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New Ford Ranger: Another Giant Bakkie for South Africa
We’ve driven the VW Amarok, and we thought that was big. Massive, even. Think three individual seats in the back. We drove the new Nissan Navara, and that felt even bigger on the road for some reason, but felt a little smaller inside. Introducing the latest entry into the penis-measuring contest that is the modern bakkie market, the Ford Ranger.
Ford are calling this a “Global Truck” and given that it’s due on sale in the UK later this year, we assume you’ll find one on a Ford forecourt near you in early 2012. At first glance, it looks like a very decent effort from the blue oval.
The new Ranger will initially be available with two new Ford Duratorq engines: a 2.2-litre (110kW and 375Nm) and a 3.2-litre (160kW and 470Nm). From our experience driving the 2.0 twin-turbo diesel in the Amarok, we’d recommend the bigger engine, as when the engine is off boost there’s just too much car for the power available.
Ford are saying that three adults can sit side by side in the rear, and that two six-footers can sit one behind the other. There’s also a massive cubby-hole, again Ford claim that a 16-inch laptop can fit inside. Now that’s neat. We like that. The tech is high-end, with SatNav, USB port, CD, Bluetooth connectivity and a rear-camera built into the rearview mirror.
In case you actually want to use your bakkie to do bakkie-like things, you shouldn’t want for space in the load bed. With over 1.1m between wheel arches, the massive theme continues with a carrying capacity of 1333kg, and a towing ability of 3350kg.
No prices are available as yet, but we’ll give Ford a call and post any more information here.
Ciro De Siena
Full press release below:
The All-New Ford Ranger Pick-up – Tough, Powerful, Frugal, Smart and Safe
Birmingham, uk, Apr. 12, 2011 – The exciting all-new Ford Ranger pick-up enters the stage on the Ford stand at the Commercial Vehicle Show in Birmingham, UK, ahead of its European sales launch later in 2011.
New from the ground up – with everything changed except its name – the Ranger has been engineered to combine the model’s traditional strength and durability with increased loading capability, improved performance and economy, enhanced comfort and safety, smarter technology and a tough new look.
The all-new Ranger is the first commercial vehicle to be built under the One Ford strategy as part of a global product programme, bringing together the full engineering expertise of Ford around the world. Developed in Australia, it will be produced in Thailand, South Africa and Argentina for sale in more than 180 markets worldwide.
Outstanding range of versatile, capable pick-ups
New Ranger will be offered as a complete family of pick-up models with a choice of three versatile cab body styles – Single Cab, RAP (Rear Access Panel) Cab and Double Cab – along with the option of 4×2 and 4×4 drivetrains, two ride heights and up to five series choices to suit every pocket and market.
European customers will have a choice of two new state-of-the-art Ford Duratorq TDCi diesels which deliver improved power, torque and fuel efficiency: 2.2-litre (150PS and
375Nm) and 3.2-litre (200PS and 470Nm).
Building on Ranger’s long-standing reputation for strength and dependability, the all-new model offers an outstanding depth of capability. A larger load box offers increased carrying volume with all cab styles; generous towing capacity ranging up to a best-in-class 3350 kg; and models with the 2.2-litre diesel have an outstanding payload capacity of up to 1333 kg.
Improved comfort, technology and safety
The all-new Ford Ranger is just as much at home on a leisure trip as it is delivering goods to a construction site, and the new model redefines the level of comfort, technology and safety that customers can expect from a hard-working pick-up.
A completely redesigned cabin offers generous space and superb craftsmanship, and is packed with the kind of smart technologies which are more commonly found on contemporary passenger cars. These range from features like satellite navigation, Bluetooth® connectivity and voice control, to the Rear View Camera System with a display integrated in the rear view mirror which is unique in the pick-up class.
With its incredibly strong high-strength steel passenger cell structure and advanced restraint systems – including new side curtain airbags and thorax-protecting front-seat side airbags fitted as standard across all cab styles in Europe – the all-new Ranger has been engineered to deliver class-leading safety performance.
The new model also utilises a whole suite of technologies to enhance active safety, including features like Hill Launch Assist, Hill Descent Control, and a carefully tuned Electronic Stability Program (ESP) system to help the vehicle keep its wheels sturdily planted on the road under all conditions.
Built tough, for total dependability
Built to last, the all-new Ranger has undergone one of the toughest development and testing regimes ever undertaken for a vehicle of this type.
