In sunny South Africa, Ford Ranger double-cab bakkie owners are renown for modifying their trucks. The faux-Raptor kits are so popular, in fact, that Ford acknowledged the demand and launched the 'cosmetically enhanced' Fx4 package. Not one to miss the train, British motorsport company, M-Sport – in conjunction with SA's Ford Performance Centre (FPC) in Centurion – have made their tuning pack available for the 3,2-litre TDCi version too.
The chaps at FPC distribute two versions of the MS-RT package, the first is a cosmetic enhancement for R235 000, which includes the rather dapper MS-RT body kit and 10-inch alloys with Pirelli's Scorpion all-terrain rubber wrapped around them. Other externals include MS-RT decals, daytime running lights, rubber-trod matte black side-steps, tinted rear windows and mud flaps while a tonneau cover hides the custom load-bin liner. Inside it's trimmed in Nappa leather, has special floor mats and a sporty steering wheel that takes the interior to a whole new level. Underneath, there's a 45 mm suspension lift-kit, twin-pipe sports exhaust system, styling bar, radiator plate and fuel tank protection.
Level two includes all of the above as well as a performance upgrade to the turbo, an uprated intercooler, a high-flow exhaust system and a UniChip that boosts the 3,2-litre, five-cylinder turbo diesel's standard outputs from 147 kW and 470 N.m to a chunky 200 kW and 640 N.m.
All this power pushes the traction-control to its boundaries but, thanks to the upgraded suspension, body-roll in kept in check, making this bakkie's handling incomparable to anything else out there.
Which is no surprise considering M-Sport are the chaps who build Ford's World Rally Championship Fiesta.
As we are well aware, these mods will void Ford's warranty but, as Ford Performance Centre is approved by Ford SA, the original warranty is replaced with an official “Ford Protect” comprehensive three-year/60 000 km drivetrain warranty. Yes, it's shorter than the standard four-year/60 000 km warranty but it's better than nothing!
So, the next time you see a modded Ford Ranger pull up at the traffic lights and its sporting the MS-RT decals, you know it's the real deal and demands a bit of respect!