CAPE TOWN, South Africa – Ford SA and SVI Engineering are bringing armoured Ranger bakkies to their showrooms and say the plan is a first for any original equipment manufacturer (OEM) in South Africa.
And you can order one from your local Ford dealer.
With more than 18 000 vehicle hijackings recorded annually in South Africa, according to the South African Police Service Annual Crime Statistics for 2019/20, it makes sense to add another layer of safety for Ford customers in the form of ballistic protection.
”The Ranger is already,” Ford says, ”among the country’s best-selling vehicles. Introducing armoured protection will help to establish its position in a new segment for private and fleet customers.”
MEETING A NEED
SVI Engineering was formed in 2004 with capabilities in product design and the development, product evaluation, and manufacturing of armoured products for the military, security, and civilian markets.
”Armour will”, Ford says, ”add to other passenger protection – roll-over mitigation, trailer sway control, pre-collision preparation, pedestrian detection, and autonomous emergency braking.”
Neale Hill, Ford SA’s managing director, told The Corner: ”We wish there were no need for armoured civilian vehicles anywhere in the world but providing outstanding levels of safety for customers is deeply rooted in Ford’s DNA.
”Armoured protection is no exception and one of our strengths as a local manufacturer has always been our ability to adopt trends in the auto industry. We see armour as a next step into a potentially life-saving sector and the first in SA to maintain the Ranger’s full warranty and service plan.”
Delivery turnaround time will be about eight weeks.
SO, WHAT CAN THE ARMOUR HANDLE?
Jaco de Kock, CEO at SVI Engineering, told The Corner in a media release: “The Ranger is already one of SA’s best-selling bakkies. Ballistic protection brings a fully locally-assembled armoured vehicle with OEM support.”
Two levels of armour will be available with a special focus on windscreen and side-windows with polycarbonate able to withstand compression and tension. The combination forms a ballistic barrier by dissipating the energy of a bullet’s impact without distortion.
The B4 spec gives protection against handguns up to a .44 Magnum and protection from thrown bricks and other projectiles. The windows are 18-21mm armoured glass, the bodywork Kevlar sheets.
”It is extremely discreet,” Ford says, ”and, at 280kg, on the Ranger double-cab, will have minimal impact on vehicle acceleration, fuel consumption, and dynamic performance.”
…AND THEN THERE’S B6 SPEC
This is the highest level of civilian protection allowed without a special permit and has been designed for the valuables-in-transit business as well as high-profile individuals needing the ultimate level of protection.
The 38mm armoured glass and armoured steel plates are intended to provide protection from rounds from an R1 assault rifle or AK-47. The bakkies’ suspension will be upgraded to handle the extra 650kg of extra protection.
B6 customers can choose between a discreet appearance or a cost-effective not discreet option called Stopgun V2.0 – the latter using upgrades not easily identifiable on the vehicle, versus the more obvious protection on the non-discreet Stopgun
Build time the discreet option takes 12 weeks, the Stopgun security option two weeks.
ENGINE AND SUSPENSION PROTECTED
By responding to customer feedback, the B4 option is available only in the discreet appearance form, which caters mainly for those individuals who want a level of armoured protection without compromising the interior and exterior aesthetics of their vehicle.
B4 and B6 armour protection covers all glazing, A-, B- and C-pillars, doors, firewall, cabins rear wall, front wings to cover engine components and firewall, battery, and anti-lock brakes,
Additional Ford-approved armouring options will cover roof, floor, bull bar, grille, and add a public announcement system and run-flat tyres.
…AND SO TO THE PRICES
Customers will receive a one year or 50 000km* warranty on the armouring components from SVI Engineering. The Rangers will be delivered with a four-year or 120 000km* comprehensive warranty, three-year unlimited-distance roadside assistance, and five-year/unlimited km corrosion warranty
A six-year or 90 000km* service plan is included.. Recommended service intervals are 15 000km or annually*.
*Whichever comes first..
Prices for the conversions vary according to model from R234 413 to R688 225 on top of the vehicle price and do not include VAT so call in at your local Ford dealer for more information.