Jaco Van Der Merwe

Compiled by Jaco Van Der Merwe

Head of Motoring

Ford Ranger Wildtrak X joins million-rand bakkie club

Upgraded dampers, new wheels and higher ground clearance gives this double cab attitude.

The Ford Ranger Wildtrak X has officially become the latest member of the Blue Oval’s bakkie range in South Africa.

At R1 013 000, the Ford Ranger Wildtrak X becomes the sixth current local bakkie with a seven-digit price tag. The other members of the million-rand traditional bakkie club include the Ford Ranger Raptor and Ranger V6 Wildtrak, the Volkswagen Amarok Aventura and its two PanAmericana siblings.

Based on the Wildtrak, the Wildtrak X is offered only in 2.0-litre biturbo guise and off-road focussed along the Raptor. It benefits from unique long-travel suspension, advanced off-road driver assistance systems and attractive styling.

ALSO READ: ‘Junior Raptor’ returns as Ford unveils new Ranger Wildtrak X

Ford Ranger gets wild

“With the Wildtrak X we’re giving this prized nameplate a more muscular character and even greater off-road capability, enabling our customers to push the boundaries of an active, outdoor lifestyle,” says Doreen Mashinini, General Manager for Marketing at Ford South Africa.

The Wildtrak X features a retuned version of the Raptor’s position-sensitive mono-tube shock absorbers. Sourced from Bilstein and not Fox Racing like the Ford Ranger Raptor, the shocks and dampers have been altered to suit towing and touring rather than fast off-road driving. This, along with 17-inch alloys wrapped in 265/70 R17 General Grabber AT3 all-terrain tyres result in ground clearance increasing by 26 mm to 263 mm.

The Ford Ranger Wildtrak X becomes the first of the Blue Oval’s biturbo oil-burners to feature the on-demand four-wheel drive system with 4A (automatic mode). The system, which still has selectable 2H, 4H and 4L as well as rear difflock, has up until now only been offered on 3.0-litre V6 Ranger and Everest.

ALSO READ: Turbo upgrade helps Toyota Hilux GR-S overtake V6 Ford Ranger

Off-road ready

More features borrowed from the Raptor include low-range only Crawl Control and Trail Turn Assist. The latter brakes the inside rear wheel to reduce the turning radius at speeds below 19 km/h in 4H and 4L.

The Ford Ranger Wildtrak X has a gloss black grille with integrated LEDs and black mirror caps and door handles. It also gets Matrix LED headlights while there are Cyber Yellow accent above the steel bash plate. There is Wildtrak X badging on the tailgate, the base of the doors and side-steps.

The Ford Ranger Wildtrak X introduces the Flexible Rack System, which is offered as an option. The system, hidden in plain sight, consists of a sliding load rack and folding roof rack. The load rack can be locked into five positions along the length of the load bed. The folding roof racks store inside the roof rails when not in use.

ALSO READ: Ford Ranger Raptor proves itself as a proper Golf GTI killer

Interior enhancements

Inside, the X gets Cyber Orange accents, Wildtrak X embroidered seats and a new material called Terra suede. There is orange stitching on the centre console, instrument binnacle, doors and gear lever. The partial leather and suede seats also feature orange stitch work.

Carried over from the Wildtrak is the 12-inch SYNC 4 infotainment system, overhead auxiliary panel and 12.4-inch digital instrument cluster.

The Ford Ranger Wildtrak X benefits from the Bang & Olufsen Play sound system found on the Everest Platinum.

The 2.0-litre biturbo diesel mill produces 154kW and power and 500Nm of torque. It sends the twist to all fours wheels via ten-speed automatic transmission.

Included in the price of the Ford Ranger WIldtrak X is a four-year/120 000 km warranty. Service or maintenance plans up to eight years or 135 000 km are available.

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