Tested in Australia, Dubai, Thailand, North America, South America, Sweden and South Africa, it had to face severe heat and cold, monsoon rains, high altitudes as well as rushing rivers, arid deserts and potholed roads. Prototypes clocked more than a million kilometres on the road, supported by countless hours of exhaustive testing in laboratories.
Combine this hard-earned dependability with the new model’s impressive fuel economy, and the Ranger offers European customers a highly competitive package with attractive lifetime ownership values.
“Since it was introduced to Europe in 1997, the Ford Ranger has established itself as a major player in the European pick-up segment,” said Jesus Alonso, Ford of Europe’s director for Commercial Vehicle Marketing, Sales and Service. “This all-new model will reinforce the reputation of the Ranger brand with its bold new appearance, improved depth of capability for hard working businesses, and new levels of comfort, technology and safety. And with a significantly improved fuel economy this new vehicle offers both low cost of ownership and sustainability benefits. We are starting a new chapter in the Ranger success story.”
21st Century Tough styling
The all-new Ranger is immediately recognisable from its bold new exterior style, which its designers have named ‘21st Century Tough’.
Toned, taut and muscular, the new Ranger is designed to look powerful and confident, equally at home in an industrial estate or outside a high-class restaurant. Its front end features a short overhang with the signature three-bar grille, a global Ford commercial vehicle design cue.
The windscreen has been raked back for a sportier and more dynamic silhouette, while the traditional square form of the truck has been sculpted to give the vehicle a more modern and aerodynamic look. Larger headlamps, bigger mirrors and stamped-in wheel lips provide an integrated look across all series and contribute to an aggressive and sporty stance.
Designers also raised the beltline significantly, along with the rails of the load box, giving the Ranger a substantive presence on the road while increasing its functionality with the deeper box. At 5,359mm long and 1,850mm wide, the new model is 279mm longer and 62mm wider than the outgoing model, benefitting both interior space and load capacity.
Dynamic new Wildtrak
For customers seeking a ruggedly stylish and supremely functional lifestyle vehicle, the Wildtrak version takes Ranger’s sporty appearance even further, with a unique colour split on the front.
Designers masked out the feature line on the front fascia and contrasted it by highlighting the lower intake. The same dark accent colours were used on the side mirrors, door handles and side air vents to give the vehicle a dynamic sporty look.
“Wildtrak’s aggressive look and bold new graphics are a perfect fit for those who appreciate a sporty and more expressive image. It will look fantastic transporting the latest quad bike or jet ski for weekend getaways”, said Craig Metros, chief designer of the all-new Ranger.
Sitting high on 18-in alloy wheels, the Wildtrak also comes with a roof rack and a sports hoop which enhance its profile. Exclusive Wildtrak badging and graphics help to set it apart from other lifestyle vehicles.
Three spacious and versatile cabs
Ford’s new global truck will be offered in a choice of three cab body styles – Single Cab, RAP Cab and Double Cab – to suit the diverse needs of pick-up customers. All three cab styles are among the roomiest in the segment.
The two-door Single Cab is a two-seater that provides exceptional load space. For additional storage and space to seat four people, the innovative RAP Cab – first introduced on the Ranger in 2002 – has a unique four-door system that provides unobstructed access to the cabin via two forward-hinged doors and two rear-hinged access panels. The four-door Double Cab has plenty of room for five adults, providing flexibility for both leisure and business.
Engineers have optimised every millimetre of Ranger’s dimensions to give maximum interior space without compromising the volume of the cargo box. With Ranger increasingly being a work-and-family vehicle, the engineers have paid special attention to the rear seats in the truck, with the second row in the RAP Cab more spacious than key competitors.
The B-pillar in the Double Cab has been moved forward, delivering best-in-class rear leg room and knee clearance. Three adults can easily fit in the second row of the Double Cab while two six-footers can comfortably sit one behind the other.
Outstanding cargo capacity
In terms of space for loads, the deeper load box and increased length and width of the all-new Ranger have resulted in outstanding cargo capacity. The Single Cab and the RAP Cab have the biggest box volume in its class at 1.82 cubic metres and 1.45 cubic metres respectively while the Double Cab is among the top with 1.21 cubic metres.
For example, the cargo box of the new Double Cab is more than 100mm wider than before – 1,549mm long by 511mm high and with a maximum cargo width of 1,560mm.
Width between the wheel arches is 1,139mm on all models and special provisions are provided in the cargo box to place timber inserts in pockets that are located above the wheel arch. This allows plywood or sheet rock to be stacked flat. Width at the rear tailgate opening, at the top of the box, is 1,330mm.
