Demand for high-performance bakkies increasing
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).
Van Wyk said: “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 bakkies.”
The Raptor opens the door to high performance bakkies thanks to its unique, high-performance suspension and 157kW turbodiesel engine. It is expected in Southern Africa in 2019, when it will join other powerful bakkies such as the 165kW Volkswagen Amarok Ultimate V6 and 190kW Mercedes-Benz X-Class X350d.
SAC is one of the country’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.
He said: “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 118kW and 385Nm on the standard 2.2 TDCi model, to 140kW and 450Nm.
On the 3.2 TDCi, the power is safely boosted from 147kW and 470Nm to 170kW and 570Nm, making it one of the most powerful pick-ups on the road today.
Van Wyk said: “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.”
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 170kW and 575Nm. The smaller 2.4 GD-6 delivers 140kW and 500Nm, 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 180kW and 450Nm. – Words and images Motorpress.co.za