Ford to take on 2014 Dakar with Mustang-powered Rangers

Ford to take on 2014 Dakar with Mustang-powered Rangers image

Text: Vince Pornelos / Photos: Ford | posted July 31, 2013 19:11

Rangers to take on world's toughest race

If you own a Ranger and dreamt of more power, perhaps these two racing examples might provide some inspiration..

Team Ford Racing has confirmed that it will enter two South African-built Ford Rangers in the grueling 2014 Dakar, taking place from January 5 to 18, 2013 in South America.

The purpose-built Ford Rangers are being prepared by South African-based Neil Woolridge Motorsport while logistics will be handled by German-based South Racing.

“A complex jigging system was used in the manufacturing process in order to ensure that each part is built as per the design in order to achieve the perfect fit on every vehicle built” said Neil Woolridge, Team Manager, in a press release. “Although the two new Rangers are locally built (South Africa) we received tremendous support from our global counterparts including the likes of Ford’s SVT division.”

The Dakar-bound Ford Ranger (T6) is a global collaboration effort from various companies. The racing Ranger meets FIA's ASO T1 regulations and will be powered by an all-aluminum 5.0 liter V8 (the same block found in the Mustang GT) that delivers 353 PS at 4500 rpm and 560 Newton-meters of torque at 4100 rpm. Top speed is quoted at 170 kilometers per hour.

Engine management is taken care of by Magneti Marelli, electronics are taken care of by GEMS (General Engine Management Systems), the driveline by GKN, and brakes by Brembo with air cooled rotors in front and water cooled rotors in the back.

The transmission is made by Sadev and drives all four wheels with LSDs front and back, while each wheel gets a pair of BOS dampers in anticipation of the hard conditions on the rally. The Ranger rides on 16-inch Evocorse rims with 245/85/R16 Michelins. The body itself is made of composites, with the overall car weighing just under two tonnes, and has a 500 liter Fuel Cell.

The first driver crew is composed of Lucio Alvarez (Argentina) and Ronnie Graue, while the second Ford Ranger will be crewed by Chris Visser (South Africa) and navigator Japie Badenhorst.

“We are extremely proud to be sending these South African-built Rangers to the 2014 Dakar,” says Jeff Nemeth, President and CEO of Ford Motor Company of Southern Africa. “Dakar is the ultimate test of man and machine and we are thrilled to have the opportunity to participate with a phenomenal team comprised of local and global expertise.”