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Two Ford Ranger-based Beasts to Enter 2014 Dakar

Two Ford Ranger-based Beasts to Enter 2014 Dakar

Two Ford Ranger-based Beasts to Enter 2014 Dakar
August 01
09:31 2013

Two Ford Rangers (or at least two pickups that look somewhat like a Ford Ranger) will enter the 2014 Dakar rally that will take place between January 5-18 in South America. Ford chooses the Ranger as a basis for their race car mostly thanks to the popularity of pickup trucks in the Americas.

The cars are prepared by Neil Woolridge Motorsport, and will be driven by Lucio Alvarez (Argentina) and Chris Visser (South Africa). The first car will start testing in August, the second being is under construction and will be completed at the end of October.

The pickups are based on the 4×4 Double Cab version of the Ford Ranger, but have few components in common with the stock version. Their bodies are made of composite instead of steel, and the engine is also changed to a 5.0-liter V8 developing 349 hp at 4,500 rpm and 560 Nm (413 lb-ft) of torque at 4,100 rpm. They weigh 1,975 kg (4,354 lbs), and are capable of reaching a top speed of 170 km/h (106 mph).

No usual gearbox can withstand this kind of power under racing conditions, so the truck got a heavy duty Sadev six-speed sequential gearbox. The Ford Rangers have four wheel drive, and their handling is improved by limited slip differentials on each axle. Independent suspension in the front and rear and huge Brembo brakes also make a big difference from a stock Ford Ranger pickup.

The cars have a huge, 500-liter (132-gallon) fuel tank, because fuel economy is not among their strong points. Driven normally on the road, they need 28 l/100 km (8.4 US mpg). Under racing conditions in the desert, this jumps to 90 liters of fuel per 100 km (2.6 US mpg).

For the first time, the 2014 Dakar will include Bolivia. The famous race will span over 8,500 kilometers (5,281 miles) in South America, from Rosario, Argentina and Valparaiso, Chile.

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