Ford’s new Ranger Raptor performance pickup truck has been fitted with a Hansel-and-Gretel-style "breadcrumb" system designed to help drivers find their way off-road.
Unlike the breadcrumbs left behind by the siblings in the Grimm fairytale, though, these can’t be eaten by birds. The truck’s onboard navigation system drops a “virtual pin” on its onboard map every second, allowing those who venture away from the beaten track to retrace their wheel tracks and return to civilization.
The system is activated when the driver enables the "Breadcrumbs" option in the Ranger Raptor’s Sync 3 infotainment system. The system will then swing into action while the vehicle is off-road, giving the driver the opportunity to return to the road via the same route they used to get away from it.
“Whether it’s for work or for sheer adventure, the new Raptor loves being let loose off‑road,” said Leo Roeks, the director of the Ford Performance division. “Breadcrumb navigation is a simple but effective way to help drivers know exactly how to retrace their route no matter where they are.”
The feature is not necessarily something owners might expect on a high-performance vehicle, but the Ranger Raptor is no ordinary member of the Ford Performance lineup, which also includes the Fiesta ST and Focus ST models, plus the GT supercar. Unlike those road-orientated cars, the Raptor is designed to tackle off-road courses at speed, jumping over berms and splashing through water in Dirt Rally fashion.
Externally, the truck is set apart from standard Raptors by its bulkier body cladding, huge tires and raised ride height, while the cabin gets a sporty makeover with supportive seats and a new steering wheel with a race-derived red stripe denoting the steering’s center point. However, the big upgrade is the 2-liter twin-turbocharged diesel engine under the massive hood.
With 210 hp and 369 lb-ft (500 Nm) of torque on tap, the Raptor gets from 0-62 mph (0-100 kph) in 10.5 seconds before climbing up its 10-speed automatic gearbox to achieve a top speed of 106 mph (170 kph). That doesn’t sound especially rapid compared with the 155-mph (250-kph) top speed and 5.7-second 0-62 mph time of the Ford Focus ST, and that’s because it isn’t - even a "normal" Euro-spec Ranger will manage 109 mph (175 kph) at full chat.
However, with Fox shock absorbers, underbody protection, and a wider track, the Raptor is more focused on off-road handling than straight-line performance. And that’s reflected in the driving modes available. The Terrain Management system gives drivers a choice of normal, sport, grass/gravel/snow, mud/sand, rock, and (the even more spine-tingling) Baja mode.
Gallery: 2019 Ford Ranger Raptor Euro-Spec
SATNAV BREADCRUMBS TECH ENSURES DRIVERS WHO VENTURE OFF ROAD CAN EASILY FIND THEIR WAY BACK AGAIN
Breadcrumbs might not have been the best way for Hansel and Gretel to retrace their steps (spoiler alert: stones work much better). But they are perfect for enabling drivers to find their way back after venturing off-road.
When travelling cross-country, landmarks and track-markings can be difficult to distinguish, and regular satnavs may have limitations. But help is at hand. The new Ford Ranger Raptor drops a virtual pin every second so that drivers can more easily return to their starting point.
“Whether it’s for work or for sheer adventure, the new Raptor loves being let loose off‑road,” said Leo Roeks, director, Ford Performance. “Breadcrumb navigation is a simple but effective way to help drivers know exactly how to retrace their route no matter where they are.”
The Ford Ranger is Europe’s most popular pickup, with more than 26,700 sold in the first half of 2019. * Developed by Ford Performance, the new Ranger Raptor is designed to overcome the most challenging off-road terrains in the world. Powered by a Bi-turbo version of Ford’s 2.0-litre EcoBlue diesel engine and with a race-bred suspension featuring FOX shock absorbers, the Ranger Raptor is now on sale across Europe.