I think its a great Idea. Small in size , lots of stuff available for it.
Carb would be easier. EFI would be a bit more reliable, but not a deal maker/breaker.
Its a ford in a ford. What could be better?
You could turbo it, or pro charger it, or just leave it alone. You can also do a few things to make it appear vintage. Lots of possibilities.
There's a guy around my neighborhood with a turbo 2.3L Ranger, it's reasonably quick for what it is. The easiest way to go fast would to be to find a wrecked Mustang SVO (good luck) or Merkur Xr4-ti or Thunderbird Turbo Coupe. Those have the best iteration of the turbo 2.3L and will make the best foundation for your build. Swap everything over (engine, trans, harness) and keep the EFI. The 2.3L is a good, tough little motor that will take a considerable amount of abuse.
The Speedway race catalog has a lot of hop up parts for the 2.3. The 8 spark plugs on the later heads are a pain to change. Some of the 2.3's had a cat comverter in front of the turbo. If you run it hard before the engine has a normal warm up you can cause chunks of the cat to wipe out the turbo. Ford deleted the oil squirter holes in the con rods for a couple years, in cold weather the cylinders didn't get enough lube and scuffed the pistons. The squirter bumps were still on the rods. just the penny pinchers left out the lube holes. If you want to go hog wild you can do some machine work and install a Volvo head, (ford owned Volvo for a while)
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