The sales success of the Ford Ranger is undeniable. We recently had the chance at the wheel of Safari’s ARMAX ECU equipped, and well-appointed, PX MKII Wildtrack.
It always seems more relevant to get a feel of a vehicle in one with some of the usual modifications in place, and although new to their fleet, the crew at Safari have made a solid start on this build.
This Ford Ranger is wrapped in ARB steel, from the uniquely colour coded Deluxe Bar with Intensity Light Bar up front, to the Summit Rear Step Tow Bar behind and Side Steps in between.
The ARB Ascent Canopy is home to full-length drawers and supports Thule cross bars and an ARB awning.
This Ford Ranger is running on an upgraded Old Man Emu suspension. It’s also running the new Cooper Discoverer AT3XLTs on Pro Comp rims.
The 3.2 litre, 5 cylinder engine leaves little room for much else under the hood. The mounting bracket for the X Series Safari ARMAX ECU sits neatly alongside the firewall on the passenger side of the vehicle.
The ARMAX ECU control is neatly mounted within the cabin. On this day it spent most of the time in Mode 4 (Traction Assist).
Finally, this Ranger has a high flow Safari ARMAX Snorkel fitted which delivers up to 50% more air than the stock intake.
On the highway, this 5 cylinder has plenty of go. We toggled between modes 2 (Sport) and 5 (Standard) and the additional power gains of the ARMAX ECU were striking, especially on heavy acceleration and hills.
During off-road climbs again we toggled between modes in the ECU. First, we once more switched between mode 2 (Sport) and 5 (Standard) to observe the power difference above the factory output.
Next, we switched between mode 2 (Sport) and 4 (Traction Assist). The most observable difference noted was under heavy throttle. In mode 4 the throttle was far smoother, and the Ranger moved forward with full torque but more control, which for those that prefer keeping their vehicles intact, can only be a good thing.
Roomy, comfortable and powerful, it’s easy to see why the Ranger is giving the Hilux such a solid challenge. Here’s hoping this Ford and Toyota rivalry results in even better models from both brands into the future.
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