Published in MotorTrend
4 days ago by nyekikian
After initially reviewing the new-to-U.S. Ford Ranger upon the nameplate’s return to the American market for 2019, we were unimpressed with its already-old styling, so-so ride and handling, and low-rent cabin. To be fair, the Ranger had already been on sale for some time globally before it was modified for American customers, and we nonetheless deem it a capable truck with a solid (and segment-unique) turbocharged four-cylinder gas engine. Now Ford is injecting a bit more appeal into its mid-size pickup by upping the Ranger’s off-road capability with a new Ford Performance line of off-road accessory packs.
Will these Performance packages change any of our baseline complaints about the Ranger? No, but they offer a compelling distraction from them. Available in three grades of increasing burliness, the packs can be added to any four-wheel-drive 2019 or 2020 Ranger model.
The first Ford Performance off-road accessory pack runs a reasonable $2,495, pre-installation—a steal for what’s included. For that outlay, you get slight suspension lift for the front end (leveling out the truck’s standard butt-in-the-air stance), 17-inch Dyno Gray wheels, Ford Performance bodyside graphics, and—most critically—a set of FOX 2.0 Performance Series monotube shocks featuring a floating piston design. The shocks have been specifically tuned by Ford Performance for this application, too, and are the same brand (though not the same units) used on the mighty Ford F-150 Raptor.
If you want to literally take your Ranger’s off-roading to the next level, you can opt for the level two performance pack. It includes everything from the first package, plus even more off-road goodies. Those 17-inch wheels are upgraded to BF Goodrich KO2 tires for extra grip beyond pavement, the Ranger’s front bumper receives two blue tow hooks, and there’s a Rigid-brand off-road accent lighting kit.
A Ford Performance engine calibration (available separately) also included in the level two performance pack bumps output from the Ford’s turbocharged 2.3-liter four-cylinder from 270 horsepower to 315 ponies at 4,500 rpm. Peak torque jumps, too, from 310 lb-ft to 370 lb-ft, and that twist is available low down in the rev range, at only 2,500 rpm. In total, the level two off road performance pack will set you back $4,495 before installation costs—still reasonable, considering this is the closest you can bring Ford’s Ranger to the incredibly capable Chevrolet Colorado ZR2 using factory bits.
The third and final form of the new Ford Performance off-road pack includes everything from levels one and two, and adds a 40-inch light bar by Rigid, red-painted tow hooks (as opposed to blue ones), a winch integrated into the front bumper, a chase rack (that black roll-hoop-lookin’ thing on the red truck in the photos), and a Ford Performance exhaust. All of these level three performance pack goodies will run you $8,995 (also pre-installation).
These dealer-installed off-road performance packs are, without a doubt, sweet. They should come in handy for Ranger owners who want a little more off-road ability out of their trucks and a big injection of rugged style. Interested? The Ford Performance packages (level one and two) will be available to order in August 2020; sadly, the level three pack won’t be available until next summer.
The post Turn Your Ford Ranger Into a Mini-Raptor With These Factory Performance Packs appeared first on MotorTrend.