Forget ‘Where’s Wally’, this weekend let’s play ‘Where’s Raptor’ – Michmutters

Forget ‘Where’s Wally’, this weekend let’s play ‘Where’s Raptor’

There are a dozen brand-new examples of the Ford Ranger Raptor clocking-up highway kilometers in NSW, Victoria and South Australia this weekend. The Facebook feeds of Ford fans are about to glow orange.

A fleet of 2022 Ford Ranger Raptor media evaluation vehicles – the first shipment of customer-ready versions of the high-performance pick-up to arrive in Australia – will be on the road this weekend clocking up highway kilometers ahead of press test-drives in the coming weeks.

Given the high level of interest in the 2022 Ford Ranger Raptor, eagle-eyed enthusiasts have documented every step of the vehicle’s arrival and posted images on social media.

Indeed, last week, the first truckload of the new-generation Ford Ranger Raptor utes was caught on camera between the shipping dock and Ford Australia’s engineering center north of Melbourne, where the vehicles were due to get a routine check ahead of their running-in phase.

This weekend, a dozen Ford Ranger Raptors – each in Code Orange paintwork, some with Raptor graphics and beadlock-capable wheels – are being driven by Ford employees with one instruction: put at least 1000km on the odometer.

Drive understands while all 12 vehicles were deployed from Ford’s engineering center in Melbourne, they are due to be driven to a mix of destinations, including north to NSW, west to South Australia, or around regional Victoria.

The example in these photos was caught on camera at Adelaide airport. The photos were posted by a member of the Ford Ranger Next Gen Owners Australia group on Facebook.

Apparently this particular vehicle is on the way to this weekend’s round of the V8 Supercars series at The Bend race track.

Given there are a dozen examples of the 2022 Ford Ranger Raptor being driven this weekend, there is every chance photos will begin appearing in significant numbers on social media.

The 2022 Ford Ranger Raptor was unveiled earlier this year, so its appearance is no secret. The images do not amount to ‘spy photos’.

The main reason for the photobombing appears to be excitement among Ford fans who are yet to see a new Ranger Raptor in the metal.

As previously reported, the first showroom examples of the new Ford Ranger Raptor are due in late August or early September, a delay of a few weeks caused by shipping bottlenecks.

However, vehicles ordered today may not be delivered until later this year or early next.

Delivery times vary depending on colour, options and how many vehicles a particular dealer is allocated.

Buyers keen to jump the queue have hit the phone and cast their net wide, in an attempt to secure an unsold vehicle at a regional or interstate dealer.

Meantime, if you’re on one of the many the Facebook forums dedicated to the new Ford Ranger or Ford Ranger Raptor, expect to see a lot of orange on your news feed or in your next scroll in the coming days.

Joshua Dowling has been a motoring journalist for more than 20 years, spending most of that time working for The Sydney Morning Herald (as motoring editor and one of the early members of the Drive team) and News Corp Australia. I have joined CarAdvice / Drive in 2018, and have been a World Car of the Year judge for more than 10 years.

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