A Ford Ranger for Rangers

Military spec Ford Ranger could be a great anti-poaching patrol vehicle

If you want the ultimate Range double-cab hunting vehicle, Ricardo has a solution.

The British engineering consultancy, which has a recognised presence in the automotive space, has revealed its new Ford Ranger military application project.

Based on a Ranger 2-litre bi-turbo double-cab, he Ricardo conversion adds a range of features to make this Ford bakkie safer in the harshest of operating conditions.

Beyond the olive paint finish, there are new bumpers fore and aft, which offer superior impact protection and mount a recovery winch upfront. An armoured underfloor section offers some protection against explosive whilst rock sliders should keep most of the mechanical bits from being damaged is you run close to the ground clearance tolerances off-road.

Ricardo has increased the waterproof rating for this Ranger’s wiring harnesses and air intake, to boost wading depth to 800mm whilst there is an option to fit coil springs with a greater weight rating and larger brakes too.

The exterior of this Ranger is dominated by its extended rear roll-hoop structure, which offers both functional protection in the eventually of a rollover and as a mounting structure for different weapons.

Atop the double-cab’s roof, there is a heavy-duty carrier system and the loadbox has been resurfaced with clever stowage solutions. Ricardo’s loadbox latching solution allows a surplus of water- and jerrycans to be carried in the most efficiency way, without unduly unbalancing the bakkie’s weight distribution.

Inside the Ricardo Ranger gets custom seat covers, four-point harnesses and benefits from a 24-volt electrical system upgrade, which enables it to power long-range communications technology often preferred and used by military staff or rescue services.

The military specification Ranger’s engine has been left unmodified, and as such the 2-litre bi-turbo boosts 157 kW and 500 Nm.

Ricardo’s Ranger is an evaluation project to show how this popular bakkie could easily be repurposed as a military or rescue vehicle, for European armies or mountain rescue services. In the South African context, it could make an excellent anti-poaching command vehicle platform, especially with the powerful electronic warfare elements, courtesy of its better electrical architecture and roof-mounted antennas. 

The British company has vast experience in the military vehicle realm, having supplied the British army with weaponized vehicle platforms and armoured cars since the early 1990s.

In the general car world, Ricardo is best known for partly designing and manufacturing the 3.8-litre twin-turbo engine architecture which powers most McLaren supercars. It also supplies Bugatti’s gearboxes.

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