The new Ford Ranger Raptor has been revealed at Europe’s largest video gaming event, Gamescom, held in Cologne, Germany, and is the first ever vehicle to be revealed at the event.
Two Ranger Raptors provided striking bookends at the Ford stand, which also included a 4D racing simulator built especially for the event and eight Forza gaming pods offering head-to-head racing.
Ford says that the Ranger Raptor will be added to the upcoming Xbox open-world racing game Forza Horizon 4, which will release worldwide on October 2.
“There’s a genuine fun-factor about this unique vehicle, a rally-style pick-up that will bring smiles to drivers and gamers across the world,” said Roelant de Waard, vice president, Marketing, Sales and Service, Ford of Europe. “It’s also a stunning addition to the virtual Ford garage that already includes some of the most driven vehicles on Forza, and we know gamers everywhere will enjoy all the on- and off-road thrills Ranger Raptor has to offer.” de Waard added.
Ford says that the new Ranger Raptor is the toughest version of one of Europe’s best-selling pick-ups and is the ultimate performance utility vehicle. The heavy-duty suspension tames rough tracks and also delivers a smooth ride in urban areas and on motorways.
“Since the Ford GT graced the cover of Forza Motorsport 6 in 2015, millions of gamers have driven Ford performance cars on Forza’s virtual roads, experiencing these impressive cars at their limits in Forza’s world-class simulation engine,” said Dan Greenawalt, creative director, Forza Racing Franchise.
“Almost 700,000 unique Forza drivers have already added the F-150 Raptor to their virtual garage, and there’s little doubt the Ranger Raptor will be just as coveted.” Greenawalt added.
Ford says that visitors to the Ford stand in hall eight can get behind the wheel of the special 4D racing simulator, which offers the nearest-to-real experience imaginable for driving a performance vehicle. During Gamescom, each day’s lap record holder on the 4D simulator will win the money-can’t-buy experience of spending an exclusive day with the M-Sport Ford World Rally Team in the U.K.
In just under a year since the game’s launch, players of Forza Motorsport 7 alone have collectively spent almost three centuries in Ford vehicles, driving further than around the sun and back while completing more than 24 million virtual races.
At Gamescom, Ford also stated its intention to work with the gaming community to engage in the design of future Ford Performance cars. The Project P1 Design Challenge will launch later this year.
“Baby boomers fell in love with sports cars and Gen X drove the boom of SUVs. Millennials are more environmentally aware and in need of connectivity. But Gen Z are tech natives. They live their lives in the digital world and we have to be part of that in a broad range of inspiring ways. The best route to achieve this is to connect with them in an innovative manner, which is exactly what we intend to do with the design challenge,” says Amko Leenarts, European Design Director at Ford.
In previous years for Gamescom, Ford wrapped a Focus RS in special Forza livery, set a new Guinness World Records title for the “longest video marathon on a racing game” racing the virtual Ford GT around Le Mans for 48 hours, and offered gamers the chance to win a real-life Focus RS track-driving experience with tuition from Ford racer, Harry Tincknell.
Cologne has been the headquarters of Ford in Germany since 1930 and the home of Ford of Europe since 1998.