Ford’s new Ranger is the bakkie that has taken the fight to the competition in just a few short years with more and more of these vehicles finding their way onto our roads. Packed full of smart technology and high standards of quality and comfort, the Ford Ranger also runs a powerful 3.2 litre turbodiesel powerplant.
The five-cylinder diesel engine with a flat torque curve has 90 percent of its 470 Nm available from 1 500 to 2 750 rpm along with 147 kW of power. And as any Ford Ranger owner will testify to, this is plenty power on paper that strangely only translates into an average type drive when out on the road.
And this is exactly what the team at Steves Auto Clinic found when putting their stock standard development Ford Ranger through its paces. The 0-100 km/h sprint took almost 13 seconds with 140 km/h taking a full 30 seconds to reach and the in gear acceleration times not much better when the vehicle was independently tested.
So they set about changing this and opted to use their latest SAC ECU Software Upgrade option that sees the power and torque jump up a conservative and reliable average of 17 percent. So now not only do you have power you can feel, you have a smoother drive that must be felt to be believed.
Now you would have heard of flash tuning, this is where a person, normally armed with a laptop and not much else, loads a new engine control unit map on your vehicle and changes the boost, timing and fuelling parameters.
These changes are normally done beyond what the OEM manufacturer would allow for the particular engine in your vehicle and they can then result in serious damage occurring to your engine because of over boosting or incorrect fuelling.
Most modern engines today are not delivering their full potential of power and torque. This ‘torque dampening’ as it is called is being applied by manufacturers. So what they do at SAC with their SAC ECU Software Upgrade is electronically allow some of this torque to be freed up and make your vehicle’s engine deliver closer to its true performance potential while maintaining all your vehicle’s inherent OEM engine safety parameters.
Now because they are known as the tuning experts they decided to also add a 76mm stainless steel bolt on De Graaf performance exhaust system to their Ford Ranger for that bespoke sound and little extra gain in power.
This said and done, the SAC upgraded Ford Ranger now responded far better to throttle inputs and also was quicker across all the measured distances when independently tested again. The 0-100 km/h now gets done in less than 12 seconds and 140km/h is reached some 4.5 seconds sooner than before. Overtaking times are also down and this simply translates into an all round better vehicle.
The SAC ECU Software Upgrade comes in at seriously good bang for buck R6 950 incl VAT and the optional De Graaf performance exhaust system will set you back a further R6 950 incl VAT, but you can talk to a sales consultant at your nearest SAC branch and he will advise you on the full range of exhaust options available to you.
In the future a UniChip U-Connect Plug and Play unit will become available as a second option to the SAC ECU Software Upgrade at the same cost. This system will come as a stand-alone product, complete with a wiring harness that plugs directly into your Ford Ranger’s OEM ECU and can be plugged in and out whenever you want or need.
And to put the cherry on the cake so to speak, SAC decided to upgrade the looks of their Ford Ranger to complete the performance package. And for this they opted for the Raptor body kit from 4×4 experts, M&B Off Road Center in Vanderbijlpark.
The kit consists of colour matched fender flairs (R8 000), bonnet scoop (R4 800), Ford front grill (R3 800) and optional Raptor decal kit (R3 500). All you have to do here is pay a deposit, the parts get prepared and painted and then they are fitted in a matter of hours.
M&B Off Road Center can be contacted on 016 931 1675