Johannesburg - We’ve said it before, and we’ll say it again - Ford’s Ranger Raptor is an incredibly capable off-roader that was born to tackle rough roads at high speeds. But its power to weight ratio just doesn’t do it justice.
Sure, its 2-litre twin-turbodiesel engine produces an impressive-for-its-size 157kW and 500Nm, but that’s up against a mammoth kerb weight of 2338kg. That, to lend some perspective, is a good 150 kilos more than the Wildtrak weighs.
The easiest solution, given the expenses and complications involved in “adding lightness” as Lotus founder Colin Chapman might have suggested, is extracting more power from Ford’s 2-litre engine. And here, Joburg-based tuner RG Motorsport has a solution that claims “substantial improvements" in peak power and torque as well as more user-friendly delivery curves.
The Stage One upgrade sees peak power increase from 157kW to 180kW (both at 3000rpm), as measured on RGM's 4WD dyno, while torque is up from 500Nm to 590Nm, at 1500 revs. Furthermore, at 2000rpm, where the standard motor peaks, there’s still 548 newtons available, according to RG Motorsport, while torque tapers off in a "more progressive manner” between 3000 and 4000rpm.
“These gains are the result of carefully-matched hardware and software solutions to make the engine breathe far more efficiently – both in terms of getting more, cooler air into the combustion chambers and allowing hot air to escape as quickly as possible” RGM said.
The package also includes a hand-made intercooler that improves air flow and controls temperature more effectively, the tuner claims, while an ‘RGM-Techniflow’ exhaust plays a similar role post-combustion. The conversion also sees the catalytic converter replaced with a 76mm downpipe from the turbos, while the stainless steel system significantly reduces back pressure.
A Techniflow exhaust takes shape.
“Tuning the Raptor to obtain increased power without sacrificing refinement – not to mention retaining similar fuel consumption in like-for-like driving – hasn’t been an easy task from a mapping point of view,” said RGM’s master tuner Steve Green.
“A successful outcome has been made possible by two things: the expertise and experience of our team and the intelligence and programmability of the new Unichip X, the latest-generation piggyback computer from Dastek.”
A Raptor undergoes final tuning on RG Motorsport's 4WD dyno.
The upgrade is priced at R33 000, and includes a six-month or 20 000km warranty.