Jaco Van Der Merwe

By Jaco Van Der Merwe

Head of Motoring


WATCH: Mighty Ford Ranger Raptor moves mountain in Lesotho!

The one Ranger Toyota Hilux, Isuzu D-Max and Nissan Navara don't have a rival for shows its brute strength.


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The Ford Ranger Raptor, the Blue Oval’s performance off-road bakkie, is a vehicle in a league of its own.

It is the one bakkie that Ford’s main rivals in the Mzansi bakkie hierarchy, the Toyota Hilux, the Isuzu D-Max and the Nissan Navara has no direct rival for.

With its bespoke suspension, General Grabber 285/70 R17 rubberware and mean looks, the Raptor is different from any other Ford Ranger, let alone other manufacturers’ bakkies.

The Blue Oval has often showcased the Raptor’s capabilities at speed on gravel surfaces since its local launch in 2019. But a proper hardcore test over extremely technical terrain remained the outstanding piece of the Ford Ranger Raptor puzzle. That is until last weekend.

A convoy of six Ford Ranger Raptors set sail for Lesotho to explore the landlocked kingdom’s mountainous beauty. To experience some of the best views in Africa, the convoy ventured off the tarred passes and climbed over mountains, descended into deep valleys and crawled through slippery black mud through endless fields of maize crops.

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It was on one of these little downhill paths that the convoy was halted by Mother Earth. A boulder weighing at least one and half ton based on humble calculations was blocking the path and needed strategic repositioning.

The convoy’s lead vehicle managed to squeeze past the boulder with millimetres to spare before gearing up to drag the giant piece of earth out of the way.

With an unladen weight of 2.3 tons, the lead Raptor carried a load of camping equipment which, including the driver, must have resulted in a gross weigh of around three tons.

Yet, the 157kW/500Nm 2.0-litre bi-turbo diesel mill had enough grunt and the wheels enough traction to dig in and enable the heavy Raptor to drag the boulder out of the way.

We knew that the Ford Ranger Raptor was a capable vehicle before the trip. But now it can truly claim to have moved a mountain!

Ford more information on the Ford Ranger Raptor, click here.

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Ford Ranger Isuzu Nissan Navara Toyota Hilux