One of the biggest complaints most of you had – outside of engine performance – about the Ford Ranger Raptor launched in Darwin this week was the lack of towing capacity and payload.
Why can't the Ranger Raptor tow or carry as much load as its counterparts? It mainly comes down to the suspension.
Unlike the regular Ranger, which uses leaf springs, the Ranger Raptor features coil springs with Fox Racing suspension and a Watt's linkage. The inherent setup of the Fox Racing suspension is to cater for high impact hits and offer extended suspension travel for off-road driving.
As a result of this, Ford had to limit both the towing load and payload to cater for maximum suspension travel without hitting bump stops.
The rule of thumb for towing is to allow 10 per cent of the maximum braked load as down-ball force on the tow bar. This means that, in addition to the 758kg payload, the Ranger Raptor would have needed to allow 350kg of down-ball force for a total of 1108kg over the rear axle – which would've required firmer suspension to cater for maximum load.
That in turn would have affected the way the Raptor drives when clearing jumps, or doing any form of off-road racing. And that would've made for a pretty average Raptor.
Ford had to pick a middle ground, which was limiting towing capacity to 2500kg (braked) and payload to 758kg, creating a theoretical maximum tray load of 1008kg.
How does that look in comparison to a Ranger Wildtrak? I jumped on the back of both to give you an idea of how much softer the Raptor is at the rear. You'll also notice the Raptor's tyre doesn't rotate with a load on board. Check it out, and let us know what you think in the comments.