You know all those people who cover the front grille of their Ford Ranger bakkies with a massive Ford badge? Not surprisingly, Ford is none too thrilled about it.
The grille of any vehicle is designed to allow the right amount of air into the engine to keep things cool and putting a big Ford name across the grille means the owners of these Rangers are running the risk of things getting a bit warm.
Ford could do without that sort of thing happening, even if it was the fault of the owners. Unfortunately for the owners, if anything does happen, Ford will not be liable as the after-market accessory can invalidate the vehicle’s warranty.
However, we see these modified Rangers all over the place — clearly, so does Ford, because instead of allowing people to go all do-it-yourself with their bakkies, the company has come up with a solution in the form of the Ranger Fx4.
The Fx4 badge is derived from the Ford F-Series pick-ups in the US. The bakkie is based on the 3.2l XLT double-cab 4×4 and introduces an array of styling enhancements.
“The Ranger Fx4 fills a unique space in our current lineup as it offers our valued Ranger customers a vehicle that has been personalised as part of our standard manufacturing process, but introduces an entirely new level of exclusivity and appeal,” says Tracey Delate, marketing general manager for Ford Motor Company sub-Saharan Africa region.
“This is an exciting special addition to the Ranger lineup that has its own distinct personality and it was designed to be unique in a cluttered market place,” Delate adds.
“There’s a strong demand for accessorising and customising the standard Ranger among enthusiast customers and the Ranger Fx4 fills that niche superbly, while maintaining the exceptional capabilities of the XLT model.”
The Fx4 incorporates a number of styling changes, including black finishes for the radiator grille, fog-lamp bezels, exterior mirrors and roof rails, as well as the door and tailgate handles.
The 17-inch alloy wheels are supplied in a “panther black” finish. The same colour is adopted for the side steps, rear bumper and special Fx4 tubular sports bar located in the load bay — the latter protected by a fitted bedliner. To round off the design, Fx4 decals are applied on the sides and rear tailgate.
The Fx4 is exclusively available in four colour choices: Frozen White, Moondust Silver, Sea Grey and Panther Black.
It also has the latest Sync 3 with navigation infotainment system. This incorporates all the benefits of the system that was introduced in 2016, with the addition of a comprehensive suite of integrated navigation functions accessible via the eight-inch touch screen and a range of voice commands.
Pricing for the Fx4 version is R593 900 for the manual derivative, with the automatic costing R608 900. – Mark Smyth