The final straight, and we arrived in Essaouira itself to reluctantly hand back the Ranger Raptor and grab some lunch before heading back to the airport.
Despite the sandblasting and the adventures of the previous 24 hours, it was of course in this last hour that we got a bit singed by the sun…
Time, then, to reflect.
I wasn’t sure what to expect before the event. I mean I’m hardly the pick-up demographic.
But what a bloody magnificent vehicle! So effortless we almost had to remind ourselves that there were features to stop, observe and remark on – this workhorse is strong, tough, capable, and will take you everywhere you want to go, and plenty of places you haven’t even thought of yet.
The adaptability, comfort level, and technical specification combine to make something I think will suit almost everyone. You can check out other sources for the specs; all I know is how it made me feel – courageous, brave, and with a smile that lasted all the way back to the terrible Frankfurt airport and beyond. To me, it’s a magical flying carpet!
Regular readers will know I like to reflect with a few final thoughts (in no way aligned to Jerry Springer) from me and my colleagues about the experience. Being an employee ambassador is an absolute privilege, we all agree, and not just because we get to experience a particularly spectacular office for the day.
So I asked a few questions, and here are some of the answers, always interesting to me with my employee engagement hat on:
What did you expect before the trip, and did the trip match (or exceed) expectations?
Filip: I expected a lot of driving and interacting with the new Ranger Raptor in a variety of places (and different terrain) and this is what we’ve eventually experienced. The drive was cool and the scenery definitely exceeded my expectations, as did the car itself as well.
Florian: The experience was way more than I’d expected!
What were your thoughts on the vehicle?
Filip: I liked it a lot. It makes a seriously intimidating impression when you first approach it as it’s huge and looks like a performance vehicle which in fact it is! Then when you actually get inside and know that it’s your friend, not a scary monster that will run over you, it was giving a very pleasant feeling of controlling something very powerful and unusual. People look at it with jealousy from the outside which may be its selling point in many cases. It makes the environment more colorful and interesting, especially in Performance Blue.
The experience of driving the Ranger Raptor off-road was fabulous. I’ve been driving a modified Nissan Patrol Y61 also with AT tires for a few years but the Ranger Raptor is in another league in every aspect. The power and torque are totally enough there and the way the car handles any type of terrain is truly impressive and makes me proud that it’s one of our products now.
What surprised you about the experience?
Filip: How perfectly everything was planned and executed. The huge number of people involved was a surprise to me and it gave a very professional impression. I also noticed the Rolls-Royce level of attention to detail, like aligning the cars perfectly in the morning of the second day. I was truly amazed and it was making me glad that I’m a part of it.
Florian: How the people interacted with each other… it was like a school-trip!
Everyone was so nice and friendly, whether Ford Team or media.
What was the most valuable/interesting thing about the trip?
Florian: Seeing the passion and dedication how our brand & product was presented to the journalists by the Ford Press Team. I am very proud to be selected as a Brand Ambassador.
Filip: To me personally, interacting with other members of the team like you, Florian, Elisabeth and (wow!) Steven Armstrong was truly motivating. Actually, the fact that Steven spent some time with us in the evening on Thursday and then we had these photos with him taken – that blew my mind and filled me with motivation. It really was motivating because it made me feel that the company cares about what we do.
I also got a kick out of the responsibility to deliver the results now in a form of my videos for YouTube. That’s also motivating to me! Especially that they may be seen by thousands of people.
What was the most challenging/difficult thing on the trip?
Florian: It was quite tough to not forget each and every task I’ve planned like filming and taking pictures as the location and driving the Ranger Raptor was kind of mindblowing.
Thanks both! I really enjoyed our ‘school trip’ too!
The journalists we were with were clearly delighted with the Raptor and the event, and I am so pleased to be able to share my experiences with my colleagues in the UK, to share my excitement about the vehicle and my pride in representing the Company.
A note on Essaouira: I didn’t see much of the region (work, not holiday, remember) but I will find a way to get back! Everyone we met was incredibly welcoming (except for the donkeys, but I can forgive them not moving out of the way), and hearing the call to prayer across Essaouira during Ramadan felt very special.
And I think I’ll probably still have sand in my ears for some time yet anyway…
If you’ve enjoyed this blog series, do feel free to comment and share (who knows, you might get me another go at this some time!). But even if you haven’t, I enjoyed it, and I’ll leave you with pictures of the team, and the last of my photo memories from this very special trip.
I’ve been taking part in a really special @fordeu event this week, sharing all the excitement with you on Social Media. Be social with me using the icons below #RangerRaptor More…