The Ford Ranger which competed in the Dakar Rally, the world’s toughest motorsport event, in South America on its debut earlier this year, was on Ford’s stand at the Geneva International Motor Show.
The Ford Ranger crewed by Argentine driver Lucio Alvarez and co-driver Ronnie Graue finished 22nd overall and 7th in the class for petrol-powered cross-country vehicles. Less than 45 percent of the 147 cars that started made it to the finish.
The 5-litre V8 Ford Ranger successfully achieved the team’s goal of finishing the gruelling 9300km, 14-day event over rocky mountain tracks, rutted river beds and desert dunes in Argentina and Chile and run in temperatures in excess of 45°C.
The Ford Ranger was built by a privately-run team, Neil Woolridge Motorsport in South Africa, with input from Ford’s Global Product Development Team. The logistics were handled by German-based South Racing.
The Dakar Ranger is based on the road 4x4 double-cab Ford Ranger with full composite bodywork and advanced lightweight components. The aluminium power plant produces 350PS, with twin independent variable cam timing. The car has independent front and rear suspension, air-cooled front brakes and water-cooled rear brakes. It boasts a six-speed sequential gearbox with permanent four-wheel drive.
“A complex jigging system was used in the manufacturing process to ensure that each part was built as per the design in order to achieve the perfect fit,” explains Neil Woolridge, team manager. “Although locally built, we received tremendous support from our global colleagues, including Ford Motor Company’s global product development group.”
“Motor sport challenges don’t come any harder than the Dakar Rally,” said Gerard Quinn, Head of Ford Racing in Europe. “This was an all-new project and to complete the Dakar on the Ranger’s debut was an achievement of which Ford and the team can be extremely proud.
“Motors port is the toughest proving ground and a critical part of the engineering and development work. This year’s Dakar was regarded as the toughest for many years and the retirement rate confirms that. To bring the Ranger successfully to the finish speaks volumes about the strength and reliability of the car as well as its pace, and I’m delighted it will be seen in Europe for the first time at the Geneva Show,” added Quinn.
Dakar Rally Ford Ranger – technical specification
Base Vehicle Ford Ranger 4x4 Double Cab
Regulations FIA / ASO T1
Engine Forda aluminum 5-litre-4V V8 with twin Independent variable cam timing
Power 260kW at 4500r/min
Torque 560Nm at 4,100r/min
Body Full composite
Suspension Independent front and rear
Twin BOS dampers/wheel
Antiroll bar front and rear
Brakes Brembo water cooled rear
Brembo air cooled front
Fuel tank 500 litres
Gearbox Sadev 6-speed sequential, permanent four-wheel drive
Differential LSD unit front and rear
Drive wheels 16 inch Evocorse rims fitted with 245/85 – 16 Michelin tyres
Top speed 170km/h