Raptor Lite locked and loaded: Ford Ranger Wildtrak X confirmed for South Africa

Published May 16, 2023


Johannesburg - The Ford Ranger Wildtrak X was revealed abroad back in March, and now we have confirmation that the upgraded bakkie is coming to South Africa.

Sporting numerous dynamic upgrades that enhance its off-roading ability, the Ford Ranger Wildtrak X aims to bridge the gap between the regular Wildtrak and the Raptor.

You’ll get to see it in the flesh if you happen to be at this year’s Nampo Harvest Day event in the Free State from 16 to 19 May, where the new model is making its first local appearance.

But if you’re planning to buy one you’ll need to wait until the third quarter of 2023 for it to go on sale, with pricing set to be released closer to the time.

Created more for off-roading than outright performance, Ford isn’t offering its 3.0-liter V6 diesel engine in the Wildtrak X. Instead power comes from the familiar 2.0-litre bi-turbo diesel unit that offers 154kW and 500Nm, paired with a 10-speed automatic gearbox.

However, unlike the other 2.0-litre models in the Ranger line-up, which have a regular part-time four-wheel drive system, the Wildtrak X gains Ford’s on-demand 4WD system that was previously only fitted to the V6. In addition to the usual 2H, 4H and 4L modes, it also has a 4A (automatic) mode for safer driving at higher speeds.

But there’s a lot more setting it apart from the regular 2.0-litre Wildtrak. For starters, the ground clearance of the Ford Ranger Wildtrak X has been raised by 26mm, while the fitment of an upgraded suspension system and all-terrain tyres for the unique 17-inch wheels has widened the front and rear tracks by 30mm.

The vehicle rides on Bilstein Position-Sensitive shock absorbers, which have been specially tuned for the Wildtrak X, with End Stop Control Valve technology aiming to improve both off-road ability and on-road handling.

This is also the first Ranger variant to feature the company’s new Trail Turn Assist, which can apply braking pressure to the inside rear wheel to help reduce the turning circle by up to 25 percent. Purpose designed for use on loose surfaces at under 19km/h, it can be engaged in 4H or 4L, as long as the rear diff is unlocked.

Externally the new Ford Ranger Wildtrak X is distinguished by a unique grille, aluminium side steps, steel bash plate and Wildtrak X badges on the doors and tailgate. It’s also available with an exclusive exterior colour called Cyber Orange.

Inside you’ll find Miko suede seats with Wildtrak X embroidery and Cyber Orange contrast stitching, which also extends to the steering wheel, gear shifter and inner door panels. Ford has also added Terra Suede trim to the glovebox, instrument cluster hood, door trim and centre console rails.

The Wildtrak X will be available with the company’s new Flexible Rack System, which includes a sliding load rack that can be locked into five positions along the load bed, and folding roof racks that can be stowed inside the roof rails when not in use.

Exact local specifications have not been released as yet but we’ll bring you more details closer to launch.

IOL Motoring