Since its inaugural year in 2009, Sunshine TV’s Auto Rally Corporate Challenge (ARCC) has grown to become one of the more anticipated events in the industry. The ARCC promotes healthy competition and camaraderie among automotive manufacturers and media alike. This year, the C! Team had the opportunity to represent Ford Philippines at the ARCC in Clark, Pampanga. And with the mighty Ford Ranger Raptor at our disposal, the excitement wasn’t easy to keep in.
Our participation came shortly after our very own Kevin C. Limjoco and Chris Van Hoven flew to South Africa for an invigorating week with the super truck. For the ARCC, Chris took the lead as navigator, which was only apt considering his past experiences with the rally. Mavelle Durian handled the timekeeping duties, while the driving assignment fell on my hands.
Here are my top takeaways on the 2019 Ford Ranger Raptor from the recent ARCC:
Jagged streets and dirt roads were a cake walk
Although we obviously couldn’t fully unleash the full potential of the Raptor along narrow provincial roads, the Fox Racing Shox shock absorbers made its presence felt. It was my first time to hop on the super truck, and it was very apparent how differently it rode compared to the Wildtrak. I know the Raptor was born to jump and sway through rough terrain, but it’s one heck of a cruiser as well. Driving through potholes and road imperfections has never been as effortless in a pickup. At one point, a truck carrying hay was approaching from the opposite direction. Instead of pulling over to the side to let it pass, I guiltlessly placed the two right tires off the pavement and unto the dirt while I marched the Raptor forward at the same speed. Throughout our time in the small towns of Pampanga, the shocks did a good job providing a plush and comfortable ride thanks to the position-sensitive dampening design. Whether we were on the expressway or rugged roads, the level of confidence the truck instilled is hard to beat.
Large and clear digital display
One of the first things I noticed inside was how different the Raptor’s instrument cluster was as opposed to the Wildtrak’s. The Wildtrak gets two digital displays on both sides of the speedometer, while the Raptor flaunts a large rectangular display in the center and in between the tachometer and speedometer. This design was especially useful during the ARCC as the trip odometer and kilometer readings were integral in each step of the way. I especially liked this particular display more than the Wildtrak’s due to its simplicity and ease-of-operation.
Responsive and accessible navigation system
Most cars rolling out of factories these days already come with touchscreen displays and navigation systems. Not all, however, can proudly claim to be responsive and easy to use. For the ARCC, we were banned from using our smartphones and were simply handed a handbook that included figures indicating what to look for along the route, the required speed, and the kilometer readings to watch in each step of the rally. The trip odometer previously mentioned indeed played a central role throughout the event, but we also utilized the navigation system as an additional source of direction. The team was able to anticipate the turns determined by the handbook and made the necessary adjustments in speed and pace.
Sheer power in main straights
Now, our run was far from perfect. First, we admittedly misunderstood the rules and missed all the checkpoints for the first leg of the rally. Second, there were some challenging sectors in town areas as the truck was a bit too wide for the small roads. Nevertheless, the Ranger Raptor made up for our mistakes as it dominated the national highway and expressway parts of the ARCC. When Chris noticed that we were going ahead of the scheduled time, I engaged the speed limiter along the highways in an attempt to reach checkpoints at the recommended times.
The Ford Ranger Raptor pulled our team through in the ARCC. This beastly pickup truck may have been engineered for extreme performance, but with the ride comfort and amenities it carries, there is a lot more about the Ranger Raptor that deserves recognition.