A flexible cargo management system is available where attachment points can be moved along a rail, instead of fixed points on the body, so customers have greater choice when tying down a load.
All-new Ranger can also haul exceptionally heavy loads, with a towing capacity ranging up to a best-in-class 3,350kg, and an outstanding payload capacity of up to 1,333kg on models with the 2.2-litre diesel engine.
Car-like interior comfort
With a completely new interior design, the Ranger offers a contemporary look and feel with features and comfort normally found only in passenger cars. The bold graphics of the interior surfaces are finished with materials that will stand up to the demands of a workhorse while delivering a lasting quality appearance.
From the no-fuss vinyl seats of the base series to the cloth trim and leather option of the higher series, all materials used in the new Ranger were subjected to heavy-duty testing for commercial vehicle use.
“We’ve developed materials that are tough, not rough, which will deliver a quality appearance matched by high performance,” said interior design manager Peter Jones. “So, for example, you get passenger car comfort in the design and trim of the seats with commercial vehicle durability to withstand a whole range of rigorous usage.”
The dynamic Wildtrak model features unique materials and finishes, including seat trim inspired by sportswear which combines leather and woven cloth. Contrast stitching and a discreet strip on the seat upper and bolster, all in distinctive Wildtrak Orange, accentuate the premium feel of the interior.
Making full use of the spacious interior, the Ranger Double Cab offers 23 storage spaces in the cabin – more practical stowage than any competitor. Its deep centre console bin is the biggest in its class at 8.5 litres and can keep up to six cans of beverage cool in models with a duct from the air-conditioner.
The glove box is large enough to accommodate a 16-in laptop computer while door pockets can comfortably fit 1.5-litre water bottles. Ample storage for mobile phones and other small items can be found in the console and in areas within easy reach of the driver. Underneath the rear seats, a convenient hidden storage area for tools can easily be accessed.
Loaded with smart technology
Poised to be a leader in innovation, the all-new Ranger comes loaded with smart technologies that make the pick-up easier, safer and more fun to drive.
Selected models offer Bluetooth® audio streaming, USB and iPod connectivity, together with voice control over the radio, CD, iPod, USB, air-conditioning and mobile phone (with software that recognises English, Spanish, French, German, Italian, Portuguese and Turkish). Dual-zone climate control and cruise control are available on the high series while selected models offer a five-inch colour screen with satellite navigation.
The Ranger is also the first vehicle in the segment to offer a Rear View Camera system. This system which displays the camera image in a section of the rear view mirror when reverse gear is selected dramatically improves visibility of objects behind the truck and also simplifies hooking up a trailer.
Marker lines superimposed on the camera image help drivers reverse even more safely and accurately, showing the path of the vehicle based on the current steering angle. Two yellow lines indicate the total width of the pick-up, along with additional coloured bars that signpost distances of 0.3 metres, one metre and two metres. A black dotted line that marks the pick-up’s centre line assists the driver in lining up a tow hook with a caravan or trailer.
More power, more torque, more economy
Ranger customers in Europe will have a choice of two new state-of-the-art common-rail Ford Duratorq TDCi diesels which serve up exceptional performance with more power and torque, while also delivering outstanding fuel efficiency.
The two new diesel engines feature numerous refinements, including the implementation of the latest high-pressure common rail fuel injection systems. The injection systems have been precisely tailored and calibrated for outstanding combustion efficiency, achieving excellent fuel economy ratings while meeting the most stringent exhaust emissions standards.
The 150PS 2.2-litre four-cylinder diesel engine replaces the previous 2.5-litre unit in the Ranger line up, and with a substantial 375Nm of torque offers over 13 per cent more pulling power. When fitted to a 4×2 model, it consumes as little as 7.6 L/100 km (37.2 mpg)* in the combined cycle – a reduction in fuel consumption of over 10 per cent compared to the previous model – making it one of the most fuel-efficient pick-ups in the segment.
The formidable new 200PS 3.2-litre five-cylinder diesel engine delivers a stump-pulling
470Nm of torque, over 23 per cent more than the 3.0-litre engine it replaces. Its fuel consumption in a combined cycle is among the leaders in this area, ranging from 8.4 L/100 km (33.6mpg)* on a 4×2 variant to 9.6 L/100 km (29.4mpg)* on a full-option 4×4 model.
