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Ford Performance ups the Ranger’s ante

By Trent Giunco, 16 Apr 2020 News

Ford Performance ups the Ranger’s ante

Don’t buy into the V8 Raptor? Ford Performance has another solution

Waiting on that V8 Ford Ranger Raptor but you’re getting itchy feet? Ford Performance in America has just proved their might be another way.

No, it’s not a tuneful bent eight or the punchy EcoBoost twin-turbo V6, but the Ranger is offered with a 2.3-litre four-cylinder turbo in North America.

The engine is a variation of the unit used in the Ford Focus RS and Mustang 2.3L High Performance – got your attention? And Ford Performance has just given its base figures of 201kW/420Nm a boost thanks to a dealer-fit power-up pack that includes a free-breathing K&N air filter and the Pro Cal 4 tool used to install the recalibration – resulting in a peak increase of 36kW (4500rpm) and 81Nm (2500rpm). Not bad for a US$825 (A$1311).

Read next: Exclusive: Ford Raptor V8 to go on sale in Oz

The 10-speed auto is also accordingly recalibrated and it comes with a warranty.

In a category dominated by inline-four and V6 turbo-diesel engines, a turbo four-pot with the wick turned up could generate a USP all of its own.

Read next: 2021 Ford Ranger: this is definitely it

For those who don’t tow heavy loads or travel long distances, the detuned Focus RS engine might even inject an extra pep in the Raptor’s step that is desperately needs – it’d surely best the 10-second-plus 0-100km/h times of the current diesel line-up.

Presently the Ranger (including the hugely capable Raptor) makes do with between 118-157kW and 385-500Nm.

However, perspective is key, and the likelihood of this powertrain being offered here is virtually nil, as a Ford Australia spokesperson stated when contacted by Wheels.

“The markets have significant differences; our preference is for diesel, with its load-carrying, towing and economy advantages that make it the natural choice for Australian customers.

“The US market doesn’t have the take-up for diesel, which means the 2.3-litre works there [but] isn’t something we think local customers here would choose for Ranger,” the spokesperson said.

However, with strict Euro 6d emissions standards already in place, and more focus being placed on particulate emissions, offering a petrol-powered version in the future might become a more viable option.

Read next: Learning how to drift a Raptor

Using downsized turbo-petrol engines is a trend that has paid dividends in terms of performance and efficiency in other categories, so it could make sense for the dual-cab segment.

What do you think, would you buy a turbocharged four-cylinder petrol Ranger?