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UK's largest zoo gets workhorses to help with feeding time, new Ford Ranger Raptors

ZSL Whipsnade Zoo, in Bedforshire, U.K., has gotten two new Ford Ranger Raptors to help with feeding time.

Photo courtesy of Ford Motor Company

Christmas is already here for the animals at ZSL Whipsnade Zoo in Bedfordshire, which has taken delivery of two new Ford Ranger Raptors. The Ranger Raptor, which is not available in the U.S., boasts the most capability of any midsize truck model Ford sells, similar to its big brother, the F-150 Raptor.

The two Ranger Raptors, wrapped in tiger livery, are tasked with feeding many of the zoo's 3,500 animals, including the critically endangered Bactrian Camel. Other animals benefiting from the zoo's hospitality include the vulnerable Barasingha (swamp deer), and Southern white rhinoceros, which is near threatened in the wild.

Ford Ranger Raptor arrives at ZSL Whipsnade Zoo

Photo courtesy of Ford Motor Company

"The Ranger Raptor is a workhorse, but on this occasion it's working alongside the horses," said Mike Laird, Ranger Product Manager, Ford of Europe. "These visually striking pick-up trucks will become as much of a visitor attraction as the animals themselves, not least because Ranger Raptors stay still for photos!"

The animals at the zoo live on a variety of terrain in the 600-acre park, which can be easily traveled by the Ranger Raptor's capabilities, thanks in large part to its Terrain Management System (TMS). The TMS is comprised of six drive modes: Normal, Sport, Grass/Gravel/Snow, Mud/Sand, Rock, and Baja. These modes are similar to what is found in the 2021 Ford Bronco Sport, which just went on sale in the U.S.

In addition to the Ranger Raptors, Ford is loaning ZSL London Zoo a congestion charge and low emission zone-exempt Transit Custom plug-in Hybrid in the new year to assist with inner-city logistics and transporting goods to and from each site.

""As an international conservation charity this year has been challenging for us. We have keenly felt the pressures caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, we and our sister site ZSL London Zoo, were forced to close for a total of 16 weeks each, putting us under huge financial strain and impacting our global conservation efforts. We are grateful to Ford for this loan, which is helping our keepers to care for some of the worlds most endangered animals," said Owen Craft, ZSL Whipsnade Zoo Chief Operating Officer.

More than one million people visit Whipsnade and London Zoo combined during a traditional year.

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Limited-edition pickup truck

Ford offering limited edition colors for 2022 Ranger Splash

The Ranger Splash will be offered in three limited-run colors.

Ford

During its time off the market in the United States, the Ford Ranger remained a popular utility vehicle in global markets. In other markets, the truck is offered in unique special editions, such as the Ranger Raptor and Ranger Storm, but the options in the U.S. are limited. Last year, Ford announced the return of the Ranger Splash, a funky version of the truck that roamed the streets in the 1990s. Today, the automaker outlined another Splash edition, this time to be produced in limited quantities with special color options.

Ford will offer three colors for the new Ranger Splash Limited Edition: Snow Edition, Forest Edition, and Sand Edition. The colors will roll out one at a time "every few months," according to Ford, and the package will add $1,495 to the Ranger's price tag.

Ranger Splash Limited Edition The Snow Edition is based on the Lariat trim, but the other two are based on the lower XLT model.Ford

The Lariat Ranger Splash Snow Edition features a gray paint color with black exterior trim and a unique grille design. Inside, the truck carries ebony leather upholstery with ash gray accent stitching and carbon touches. Ford says it will produces just 750 Splash Snow Edition trucks, with availability starting in spring.

The XLT Ranger Splash Forest Edition (pictured above) comes with Forged Green exterior paint and red grille accents. The interior offers black cloth upholstery with ash gray accent stitching and carbon accents. Just 500 Forest Edition vehicles will be produced, with availability starting in summer.

Ranger Splash Limited Edition The colors will roll out every few months in 2022. Ford

The third and final truck in the series is the XLT Ranger Splash Sand Edition. It gets Desert Sand exterior paint, dark exterior accents and red grill "nostrils." It also gets black cloth upholstery with ash gray stitching and carbon accents. The Sand Edition will debut in fall with a run of only 500 trucks.

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New full-size pickup truck

Toyota announces luxurious Tundra Capstone

The Capstone is a luxurious new trim for the 2022 Tundra.

Toyota

The Toyota Tundra got a much-needed overhaul for the 2022 model year, after well over a decade on sale unchanged. The new trucks are more powerful, more efficient, and much more tech-forward than than their predecessors. One area Toyota needed to improve was the Tundra's luxury factor, which has never been as strong as high-end trucks from the Americans. The enormous Japanese automaker just announced a new model that should help it catch up. The Tundra Capstone will hit dealers' lots in spring with premium finishes and features, inside and out.

2022 Toyota Tundra Capstone The Capstone features exclusive styling and luxury features. Toyota

Toyota notes that the Capstone truck is just as capable as its less posh counterparts. It comes standard with the Tundra's new I-Force Max hybrid powertrain that makes 437 horsepower and 583 pound-feet of torque. Paired with a ten-speed automatic transmission, the combined powertrain is good for a max towing capacity of 10,340 pounds. The hybrid system can provide greater power and torque during towing, but better efficiency when cruising around town.

2022 Toyota Tundra Capstone Acoustic glass is a first for the Tundra, and gives the Capstone a quiet cabin.Toyota

The Capstone's cabin is where the real magic happens. The truck invites passengers with a standard automatic running boards, and the perforated leather upholstery comes in and exclusive black/white combination. There are real open-pore dark American walnut wood accents throughout the cabin, and a panoramic moonroof comes standard. The Capstone is the only Tundra model to get acoustic glass on the front doors for a quieter cabin.

2022 Toyota Tundra Capstone The Capstone comes with upscale, unique interior finishes, including two-tone leather upholstery.Toyota

A 12.3-inch digital gauge cluster and 10-inch head-up display are standard. The gauge cluster can be configured to show various functions beyond speed and engine revs. A 14-inch touchscreen is standard that runs wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. Toyota's infotainment systems haven't been the most responsive or easy to use, but the automaker's new interface is intuitive, responsive, and powerful. Over-the-air updates can improve functions and add new ones over time, and cloud-based apps update traffic and other information in real time.

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