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By Charl Bosch

Motoring Journalist

‘Junior Raptor’ returns as Ford unveils new Ranger Wildtrak X

As before, the Wildtrak X receives touches from the Ranger Raptor, but without any six-cylinder petrol or diesel motivation.

Fresh from unveiling the revived Stormtrak at the Bangkok International Motor Show this week, Ford has injected new life into another past Ranger moniker, the Wildtrak X.

Unofficially nicknamed “Raptor-lite” since its initial debut in Australia four years ago, the Wildtrak X, as its name indicates, marries certain attributes of the Raptor with that of the Wildtrak, without the inclusion of the 3.0 EcoBoost V6 or even the 3.0-litre Lion turbodiesel V6 engines.

Similar to the previous model based on then facelift T6 Ranger that premiered Down Under in 2020, the Wildtrak X will again be a limited edition model, though it remains unknown as to how many will originate from the plant in Thailand Australian-bound models originate from.

ALSO READ: Forbidden Raptor-lite: Ford Ranger Wildtrak X returns Down Under

Wildtrak goes Raptor

Externally, the Wildtrak X omits the LED light bar and nudge bar offered previously, but receives a new gloss black grille with integrated LEDs, Cyber Yellow accent above the steel bash plate, aluminium side-steps, Wildtrak X badging, black mirror caps and door handles, and the Matrix LED headlights.

Riding on 17-inch black alloy wheels wrapped in General Grabber AT3 all-terrain tyres, the Wildtrak X is only offered in the Cyber Orange paint option, but can be equipped with the Flexible Rack System that debuted on the Stormtrak in Bangkok.

While buyers are also offered the option of the automatic roller shutter, selecting the configurable rack that works in tandem with the roof rails means the traditional styling bar behind the cab bows out as it will most likely get damaged if in place from the onset.

Ford Ranger Wildtrak X returns
Flexible Rack System that debuted on the Stormtrak can be specified. Image: Ford Australia.

Open the door

Inside, the changes are less extensive, but still easy to spot in the inclusion of leather-and-suede seats with Cyber Orange accents and Wildtrak X embroidered seatbacks, a Wildtrak X decal on the passenger’s side above the glovebox and what Ford calls a Terra suede finish with orange stitching on the centre console, instrument binnacle, doors and gear lever.

In terms of specification, the X carries over the 12.4-inch digital instrument cluster, the 12-inch SYNC 4 touchscreen infotainment system, the overhead auxiliary panel and, taken from the premium Ranger Platinum, the eight-speaker B&O Play sound system.

The Raptor side

Similar to the previous model, the Wildtrak X’s Raptor touches comes in the guise of the wider front and rear tracks, 26 mm more ground clearance and position-sensitive mono-tube shock absorbers and dampers sourced from Bilstein rather than Fox Racing.

Ford has injected new life into the Ranger Wildtrak X
Off-road display within the 12-inch infotainment system: Image: Ford Australia.

Tuned, according to Ford, for carrying and touring, the suspension hasn’t impacted on the Wildtrak X’s towing ability that remains stagnant at 3 500 kg.

What has changed though is the four-wheel-drive system that adopts the same permanent setup as used in the V6 and also the new Everest Platinum.

Inclusive of a rear diff-lock, the all-paw system configuration means the traditional 4H and 4L are joined by the 4A setting, with the 2H normally found on four-cylinder four-wheel-drive Rangers being absent.

Ford Ranger Wildtrak X returns
Seats are trimmed in leather and suede with Wildtrak X embroidered seatbacks. Image: Ford Australia.

The all-wheel-drive configuration also means the standard inclusion of the low-speed Trail Control system and Rock Crawl that only engages in low-ranges.

Moving ground with four power

As mentioned, the Wildtrak X foregoes any of the six-cylinder engines, therefore keeping the bi-turbo 2.0-litre Panther unit developing, in Australia, 150kW/500Nm.

The revised General Motors co-developed ten-speed automatic is again the only available gearbox option.

Ford Ranger Wildtrak X returns
Terra suede finish with Wildtrak X badging and Cyber Orange stitching on the passenger’s side. Image: Ford Australia.

Should South Africa get it?

On-sale in Australia with a sticker price of $75 000 (R909 525) that places it directly between the V6 Wildtrak and the Platinum, the Wildtrak X, as before, remains an Australian-market only model for now with no plans to make it available elsewhere.

As proven in the past though by the FX4, Thunder and original Stormtrak all coming to South Africa after being classified as Australian and European market models only, expect Ford South Africa to make announcement at some stage this year, involving not only the Wildtrak X, but also the Stormtrak and indeed the Platinum.

Additional information and images from carexpert.com.au and carsales.com.au.

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