Ford Ranger gets power-hike kit in the US… won’t come to Oz.

Ford Ranger buyers in the US can now get a factory-approved power-up kit for 2019 and newer models (petrol)… won’t come to Australia. Boo.

First there was all that nonsense news about a V8-powered Ford Ranger Raptor being developed in Australia. And that sent the Internet into meltdown with Aussies reaching out to dealers to place a deposit on a vehicle that won’t be built.

And now comes the news of Ford in the US offering an approved kit to get more power out of the petrol engine running in the Ranger. Hold up. What? Petrol. Yep, the Ranger in the US is available with a 2.3-litre turbocharged four-cylinder donk that’s nothing more than a detuned version of the engine in the mental Focus RS. And that’s the part that tells you we won’t see this engine in Australia… we apparently don’t like petrol engines in our 4X4s. But don’t stop reading…we’ll come back to this.

So, what do you get with the kit? For US$825 which is around $1300 you’ll get a dealer-fit kit that bumps power and torque from 201kW and 420Nm to 239kW and 481Nm. Nice. The kit involves an ECU (Engine Control Unit) tune, a dyno run or two, as well as a drop-in K&N high-flow air filter and transmission tweak.

Where this gets really interesting, especially with a factory power-tune is that Australia often takes procedural and modification cues from our American buddies. How’s that important to those of us with Ford four-wheel drives, you ask? It indicates that we too, could see dealer-installed power upgrades across the board. It’s no secret that many manufacturers tune conservatively. The 4JJ1 engine from Isuzu and the 1KD-FTV engine from Toyota is living proof of that – you don’t have to spend too much time searching the Web for stories of crazy-big power from those donks.

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Hailing from the depths of four-wheel driving cosplay goodness, and being the camera-shy, dark-shaded hero we need (maybe not want, but certainly need), Pete has been four-wheel driving his whole life. Offering up how he got it wrong, so you can get it right seems to be his superpower, while also having an innate ability to break things while testing them, ensures the products he tests (and breaks) will hold up to being used by you.