There’s no denying that the Ford Ranger is a delightful little truck. Sure, its bones date back more than a decade, but it’s still a stalwart rig that does everything you need a midsize truck to do. Still, like just about any vehicle, it could use at least a little more power; while the Ranger’s 2.3-liter turbocharged inline-four may be plenty potent for everyday duties — we’ve used it to haul Airstreams on multiple occasions with nary a complaint from the Ford — the 270 horses and 310 pound-feet of torque start to seem a little inadequate compared with the sort of power you can grab in an F-150 for not much more money.
The power upgrade, remarkably, requires no new parts; it’s all done by recalibrating the engine. It’s less about improving maximum output than it is about delivering more power at everyday engine speeds; the calibration adds 45 horsepower at 4500 rpm and 60 pound-feet of torque at 2500 rpm, and retunes both the throttle response for improved drivability and tweaks the transmission’s shifts to make them a bit more crisp. (Still, Ford says the tuned Rangers should make close to 325 horses at full go.) The setup is legal in all 50 states, and comes with a three-year/36,000-mile warranty.
Better yet, you don’t need to haul your Ranger into the dealership to add this upgrade. Buy the package through Ford Performance, and the Blue Oval will send you a new Ford Performance Pro Cal 4 tool and a voucher to plug into your computer. Once you register your voucher, just plug the Pro Cal tool into your computer via USB, download the software, then take that Pro Cal out to your truck and plug it into the OBD 2 port under the dash and bam — more power, easy as pie.
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