With a generous 80-litre fuel tank, new Ranger also offers one of the longest ranges in its segment, with as much as 1,000km (620 miles) possible between fill-ups.
Advanced new six-speed transmissions
The all-new Ranger breaks new ground by being available with a choice of advanced new six-speed transmissions, with both manual and automatic gearboxes being offered.
These new six-speed transmissions offer significant benefits over the more traditional four and five speed alternatives, delivering increased fuel economy, greater responsiveness and enhanced refinement.
The new six-speed automatic transmission has been extensively tuned to deliver smooth, quick shifts that are almost imperceptible to the driver, reinforcing new Ranger’s car-like refinement. In Normal mode, the calibration focuses on comfort and fuel economy. For sportier driving, a quick flick of the shifter changes the transmission to Performance mode, providing later shift points and giving the driver the option to select gears manually through a forward (downshift) or rearward (upshift) movement.
New Ranger also features smart Ford technologies such as Adaptive Automatic Mode, which adapts gear shifts according to driving style and Grade Control Logic, which automatically downshifts when driving downhill and the brake pedal is depressed. This feature prevents the transmission from changing to a higher gear.
For those who prefer greater involvement, the six-speed manual transmission with its short, car-like shifter, provides crisp and precise shifting matched perfectly to the generous torque output of the new diesels. An upshift indicator in the instrument panel helps drivers select the best moment to change gear for optimum fuel economy.
Enhanced fuel efficiency
Maximising fuel economy was a key priority for the Ranger engineering team, and the new truck features a host of measures to eliminate any waste or inefficiency.
The aerodynamics of the Ranger’s body was rigorously optimised using cutting-edge simulation technology. Ford’s aerodynamicists performed more than 1,000 full-vehicle aerodynamic simulations to minimise drag and deliver the most streamlined shape.
Design refinements introduced to improve efficiency include the addition of a hard line at the fender top, a more vertical backlight position, an optimised A-pillar shape and a small spoiler added to the top of the tailgate. The shape of the front air dam also plays a significant role in controlling the airflow underneath the vehicle, and was optimised to achieve a significant reduction in drag.
To make Ranger more efficient than ever, the engineers insisted on tyres offering the best rolling resistance but without compromising grip, ride and handling. The gear ratios and final drives were also meticulously matched to the engines to deliver maximum fuel economy while ensuring optimal performance, towing capability and payload capacity.
The powertrains also feature a Smart Regenerative Charging system which increases the alternator output when the vehicle brakes or decelerates. This converts the kinetic energy of the vehicle into electric energy without having to use additional fuel. The ‘free’ electric current is used to recharge the battery, so that it can be used by the electrical systems at a later stage.
Robust drivetrains for all terrains
Capable of handling even the most challenging topography, the drivetrains of the all-new Ranger have been extensively tested to ensure they offer optimum reliability and durability.
Four-wheel-drive models are equipped with a well-proven electronically controlled transfer box – for both manual and automatic transmissions – that allows drivers to shift ‘on the fly’ from 4×2 to 4×4 anytime via a switch conveniently located on the console. If extra torque or additional downhill braking is needed, the driver has the option of selecting low-range.
A variety of final drive ratios, from 3.31 to 5.3, will be available depending on the drive configuration and whether the vehicle is a low- or high-ride model.
Advanced safety protection
Although an independent vehicle safety assessment testing will not take place until later this year, Ford is forecasting that the all-new Ranger will be a leader in safety for its segment.
Like all contemporary Ford products, Ranger is engineered to provide comprehensive safety protection, starting with the highly protective body structure utilising high-strength steel throughout to protect occupants in a collision and the all-new frame that manages the brunt of crash energy.
Engineers used sophisticated computer modelling to go through more than 9,000 full-vehicle crash simulations before the first prototype vehicle was subjected to a physical crash test.
Standard on all cab styles in Europe for the first time, side curtain airbags deploy from the headliner to provide a protective cushion for the head of occupants in case of a side impact. The curtain is designed to protect both rows of occupants by covering the upper side structure and glass from the A-pillar to the C-pillar.
New side airbags also deploy from the side bolster of the front seats to protect the thorax from side-impact forces, working in tandem with the front airbags for the driver and front passenger. Knee airbags are also standard across all models.
Other passive safety technologies include three-point safety belts for all seating positions, with pre-tensioners and load limiter for the front seats, as well as Ford BeltMinder technology which helps remind front-seat occupants to wear their belts.
