After the success of the 2012 General Tyre 4×4 African Adventure Ford was keen to get involved in the 2013 event, and kindly sponsored three double cab 4x4s for the 18-day expedition, along with a privately entered Super Cab model.
The mighty Ranger 3.2 XLT Autos were was certainly among the star performers of the trip, with the gutsy 3,2-litre five-cylinder engine providing superb power and torque – both on the long open road, and when the going got rough.
Despite the slightly firm suspension set-up, it took the challenging route in its stride, and the vehicles were used to carry all of the adventure’s tables, chairs and many of the supplies for the school projects.
Certainly for Oom Kallie Otto in his new Ranger 3.2 XLS Super Cab, it was the high-tech features, including the traction and stability control as well as the outstanding Hill Descent Control (HDC), which impressed most and made the arduous off-road sections a breeze.
The lone Ranger 2.2 4×4 Manual may have been smallest-engined model in the convoy, but it certainly held its own – despite carrying the heavy kitchen equipment and groceries for entire 8 000 km. The 3.2 models were fitted with Grabber ATs, while the Super Cab and 2.2 were equipped with the exceptional new MTs.
It was also very interesting to note the significant number of new Ford Rangers that were seen in the other Southern African countries, and specifically in Zambia and Malawi – both in high-spec and workhorse guises. This certainly shows that Ford’s export programme to over 148 markets around the world for the South African-built Ranger is proving very successful.