Brian Joss – The recent global launch of the new Ford Ranger Raptor promises a new era for both production and aftermarket high-performance pick-ups in South Africa, says Tiaan van Wyk, Marketing Manager of Steves Auto Clinic South Africa (SAC).
“Following the global reveal of the Ranger Raptor, we have seen a significant increase in enquiries from pick-up owners who would like to apply a similar conversion to their existing Rangers or other pick-ups,” says Van Wyk.
The Ford Ranger Raptor will introduce a new level of performance enhancement to production pick-ups, thanks to its unique, high-performance suspension and 157 kW turbodiesel engine. It is expected in South Africa in 2019, when it will join other powerful pick-ups such as the 165 kW VW Amarok Ultimate
V6 and 190 kW Mercedes-Benz X-Class X350d.
SAC is one of South Africa’s largest installers of Unichip performance upgrade systems on pick-ups. Fitted to a Dastek Power wiring loom, the Unichip becomes a powerful plug-and-play system that can be easily installed and removed and which features a number of pre-set engine maps for different applications.
“Unlike other plug-and-play systems, the Unichip / Dastek Power system does not simply increase fuel pressure for more performance. Each unit monitors over 120 inputs, is programmed for a specific engine and tested on a dynamometer to ensure that it safely extracts the latent power in each engine.”
In the Ford Ranger, a fitted Unichip / Dastek Power system will increase power from 118 kW and 385 Nm on the standard 2.2 TDCi model, to 140 kW and 450 Nm.
On the 3.2 TDCi, the power is safely boosted from 147 kW and 470 Nm to 170 kW and 570 Nm, making it one of the most powerful pick-ups on the road today.
“With each of our Elite units, the owner receives a remote control with five pre-programmed engine map settings. The owner can change the engine power and driving characteristics for in-city driving and improved fuel consumption, for towing, normal driving, and of course for more performance.
There is even a safe mode that renders the engine powerless and is a powerful anti-theft solution,” says Van Wyk.
Some of the most popular fitments of Unichip / Dastek Power systems are on the Toyota Hilux, which sees the 2.8 GD-6 engine boost its power to 170 kW and 575 Nm. The smaller 2.4 GD-6 delivers 140 kW and 500 Nm, when fitted with a Unichip and Dastek Power loom.
Also highly popular is the VW Amarok. Once fitted, the 2.0 VW Amarok BiTDI-engine jumps in power to 180 kW and 450 Nm.