Enhanced pedestrian safety
On top of the passive safety technologies, the new Ranger has been engineered with the latest pedestrian protection features.
Technologies that emerged from a global Ford research project on pedestrian-friendly vehicle designs have now been applied to a pick-up for the first time ever. This includes a “hexageneous” under-bonnet structure to reduce the potential for pedestrian head injuries, and a pedestrian-friendly front bumper design incorporating energy-absorbing materials.
Other new Ranger technologies which aid the driver but can also help them avoid potential contact with pedestrians include Rear Park Assist and the advanced Rear View Camera System.
Innovative active safety technologies
The all-new Ranger also uses innovative active safety technologies to help drivers avoid accidents. A key component is the Electronic Stability Programme (ESP) which comes with a full suite of features that make driving the Ranger even safer in both on- and off-road conditions.
The Trailer Sway Control system monitors the behaviour of the tow vehicle and trailer array to sense the advent of trailer sway and apply braking countermeasures to reduce its effects. Adaptive Load Control provides additional stability assurance for drivers dealing with heavy payloads.
When driving downhill, Hill Descent Control ensures that the brakes will be applied to control the vehicle at a set speed. Or when stopping on a steep grade, Hill Launch Assist helps the driver to pull away confidently without creeping, even when fully laden.
The Ranger’s ESP system includes off-road logic which recognises when the pick-up is driven on rough roads and modifies the system to ensure the best balance between stability and timeliness of interventions.
In 4×4 models, the ESP system can be partially switched off to disable over- and understeer control as well as engine torque reductions, while maintaining the brake intervention traction control. This setting is most suitable when driving through deep sand or extreme mud as vehicle momentum can be maintained whilst maximising available grip. The ESP can be switched to a second setting to further amend the ESP braking intervention that aids the initial pull away in snow and icy conditions.
Powerful braking performance
The all-new Ranger has been engineered with the largest brakes in its segment, resulting in a system which provides powerful braking performance with excellent fade resistance, even when driving with maximum payload.
An array of braking technologies work together to ensure short stopping distance under all circumstances, such as the Anti-Lock Brake System (ABS), Emergency Brake Assist and Electronic Brake Force Distribution which maximises brake force used on the rear wheels as payload changes while maintaining optimal stability. During emergency braking, the hazard lights also come on to warn other motorists.
The ABS system features a Gravel Road Logic which further improves stopping distances on loose surfaces such as unsealed roads.
Rugged chassis, ready for all conditions
With an all-new chassis frame, front and rear suspension and steering system, the new Ranger promises car-like comfort, reduced steering effort, more precise handling and better on-road stability.
Front and rear suspension designs are entirely new, for a smooth, firm and comfortable ride whatever the road conditions or the size of the payload. The front suspension features a coil-over-strut layout, with carefully optimised designs for the upper and lower wishbones, while the rear suspension is based on a rugged leaf spring design.
Even on narrow city streets, the pick-up’s tight turning circle makes it easily manoeuvrable despite sitting on an increased wheelbase. The responsive rack-and-pinion power steering system requires just 3.5 turns lock-to-lock, for precise and nimble responses.
The 4×4 Ranger features a higher frame height as standard, although the 4×2 version can also be specified as a Hi-Rider model which shares the same frame as the 4×4 model.
Tackling rough terrain
Engineers have found ways to tuck key components out of harm’s way so that the all-new Ranger can perform on rough terrain. Its ground clearance of up to 241mm is enhanced by having the driveline components mounted above the frame rail so that items like the transfer case and oil pan are protected by strong crossmembers.
To improve Ranger’s water-wading capability, the truck’s key electrical components and air inlets are strategically placed high in the engine compartment, enabling the pick-up to go deeper than any others. The 4×4 and 4×2 Hi-Rider models can wade through up to 800mm of water – a class-leading feature that will be welcomed by customers who need to ford rivers or floods.
When the terrain gets really rough and Ranger is in four-wheel drive low gearing, it provides the driver with more control through the accelerator pedal, which becomes damped and less sensitive. This prevents unintentional acceleration due to the bouncing motion of the driver’s foot while moving over bumpy terrain.
“The all-new Ranger is a very capable and composed vehicle both on- and off-road,” said Jesus Alonso. “It has been designed as a global vehicle and combines the best of all worlds – exceptional safety, outstanding fuel economy, contemporary styling, interior comfort, cutting edge technologies, and class-leading towing and payload capabilities – in a one-tonne package that fits in perfectly with the needs of our customers.”