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By Mark Jones

Road Test Editor

Toyota Hilux pips Ford Ranger in drag race … for now

Stakes in performance double cab bakkie segment is about to be raised with new V6 Ranger and Amarok and beastly new Raptor.

The next few months are going to be huge in terms of bakkie news. And not just new stuff, but also some seriously high-performance options that will be on offer.

Pull up at any traffic light in this country with a double cab and you just know that the guy that pulls up alongside you in his double cab is not going to back down from a duel.

Ford Ranger Stormtrak

So, before you accuse me of being silly by road testing double-cab bakkies, or even discussing the topic, take the time to consider that bakkies make up the biggest part of the aftermarket performance market in South Africa. And this week we are here to talk about our long-term Ford Ranger Stormtrak and bring you our thoughts on the even hotter stuff that is on the way from Ford and others.

The Ford Ranger Stormtrak gets ready for the drag strip.

Our Ford Ranger Stormtrak runs the 2.0-litre bi-turbodiesel that produces 157 kW of power and 500 Nm of torque and is currently the most powerful Ranger you can buy off a Ford showroom floor.

Its 0 to 100 km/h sprint time comes in at 12.70 seconds and the 1 km distance at 157 km/h when making proper use of the 10-speed automatic transmission. Click on the link below to see the complete results of the road test.

I will save you the time of looking it up, but this time is a fraction slower than the current 2.8-GD Legend turbodiesel Toyota Hilux.

With 150kW/500Nm on tap, the Hilux took 12.38 seconds to reach 100 km/h from a standstill and recorded a 1km speed of 162 km/h.

ALSO READ: Toyota Hilux GR-S overtakes Ford Ranger to close gap on Amarok

We haven’t managed to get our hands on the new 140kW/450Nm Nissan Navara in 4×4 guise, nor the recently released Isuzu D-Max that pushes out the same numbers.

Basically, what this means is that the 0 to 100 km/h time will stay in the 12-second range and the 1km speeds at, or around, 160 km/h.

V6 pair far ahead

Obviously, the turbodiesel V6 offerings from Mercedes-Benz with their discontinued X-Class and Volkswagen with their soon-to-be-replaced Amarok, are light years ahead of the four-cylinder offerings from the competition.

The 190kW/550Nm X-Class hit 100 km/h in 9.43 seconds and the 1 km at 173 km/h, while the 190kW/580Nm Amarok blasted to an 8.14 second 0-100 km/h and a speed of 178 km/h in 1km.

And the incoming Ranger and Amarok are also going to offer 3.0-litre V6 turbodiesel powerplants with outputs of 184kW/600Nm. They will no doubt then compete for the top spot on the podium.

But this is all about to change, and the bakkie that is going to rule the roost is the Ford Ranger in Raptor guise…

It could be game over when the new Ford Ranger Raptor shows up.

Beastly new Ford Ranger Raptor

If you want to drive past a Ford Ranger Raptor on the road or off it, then you are going to have to come to the battle with more than the 292 kW of power and 583 Nm of torque that this special bakkie will offer from its V6 petrol twin-turbo 3.0-litre EcoBoost powerplant.

For more information on the new Ford Ranger Raptor, click here.

Ford Performance has ensured the engine delivers immediate response to throttle inputs, and a race-bred anti-lag system enables rapid delivery of boost on demand.

This anti-lag system, available in Baja mode, keeps the turbochargers spinning for up to three seconds after the driver backs off the throttle, allowing for faster resumption of acceleration out of corners or between gears when the driver gets back on the accelerator.

Mated to the now tried and tested 10-speed automatic transmission, each gear is programmed with its boost profile, while an electronically controlled active exhaust system amplifies the engine note in four selectable drive modes, Quiet, Normal, Sport and Baja.

What will this madness cost you? We have no idea yet, but our Ranger Stormtrak is currently priced at R857 400. This includes a four-year/120 000km comprehensive warranty, three-year/unlimited distance roadside assistance and a six-year/90 000km service plan.