This is one heck of an innovation here. Ford has announced that it will enter the Dakar Rally this year with its Ranger pickup truck. The pickup has been redesigned and tuned up completely to be able to race in this rally. The outcome is a super cool truck that can beat even the F-150 SVT Raptor. 2 models are being developed by Ford and these will be seen racing from the 5th of January to the 18th of January next year between Argentina and Chile covering a span of 5000 miles.
The pickup will endorse a completely composite body and will be powered by a V8 5 liter engine taken from the Mustang. The truck, you can say, has been re-built entirely to fulfill the needs of this grueling rally. The additions include 6 speed sequential gear box, 132 gallon fuel tank and liquid cooled brakes in the rear. Dakar rally is more of a a test of endurance than of speed. Keeping this in mind, the truck has been given a limited power output of only a modest 350 bhp and a torque of only 413 pound-feet. The maximum speed of the truck will be also a modest 105 miles per hour.
Regarding the modified pick up Ranger Neil Woolridge explained that “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. Although the two new Rangers are locally built we received tremendous support from our global counterparts including the likes of Ford’s SVT division.”
Ford team announced on the 29th of July that it will be competing in the rally with their Ranger pickup. The truck has been re-modeled by Neil Woolridge Motorsport located in Pietermaritzburg. The logistics are been taken care of by South Racing based in Germany. Thus the Rally competent Ranger pickup is an outcome of collaborative work of these two along with Ford Motors. The rally will see Chris Visser (South African) and Japie Badenhorst for the first time in Daker Rally. They have raced before in various South African local racing championships. Running for Ford, we will also see Lucio Alvarez (South American) and Graue as the 1st crew drivers.
President and CEO of Ford Motor Company of Southern Africa, Mr. Jeff Nemeth said that “We are extremely proud to be sending these South African-built Rangers to the 2014 Dakar. 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.”
Group Vice President and President of Asia Pacific, Mr. Dave Schoch said that “The Dakar is a truly international showcase of Off Road machinery. Last year 745 competitors participated, representing 53 nationalities. We are pleased to have put together a global team that represents exceptional knowledge of the event as well as the Ford Ranger, which is built at the Silverton Assembly Plant in Silverton.”
Schoch also added that “There is much work to be done in the coming months. The Dakar is no small undertaking but we have an exceptional team of hardworking and dedicated individuals who will be working round the clock in the coming months in preparation for the start of the Dakar early in the new year.”
Team Ford is not running to win but to exhibit the Ranger in front of a larger audience.