Bakkie fans will be thrilled with the news of a new Ford Ranger FX4 Max derivative.

The American automaker, which has pivoted the core of its global business into bakkies, is now set to offer improved off-road performance with the Ranger double cab.

Since the introduction of Ranger Raptor in 2018, Ford has rightfully claimed the title of most capable 4×4 double cab. Borrowing a rear-axle from the Everest SUV and riding on a reinforced T6 Ranger platform, the Raptor is a great deal more robust and capable in extreme off-road terrain, than any of its rivals.

Image: Supplied

Ford Ranger FX4 Max: A more subtle Raptor

But what of those customers who want some of the Raptor’s off-road abilities, without its rather outrageous styling? Ford recognised that a sufficient number of potential customers want all the 4×4 bits that Raptor has, without the dramatic design.

The result is Ford’s new FX4 Max. This is a standard Ranger with most of the bits that make Raptor so desirable.

This new double-cab features 2-inch monotube dampers at all four wheel corners, sourced from off-road racing specialist, Fox. Ground clearance is classified at 256mm, which is less than a Raptor’s 283mm but superior to a standard Ranger double cab’s 237mm.

It also rolls huge 32-inch BF Goodrich off-road specification tyres, which add massively to the bakkie’s overall traction properties and ride quality, thanks to their size and generous internal air volume, capable of cushioning terrain impacts.

Image: Supplied

CAPABLE OF HAULING A LOT MORE

Powering the FX4 Max is Ford’s two-litre bi-turbodiesel engine, boosting 157kW and 500Nm, the same outputs it delivers in a Raptor. In fact, the only notable mechanical difference between these two ultra-capable Ford Ranger double cabs, are their rear axle configurations.

The FX4 Max retains a traditional leaf-sprung rear axle, whereas Ford’s Ranger Raptor uses a more sophisticated coil-sprung set-up. What the FX4 Max sacrifices in wheel travel and ride quality to Raptor, it gains in terms of towing ability.

You can haul a heavier trailer with the FX4 Max, which has a maximum tow-rating of 3500kg as opposed to the Raptor’s 2500kg. The new Ranger derivative also carries a 233kg larger payload in its loadbox, which will please expedition enthusiasts no end.

Industrial design and styling upgrades are subtle, with low-profile side steps and the extended rear roll-hoop being most distinctive.

For those who want a significantly more capable off-road adventure vehicle, but can’t quite bring themselves to deal with the Raptor’s additional width and burdensome parking dimensions, this new Ranger is an excellent new offering.

Onlineautos
Author: Onlineautos