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Ford To Enter V8 Ranger Utes In 2014 Dakar Rally Photo:
2014_ford_ranger_dakar_rally_04 Photo: tmr
2014_ford_ranger_dakar_rally_03 Photo: tmr
2014_ford_ranger_dakar_rally_01 Photo: tmr
2014_ford_ranger_dakar_rally_02 Photo: tmr
Trevor Collett | Jul, 31 2013 | 1 Comment

South Africa's Team Ford Racing will enter two Ford Rangers in the 2014 Dakar Rally, each powered by the Mustang’s 5.0 litre petrol V8.

The team called on Ford know-how from around the world in developing the racing trucks, while the logistics of the operation will be handled by German-based South Racing.

Power from the 5.0 litre V8 is listed at a mighty 260kW, significantly more than the 147kW familiar to Australian Ford Ranger drivers using the 3.2 litre turbo-diesel engine.

But before you consider ditching the diesel for your own Mustang-powered Ranger, be warned that fuel consumption is expected to be around 28.0 l/100km in normal driving conditions, and 90.0 l/100km on sand.

Torque is rated at 560Nm and the Dakar Ranger has permanent all-wheel-drive. A six-speed sequential gearbox is fitted, giving the Ranger a top-speed of 170km/h. The whole package weighs 1975kg.

“We are extremely proud to be sending these South African-built Rangers to the 2014 Dakar,” President and CEO of Ford Motor Company Southern Africa, Jeff Nemeth, said.

“Dakar is the ultimate test of man and machine and we are thrilled to have the opportunity to participate with a phenomenal team comprised of local and global expertise.”

For Aussie fans pondering the future of Ford Performance Vehicles, you could hope that Ford Australia is watching this project closely - particularly given the expected arrival of the next Mustang.

But another ‘performance ute’ in Australia will stir memories of the short-lived Toyota TRD Hilux, which was dropped along with the TRD Aurion after just 350 sales.

The 2014 Dakar Rally will be run from January 5 to 18 in South America.

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