The South African Rally Raid Championship begins this month. And with that, Ford Performance has thrown a special Ranger into the mix. No, it’s not the Ford Ranger Raptor, but something much more extreme. Simply called the Rally Ranger, this race truck will take on other global manufacturers in its first race at the end of this month under the management of Neil Woolridge Motorsports.
The Rally Ranger was created for the Ford Castrol team to race in the SARRC this season which begins on March 26 and ends in November. It’s not the first time the Ranger has been used in this championship race, last year was its debut and it was strong enough to take a second place overall and enters this year with plenty of upgrades. Some of the changes to the Ranger include high-tech carbon fiber and aramid weave for body work all around. The Ranger also sports unique gullwing doors, a signature design cue from the guys at NWM.
Technically speaking, the truck is almost a foot (11.8 inches) wider than before and sports massive 37-inch tires to get it through all types of terrain expected in its race tests. These tires are the same size as the Bronco Raptor that debuted earlier this year and can currently be configured online. Larger tires make it easier to accommodate upgraded suspension and braking components. The NWM Ranger has bigger 1-inch disc brakes all around that are air- and water-cooled, but only in the rear. Wheel travel is increased dramatically using new upper and lower control arms and a longer driveshaft. Total travel increases from 11 inches to 13.7 inches.
The Rally Ranger also features a race-proven 3.5L EcoBoost V6 engine producing 402 horsepower, which is quite similar to the Ford Bronco Raptor and the recently revealed Ranger Raptor. By comparison, the Ranger Raptor puts out 392 horsepower via the 3.0L EcoBoost V6 while the Bronco Raptor can produce around 400 horsepower with the same engine.