Behind the wheel, you’ll be able to tell the Raptor from its more mundane brethren by its Ford Performance seats, a unique steering wheel and a smattering of Raptor emblems. As is the case on all high-grade Rangers, an 8.0-inch touchscreen and Ford Sync 3 is standard, along with satellite navigation and a rear-view camera.

“This is a fully warranted, factory performance vehicle,” Ranger Raptor chief program engineer, Damien Ross, said.

“While Raptor DNA calls for extreme performance, the vehicle must meet the regulations, demands and expectations in terms of ownership experience that all of our products are measured by. That’s no mean feat.”

The Ranger Raptor will be here in Q4, 2018.

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