Theres an argument, and I understand it, that the Ranger Raptor should have an engine more in tune with the performance of its chassis, rather than the equivalent of, say, putting a 1.4 diesel in a Toyota Supra and pretending its okay. This is the only high-performance car in my recent memory with a time of 0-62 mph of more than 10 seconds.

But when you see the raw chassis in the metal, you realize how much work has been devoted to it, and when you hit it on a gravel track at a speed that would eject you clean through the window of a standard Ranger, its easier to understand the path theyve taken.

Yes, Ford could have dropped a 3.5 V6 with 400bhp into a normal Ranger, mounted big tires and called there, and I suspect it would have done the same number of ripples. But chassis modifications are the expensive parts of an extremely capable car: to say you just want a big engine is, in a way, asking for less integrity, rather than more, and Im not sure Im ready to do it. In addition, we all know that slow is new.

So the more I think about it, the hotter I get with a weirdo whose appeal is deeper than the skin. Theres certainly nothing else like this, and trying to turn a regular pick-up into something similar, though interesting, would probably cost you more. Ford has basically created a small new niche market, and its a car that I find much more interesting than another premium crossover.

So, should you buy one? I have no idea. I feel like Im recommending a Morgan 3 Wheeler or an Ariel Nomad or a Rolls-Royce Phantom: if you want one, of course, do it. Youll have bought one of the most intriguing cars on the market today, and theres merit in that alone.

Ford Ranger Raptor Specification

Where Morocco On sale September Price £48,785 Engine 4 cyls in line, 1996cc, twin-turbo, diesel Power 210bhp at 3750rpm Par 367lb ft at 1750-2000rpm Gearbox 10-spd automatic Weight in running order 2510kg Maximum speed 106mph 0-62mph 10.5seg Fuel consumption 31,7mpg CO2 233g/km Rivals Nothing obvious, maybe an Ariel Nomad or a pick-up with arctic truck options

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