Published July 29, 2013
This is one coyote that definitely loves the open range.
Ford Racing has announced it will be entering two Ranger pickups in the grueling Dakar Rally next January.
The compact trucks are based on the global Ford Ranger not currently sold in the United States, and powered by a competition version of the 5.0-liter Coyote V8 used in the Ford Mustang and F-150.
Production Rangers are available with either a four-cylinder gas engine or four and five-cylinder turbodiesels.
The trucks will be built and fielded by a team from South Africa, one of the countries where the Ranger is produced and where similar vehicles are contested in the Donaldson Cross Country Motor Racing Championship, which adheres closely to Dakar rules.
Ford engineering outfits from around the globe will be contributing to their development.
Modifications to the double cabs include a composite body, Magneti Marelli engine management system that tunes the engine to deliver about 350 hp and 412 lb-ft of torque, limited slip front and rear differentials and water-cooled Brembo brakes.
The 2014 Dakar Rally runs over 3,000 miles through Argentina, Chile and Bolivia from January 5-18.
Ford introduced the latest Ranger in 2011, but withheld it from the US market saying it would be too close in size, price and fuel economy to the popular F-150 to fit consumer demand.
If it made more like this one, there's no telling if that would still be the case.