With reference to the latter, the trend has been to modify many of the thousands of Rangers sold with aftermarket ‘Raptor' kits, which enhances it cosmetically, but which are not exactly approved by Ford South Africa.
However, with the arrival of the Ranger Raptor on the horizon, and several other manufacturers introducing powerful high-end bakkies, I attended the launch of the rather well-timed Roush Ranger recently to find out more.
What is Roush about?
In very basic terms, Roush Performance is a rather large USA-based engineering firm that specialises in the development and sale of high-performance vehicle components used in both street cars and in motorsport.
The brand has been operating in South Africa since 2016 with its Mustang conversions being the flagship product. The arrival of the Roush Ranger then signifies a great expansion of the Ford Performance centre locally.
What is a Roush Ranger?
The brand has taken the 2017-2018 3.2-litre TDCi Ranger models and installed a host of upgrades, which, depending on how much you're willing to spend, can be limited to cosmetic upgrades or improve the performance, braking and handling, according to Roush.
At the reveal of the product, we were greeted by three Rangers which all looked pretty much identical cosmetically, but upon closer inspection, it became clear that each model featured different parts, which Roush call stages.
The Stage 1 (RS1) conversion includes a Roush front bumper and grille, bonnet wrap, extended wheel arches, a new rear bumper, a decklid cover, new 18-inch alloy wheels wrapped in Pirelli tyres, side steps and sports bar, a tonneau cover, a catback exhaust, embroidered headrests and Roush floor mats. This setup will set you back around R130 000 on top of the price of your Ranger.
Moving one up, the Stage 2 (RS2) conversion gets all of the RS1’s goodies, but adds an improved intercooler and a five-map chip which improves power to a claimed 170kW, but which has necessitated the installation of an upgraded braking system. This package will cost approximately R170 000 above the cost of the standard 3.2-litre Ranger.
The third and final Stage 3 (RS3) gets all of the components from the RS1 and RS2, as well as a hybrid turbo setup, a dual-pipe catback exhaust and an aluminium intercooler for a claimed output of 200kW.
In the braking department, there are also Pedders rotors and pads installed, with the Australian firm also supplying a Foam Cell TrakRider suspension system. This upgrade will cost around R240 000 on top of the price of your Ranger 3.2-litre TDCi.
Peace of mind
Purchasing a product that has been fiddled with might fill many with anxiety, but the Roush product comes with the Ford Protect three-year/60 000km drivetrain warranty, which can be optionally extended to four-years/120 000km.
There are also a host of optional extras available on top of what has already been listed. The fact that Ford South Africa has approved this upgrade should fill consumers with a sense of confidence.
There will certainly be a customer base for the Roush Ranger if we take a look at how the premium bakkie market has grown of late.
It appeals to those who want their Ranger to be different while allowing customers to upgrade their vehicle according to their budget. It is certainly not cheap, but it at least means that customers retain their warranty. Look out for our road test of this local creation in the coming weeks.