The Ford Ranger FX4 Max is more than just a sticker kit...
South African bakkie enthusiasts will recall the local introduction of the Ranger FX4 in 2017 (we pitted it against the Nissan Navara), but that FX4 was essentially a dressed-up Ranger XLT with no meaningful technical upgrades over the standard Ranger. It looked good, but it was, meh...
Australia is big on bakkies too and much like the recent unveiling of the Ranger Tremor in the U.S, which is the closest thing to a Ranger Raptor on offer there, Ford has taken the opportunity to develop the Ranger FX4 Max for the Australian market and it slots in below the range-topping Ranger Raptor.
So, what’s special about it?
With it's uprated suspension, the FX4 Max has more to offer offroad without compromising on its load carrying and hauling ability.
Well, the Ranger FX4 Max features an uprated suspension with 2.0-inch monotube Fox shocks (front and rear) and rides on unique 17-inch alloy wheels shod with 32-inch BF Goodrich off-road tyres, however, unlike the Ranger Raptor, the FX4 Max retains its rear leaf spring suspension. The Ranger Raptor’s towing ability is compromised due to its high-performance rear coil-spring suspension and can only tow 2 500 kg. The Ranger FX4 Max, however, can still tow up to 3 500 kg and carries a higher payload of 981 kg (748 kg in the Raptor), so that’s a major highlight. Ground clearance is at 256 mm.
From a styling point of view, the FX4 Max gains a similar grille to the Raptor with bold FORD lettering, steel hoop side steps and a full-length sports bar. On the inside, the Ranger FX4 Max features leather upholstery with suede accents, steel pedals, leather steering wheel, gloss black trim detailing and like we saw on the Ranger Tremor, an auxiliary switchboard with 6 switches mounted on the central dashboard.
Importantly, the Ranger FX4 Max employs the same bi-turbocharged, 2.0-litre diesel engine found in the Ranger Raptor with 157 kW and 500 Nm of torque and mated with Ford’s 10-speed automatic transmission.
The Ranger FX4 Max will be offered in limited numbers at first and if it proves popular with Australian buyers, Ford might make the derivative a permanent fixture in the Ranger’s lineup. In Australia, pricing for the Ranger FX4 Max starts from $65 940 which converts directly to about R780 113. This is an Australia-only ranger derivative, so don’t expect to see the FX4 Max on local soil anytime soon.
For something a bit different to the standard Ranger or Ranger Raptor, you might want to take a closer look at the Ranger Thunder which was recently introduced in South Africa.