The all-new Ford Ranger Wildtrak makes its global debut at the 2011 Geneva Motor Show, a sporty compact pick-up that delivers impressive power and safety, excellent fuel efficiency and significant capability. It exudes a powerful presence bolstered by the latest in-car comfort and technologies.
The new global Ford Ranger boasts an extensive range of class-leading "smart" features that make it easier, safer and more fun to drive than ever. It also sports a unique Rear View Camera System - the camera image is displayed in the rear view mirror - which dramatically improves visibility and simplifies hooking up to a trailer.
Aiming to deliver class-leading safety, new Ranger utilises a whole suite of technologies, including Electronic Stability Program (ESP), to keep its wheels sturdily planted on the road under all conditions. Despite being an enormously capable vehicle, the Ford Ranger is also fitted with technologies such as satellite navigation and BluetoothÂ® voice control, more commonly found on premium or luxury cars.
Building on Ranger's long-standing heritage of capability, the all-new model extends Ford's credibility further, with selected European versions achieving a best-in-class towing capacity of 3350 kg. Ranger models fitted with the 2.2-litre Ford Duratorq TDCi diesel engine also have an outstanding payload capacity of up to 1333 kg.
New from the ground up - with everything changed except its name - 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.
Designed and developed in Australia, Ranger will be offered as a complete family of compact pick-ups with three different cab body styles, 4x2 and 4x4 drive trains, two ride heights and up to five series choices to suit every pocket and market. It will be produced in Thailand, South Africa and Argentina for more than 180 markets worldwide.
"From the introduction of the Ranger brand to Europe in 1997, the Ford Ranger has been 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 global model offers high-level technologies and impressive efficiency and safety. We are starting a new chapter in the Ranger success story."
21st century tough styling
Toned, taut and muscular, the all-new Ranger is designed to look powerful and confident, equally at home on a construction site 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 also been raked back for a sportier and more dynamic silhouette, creating a modern and aerodynamic look.
The beltline, along with the rails of the load box, were raised significantly - giving Ranger a substantive presence on the road while increasing its functionality with the deeper box. Larger headlamps, bigger mirrors and stamped-in wheel lips provide an integrated look across all series and contribute to an aggressive and sporty stance.
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 fascia and contrasted it by highlighting the lower intake. The same accent colours were used on the side mirrors, door handles and side air vents to give the vehicle a dark 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 their weekend getaways," said Craig Metros, chief designer of the all-new Ranger.
Sitting high on 18-inch 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.
Car-like levels of comfort and features
The purposeful interior of the Wildtrak echoes the dark sporty look of the outside. A special hydrographic finish on the centre console around the audio is reminiscent of strong but lightweight materials like carbon fibre.
The seat trim - a combination of leather and woven cloth inspired by sportswear with ventilated sections - provides lateral support and confidence even on rough terrain. Contrast stitching and a discreet strip on the seat upper and bolster, all in distinctive Wildtrak Orange, accentuate the premium feel of the interior.
The cabin of Ranger has been stretched to provide segment-leading spaciousness and comfort. Three passengers can easily fit in the second row of the Wildtrak, for instance. It offers ample knee room and better foot clearance between the B-pillar and the seat. This means that getting in and out of the new Ranger is easier than ever for rear-seat passengers.
With 23 storage spaces in the cabin, Ranger offers more practical stowage than any competitor. A deep centre console bin will keep up to six cans of beverage cool, while the glove box is large enough to accommodate a 16-inch laptop computer. Ample storage for mobile phones and other small items can be found in the console.
Also poised to be a leader in innovation, Ford Ranger Wildtrak comes with BluetoothÂ® audio streaming, USB and iPod connectivity. There is voice control over the radio, CD, iPod, USB, air-conditioning and phone and the software recognises English, Spanish, French, German, Italian, Portuguese and Turkish. It also offers a five-inch colour screen with satellite navigation.
More power, more torque, more economy
European customers will have a choice of two state-of-the-art common-rail Ford Duratorq TDCi diesels and new fuel-efficient six-speed transmissions that serve up more power and torque.
The new 2.2-litre four-cylinder diesel delivers peak torque output of 375 Nm and power output of 110 kW (150 PS), whilst a highly responsive and efficient new 3.2-litre 5-cylinder diesel powers the Wildtrak and produces a powerful 470 Nm of torque is power rated at 147 kW (200PS). Both new powertrains have been developed and refined to deliver excellent fuel economy that is among the best in class. Fitted with an 80-litre fuel tank, Ranger is also expected to have one of the longest ranges in its segment.
Transmissions and final drive ratios have been carefully matched to deliver exceptional acceleration, excellent fuel efficiency and a quiet ride.
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 coach drivers on the best gearing for optimum fuel economy.
Extensive work has gone into making the new global Ford Ranger more fuel-efficient than ever. Using the same cutting-edge simulation technology as Formula One teams, aerodynamicists performed more than 1,000 full-vehicle aerodynamic simulations to perfect the shape of the vehicle for fuel economy. Using Smart Regenerative Charging, Ranger is the first to be equipped with a battery management system, which controls the alternator so that it shuts off during acceleration and turns on during deceleration. This improves fuel economy as the alternator is not charging the battery all the time as in a typical vehicle.
Advanced safety protection
Although the Euro NCAP testing will not take place until later this year, Ford is forecasting that the 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 available for the front seats also deploy from the side bolster of the seat 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.
Ranger also uses active safety technologies to help drivers avoid accidents. A key component is the ESP which comes with a full suite of features that make driving the Ranger even safer. 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 his full load away confidently without creeping.
An array of braking technologies work together to ensure the shortest possible stopping distance under all circumstances, such as the Anti-Lock Brake System, 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.
On top of safety technologies, the new Ranger has been engineered with 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 include Rear Park Assist and the Rear View Camera System.
A steadfast companion for adventure
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. Even on narrow city streets, the pick-up's tight turning circle makes it easily manoeuvrable despite sitting on an increased wheelbase.
For those who need a dependable vehicle for off-road adventures, the Wildtrak fits the bill perfectly with a stiffer frame, ground clearance of up to 230 mm and driveline components strategically mounted above the frame rail out of harm's way. The Wildtrak can also go deeper than any other compact pickup, with the ability to wade through up to 800 mm of water - a class-leading feature.
Both automatic and manual four-wheel drive models are equipped with a proven electronically controlled transfer case that allows drivers to shift on the move from 4x2 to 4x4 any time via a switch conveniently located on the console. If extra torque at the wheels or additional downhill braking is needed, low-range gearing can also be enabled. In order to suit various customers' needs, Ranger can be ordered with a wide range of final drive ratios.
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 4x4 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.
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 right in with a sporty lifestyle."