A joint development between Ford, M-Sport – which developed Ford's Puma WRC car and the engine in the company's GT3 Mustang – and Neil Woolridge Motorsport, which will build the car, the rally-ready Ranger T1+ is based on the outgoing version of Ford's pickup fitted with the 3.5-litre twin-turbocharged V6 petrol from the current model. It's set to compete in Spain’s Baja España Aragón and Morocco’s Rally du Maroc rallies in July and October, respectively, before next year's assault on the Dakar Rally.
Mark Rushbrook, Global Director, Ford Performance Motorsports, said: "To lead the charge at one of the ultimate global off-road events – the Dakar Rally – has been a goal of ours. We cannot underestimate the enormity of the challenge ahead of us. We need to finish and learn first with Ranger T1+ and partners like M-Sport and NWM, who bring their expertise to bear. Together, we can do amazing things in the sand dunes of the Arabian Peninsula.
“Our first time in Dakar will be a learning adventure that will help inform how we compete in the future. But as with all racing, we’re not just racing to win, we’re also racing to help build better products for our customers”, said Rushbrook.
Ford Performance and M-Sport are developing an all-new, custom-built Ranger Raptor for the 2025 Dakar Rally, designed and built to Dakar’s T1+ class regulations.
“The Dakar Rally is truly among the pinnacle of global off-road racing events,” said Malcolm Wilson, M-Sport managing director. “We’ve achieved great success over the years with Ford in FIA WRC rally racing and can’t wait to apply this same level of focus, energy and effort to competing with Ranger in Dakar."
Will bring you more news on Ford's challenge on the Dakar when we have it.