Since it was introduced in 2011, we've been big fans of the new global T6 Ford Ranger, and we're even bigger fans of the latest one being built in preparation for the 2014 Dakar Rally. Technically, two trucks are being built by Neil Woodridge Motorsport in Pietermaritzburg, South Africa, northwest of Durban.

In addition to NWM, Ford SVT is lending technical expertise. Logistical operations for the rally will be handled by Frankfurt-based South Racing, which will provide MAN 6x6 service trucks, MAN T4 race trucks, and service equipment.

The component list on the truck would make any enthusiast envious, with Brembo front and rear brakes, the rear brakes receiving water cooling, full four-wheel independent suspension, a Sadev six-speed sequential transmission, a full composite body shell, and Michelin 16-inch racing tires. Powering the truck is a specially prepped Ford 5.0-liter DOHC 32-valve V-8 with Magneti Marelli engine management.

Surprisingly, the engine is rated at a relatively modest 348 hp and 413 lb-ft of torque, but those measurements were taken at 4500 and 4100 rpm, respectively. To put things in perspective, the power peak on the 2013 Mustang GT is reached at 6500 rpm, and 5500 on the F-150. The truck weighs 4354 pounds and features a 132-gallon fuel cell. That may seem a lot, but with a rated fuel economy of just 2.6 mpg in sand and 8.4 mpg on the road, the Ranger has a substantial appetite.

Source: Ford South Africa