Ranger ready to race: Ford wants Ranger Raptor to take on Dakar Rally and Australia’s Finke Desert Race – Car News
Ford’s global racing boss would like to see the new Ranger Raptor put through its paces in some of the world’s most demanding off-road races, including the Dakar Rally and Australia’s Finke Desert Race.
Trevor Worthington, head of the Ford Performance division which oversees the brand’s racing activities, told Australian media, including Cars Guide – that he wants to see the Ranger tested in the heat of the moment.
The most obvious candidate is the famous Dakar Rally, a two-week race through the Saudi desert.
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“When I took on the responsibility that I have with Ford Performance, one of the observations I made was that we have these iconic vehicles and we’re not using them the way we should be using them,” Ms. Worthington. “Our expenses were pretty much V8 Supercars and NASCAR – Mustang.
“Since then we have extended our reach with Bronco…we have this Bronco DR which we are about to start production on and which is pretty much a bespoke racing vehicle. We have done all this work where , frankly, I’d like to see Ranger racing in those kinds of global iconic events, I think the architecture suits him, I think Ranger customers, if they saw a Ranger racing in events like that, it would really resonate with them; tough, tough, capable, go-anywhere, here’s the proof.
However, he added an important caveat – Ford currently has no plans to compete in the Dakar with a factory-backed team.
“We don’t have any plans that we want to talk about, but I said in Bathurst last year, I would like that to happen,” he said. “Nothing to say, but the Ranger is the kind of vehicle that lends itself to this kind of opportunity.”
The reference to the Bronco DR (which stands for Desert Racer) opens up a potential avenue for Ford to help owners compete in off-road racing events, without entering an official factory team.
The Bronco DR is based on the four-door Bronco, but is stripped of everything it doesn’t need and rebuilt with the parts it needs for off-road racing by Ford’s racing partner, Multimatic, a Canadian company that built the GT supercar and the race. version for the Blue Oval.
That means a 5.0-liter V8 is tuned to produce 300kW of power, along with a beefed-up chassis, Multimatic’s highly-rated position-selective DSSV dampers, and 37-inch Mud-Terrain tires on beadlock wheels. . It also gets new bumpers and underbody protection allowing for a 47-degree approach angle, 37-degree departure angle, and 33-degree rollover angle.
Mr Worthington spoke positively during a visit to Bathurst in 2021 about creating a Ranger Desert Racer, which adds even more weight to those odds. Especially since the Ranger and Bronco share the same basic underpinnings, with the Raptor versions planned and developed together.
Not that he thinks it will force the company to get involved and make any major changes, because he thinks the new 3.0-liter twin-turbo V6-powered Ranger Raptor is already capable of racing.
“It is inevitable for me that the Ranger Raptor could be a racing vehicle,” he said. “It could be a private race, you could take it to Finke, you could do whatever you want with it. Without, I would say, too many modifications, you could put a roll cage and a fire extinguisher in there and away you go.