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Tyres /  Tyre News4x4 & SUV / Ford Raptor Yokohama Geolander A/T4

Ranger Raptor conquers arctic winter with all-new Geolander A/T4

Ford Ranger Raptor on snow

A serious machine calls for a serious tyre. We investigated if Yokohama’s new Geolander all-terrain offering is a match for Ford’s ultimate go-anywhere pickup.

When it comes to specialised, high-performance off-roaders, few come more extreme than the Raptor. Producing over 290 bhp and 440 lb-ft from its EcoBoost V6, the hopped-up Ranger has serious firepower, and the modifications don’t stop there. Compared to its run-of-the-mill Ranger cousin , the Raptor touts high-end Fox Live Valve Dampers, diff locks, seven different driving modes, and even an anti-lag system for the turbochargers.

But, as we’ve already established, snow and ice driving present a unique set of challenges , and fitting the right rubber is the key to overcoming them. No matter how much power, torque, or fancy off-road systems a vehicle might boast, if traction’s absent, you’re going nowhere. In fact, you could argue that in such bitter conditions the Raptor’s enormous grunt and weight put it at a disadvantage compared to regular SUVs, as increasing both metrics places a greater demand on the tyres.

It's a good job our test car was fitted with Yokohama’s all-new, dedicated all-terrain model: the Geolander A/T4. Taking things up a notch from the already highly capable BluEarth V906 SUV , the A/T4 sports a more aggressive block tread pattern and deep, wide, shoulder grooves. Plus, a triple polymer compound offers better durability and a longer tread life.

Ford Ranger Raptor snowy descent
Hill Descent Control is a useful feature, but the Geolander’s supreme grip meant we never had to use it. 
Image credit: Blackcircles.com

The net result of all this off-road technology? Around the same unforgiving winter proving ground as we tested BMW’s X3 and Volvo’s XC60 , the Raptor was able to claw into the compacted snow and ice with efficacy equivalent to its dinosaur namesake.

While the SUVs we trailed felt like admirable all-rounders with a useful dollop of off-road potential, the Raptor felt like a creature born to tackle the most inhospitable environments imaginable. Courtesy of the A/T4’s unshakable grip and stability, the Ford goads you into taking frozen turns, sharp climbs, and steep descents, with more vigour than you ever imagined a car could.

The A/T4’s benefits don’t stop when the driving’s over, either. Just as the tyre perfectly complements the Raptor’s dynamic ability, it also completes the hot Ranger’s rugged aesthetic. Yokohama’s 2-in-1 Dual Sidewall design ensures optimum taction and kerb appeal, thanks to enlarged tread blocks and a prominent logo – the cherry on top for the Raptor’s aggressive look.

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Ford Ranger Raptor snow climb
Few 4x4s make traversing snowy slopes quite so effortless.
Image credit: Blackcircles.com

Ford touts its pinnacle Ranger as an “all-conquering” machine in the promotional literature, and in our extreme arctic testing, Yokohama’s Geolander A/T4 all-terrain tyre allowed it to realise this mission statement, and some…

Hero image: Yokohama

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