• Ford South Africa has approved SVI's armoured protection on its Ranger bakkie.
• The armoured protection is available in several specifications.
• Ford's factory warranty remains intact.
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In the same way that a manufacturer of supercars will gloat about performance, bakkie rhetoric begins and ends with the promise of toughness. This past week, Ford South Africa, together with SVI Engineering, added a new layer of toughness to the Ranger's current #BuiltFordTough DNA with Ford-Approved armour's debut protection in a variety of specifications and across all derivatives.
With this new announcement, Ford South Africa expects to gain unrivalled traction with private and fleet customers. In the process, it adds another branch to the Ranger's ever-evolving portfolio. What makes the armour protection on the Ford Ranger different to the myriad other competing brands and products offered by SVI Engineering, is that this is Ford-Approved. The Ranger's standard warranty and service plan stay intact! SVI Engineering also provides a one-year or 50 000km warranty on the armour protection.
Ford South Africa's Manager Director, Neale Hill made it clear that while civilian armour protection is one of those regrettable realities, "being able to provide outstanding levels of customer safety is deeply rooted in Ford's DNA". Ford's ability to adapt to new demands and customer requirements is one of the company's many strengths, and armour protection is considered no exception.
Walking up to one of the Ford Rangers parked on display, the only clue that there's something different under the skin is a small white square sticker with the words 'This vehicle has been armoured by SVI'. This Ford Ranger has been done to SVI's entry-level B4 discreet specification, meaning that the armour protection is as inconspicuous as possible - and it really is! Able to stop weapons like handguns and other throwables such as bricks, the B4 discreet option features a windscreen and side windows made from thicker curved glass to sit neatly inside the Ranger's original frame and dimensions. Yes, you can feel a bit more weight in the doors, thanks to inserts of Kevlar, but the overall craftsmanship from SVI compliments Ranger's own build quality.
Customers can also order the Ranger in B6 discreet guise, the only discernible difference being that it's rated to stop ammunition fired from assault rifles like the AK47 and R1.
Parked alongside the B4 discreet, is the more pronounced-looking B6 non-discreet comprising a flat windscreen bolted to the vehicle's exterior and side windows narrowed down by thick and intimidating black frames. Not only is the non-discrete option cheaper because of less custom fabrication, but it can also be completed in 2 weeks versus the discreet version's 12-weeks.
Driving an armoured Ranger
So what is an armoured Ranger like to drive, apart from one's own profound level of invincibility at the wheel? With anything from 250kg up to 650kg of additional weight, there's surprisingly little impact on the Ranger's acceleration, braking and general characteristics. In fact, this new cocoon of armour absorbs that last bit of remaining road and wind noise while the extra weight adds a composed frequency to the springs and dampers. All the cabin's usual bells and whistles haven't been compromised in the slightest - in B4 discreet even the driver's window is still electrically operated. However, opening a window in an armoured vehicle is obviously not advised.
For those customers seeking higher protection levels, SVI offers a list of options that can be ticked over and above the standard armouring of pillars, panels and those systems vital for the vehicle's mobility under attack. This includes roof armouring, floor armouring, a run-flat ring for the tyres and a public announcement system.
The ownership experience is further enhanced because the Ranger is the only armoured bakkie in South Africa that can be ordered directly from a franchise dealer. This means customers can place an order for an armoured Ranger at any one of the 134 Ford dealerships around the country.
Pricing excludes VAT and purchase price of vehicle:
Ford Ranger Single Cab
B6 Stop gun V2.0 non-discreet: R234 413
B4 discreet: R338 386
B6 discreet: R527 990
Ford Ranger Super Cab
B6 Stop gun V2.0 non-discreet: R271 163
B4 discreet: R454 371
B6 discreet: R688 225
Ford Ranger Double Cab
B6 Stop gun V2.0 non-discreet: R335 202
B4 discreet: R454 371
B6 discreet: R688 225