Ford Performance’s chief engineer has reacted to criticism of the brand’s choice of powerplant for the new Ranger Raptor, saying that the fresh-faced off-roading bakkie is “not about the engine”.

Revealed in Thailand, the new Ranger Raptor employs a 2,0-litre four-cylinder twin-turbo diesel engine worth 157 kW and 500 N.m. While those peak outputs best the existing 3,2-litre five-cylinder turbodiesel mill by 10 kW and 30 N.m, they also see the Ranger Raptor trail the likes of the highest-output Volkswagen Amarok V6 (165 kW/550 N.m) and the upcoming Mercedes-Benz X350d (190 kW and 550 N.m).

Speaking to South African media after the reveal in Bangkok, Jamal Hameedi, chief engineer at Ford Performance, said that the focus should not be on power.

“The Raptor is not about the engine. It’s about the chassis. Those shocks cost as much as an engine … literally,” he said, referring to special Fox Racing dampers.

“If you’re talking about power; if you’re focused on power, that’s not a Raptor. That’s not what Raptor’s about. It’s about the chassis and the suspension,” added Hameedi, who has been responsible for the development and delivery of all high-performance Ford vehicles globally since 2013.

The Ranger Raptor uses a new 10-speed automatic transmission, with drive sent to all four corners. The beefed-up bakkie offers as many as six distinct driving modes, and features coilover rear suspension with a Watt’s link arrangement. Ford has yet to reveal performance figures.

“And, honestly, when you go off-road, the whole idea behind this is conservation of speed. So, you’re not braking, accelerating, braking, accelerating. You just need a powerplant to keep you going,” Hameedi said.

Ford Ranger Raptor