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Ford Raptor, the big bad look

 With its sullen face and its record width, the Ford pickup is guaranteed not to go unnoticed.

 The pickup market is not in the best of shape.  Until then, sales of these XXL all-terrain vehicles flourished with the complicity of a tax niche allowing the so-called “double cabin” versions (four real seats) to maintain a commercial vehicle status, even when the purchase was made by  a particular.  They thus escaped a particularly salty ecological penalty.  Since July 1, this small arrangement is no longer appropriate and registrations plunged 28% over the first nine months of the year.

 Introduced in May, the new Ford Raptor (5.36 meters long and weighing 2.5 tonnes) calibrated for rally-raid and wide open spaces, therefore falls rather badly.  This derivative of the Ranger - a pickup truck whitened under the harness that has risen to the top of sales and been adopted by the French army - is expected to sell 450 copies this year.  Caught up by the tax patrol and now affected by a super-penalty of 10,500 euros which brings its purchase price to 67,050 euros (excluding options), it is not sure to make such a score in 2020. At least  , this wealthy car designed to roll in the sand and wade in the mud can be assured not to go unnoticed.

 Scowling mine, reinforced structure and increased ground clearance;  the Raptor is above all a big bad look.  The all-terrain equivalent of the Dodge Charger, the ultimate car for villains in American cinema.  To sculpt his face as an actor, the end of his hood was slightly curved, his headlights thinned in snake-look mode and his horizontal grille was drawn to literally jump you in the face.  More muscular and less vertical than its large format counterparts distributed in the United States, this pick-up bluntly claims "a dominating look".

 Lumbar spares

 The Raptor is therefore not one to apologize for the 233 grams of CO2 per kilometer that spits out its twin turbo diesel mated to a ten-speed automatic transmission.  Objection: installing a 213-liter two-liter diesel under the hood of the "extreme pickup" is a bit of a small arm, isn't it?  Leaving to do in the provocation, Ford could have adopted the V6 gasoline of 450 ch of the F150 Raptor diffused in the United States beside which the Ranger would pass almost for a small thing.  Technical and regulatory constraints have dissuaded him from doing so.  We must therefore do with this four-cylinder diesel called EcoBlue which emanates a too neutral sound but which fulfills its mission of delivering a lot of torque at low speed.

 Read also The pick-up is timely

 During the vast mud bath organized on the occasion of the presentation of the European Raptor on the off-road circuit of Coulommiers, in Seine-et-Marne, the most striking was not the furious accelerations of which this pick-up is capable for  get out of a quagmire or its ability to maintain high speeds on wet clay and to gently negotiate a delicate passage between two bumps.  The surprise came from the consideration with which this monumental vehicle treats its occupants, sparing their lower back even during the most scabrous crossing maneuvers.  This comfort, which cannot be denied on paved roads where the retarders are smoothly swallowed, comes largely from the rear suspension.  No leaf springs but very advanced shock absorbers with long travel (hence this slight tendency to waddle when cornering), positioned outside the chassis.  An architecture which explains the record width (2.18 m with mirrors) of this vehicle with which it is preferable to avoid underground parking lots.  So many incongruous places for the swift but bulky Raptor.