A special Ford Ranger rally raid truck set to compete in the South African Cross Country Series has just been unveiled for the 2020 season.
The Ford Castrol Cross Country Team in South Africa has competed in the championship with the popular Ranger for a number of years and claimed Class T victories in both 2018 and 2019. Ford works with Neil Woolridge Motorsport to campaign the off-roaders and for this year, a series of upgrades have been made.
The biggest change comes on the engine front. Whereas the current Ford Ranger raced in South Africa uses the 5.0-liter naturally-aspirated V8 derived from the Ford Mustang, this latest racer features Ford’s 3.5-liter twin-turbocharged EcoBoost V6 engine that’s used in differing forms by the F-150 Raptor and GT supercar. In launching this new racer, Ford and Neil Woolridge Motorsport will be the first team in the world to enter cross country racing of this type with a turbocharged petrol engine.
This new 3.5-liter twin-turbo V6 will be located further back in the Ranger’s chassis in a mid-mounted position to optimize the weight distribution. It also features a purpose-built fuel cell capable of carrying up to 480 liters (126 gallons) of fuel for long cross-country events. Coupled to the engine is a Sadev SC924 Evo gearbox.
To ensure the Ranger can deal with the most punishing terrain, it features a wider chassis design and high-performance BOS dampers at all four corners. There are also six-piston Brembo brake calipers found up front and water-cooled six-pit calipers at the rear.
Ford will kick off this year’s South Africa Cross Country Series racing the outgoing V8 models and transition to the 3.5-liter EcoBoost boost model when development is complete.