The all-new Ford Ranger – latest addition to a wave of next-generation global vehicles being introduced by Ford – makes its worldwide debut today at the Australian International Motor Show in Sydney.
From impressive gains in power and safety to exceptional towing capability, the all-new Ford Ranger emerges as a clear segment leader. It not only builds on the tremendous Ranger heritage of pickup capability, but will also give owners a spacious, comfortable and feature-filled interior, and the sophisticated driving experience they would normally only expect to find in a car.
Among the most high-tech vehicles in its segment, new Ranger is the exciting result of an all-new global compact pickup platform from Ford – the latest to emerge under the company’s One Ford initiative – and Mazda. It replaces two previous-generation compact pickup platforms currently in production, to present a bold new face for customers around the world.
Built on innovation, it boasts a list of technologies and features to lead the segment – including a new Rearview Camera System, Voice Control, Trailer Sway Control and Adaptive Load Control. Ford plans to reveal even more new Ranger technologies in the coming months.
The new Ranger is destined for sale across five continents and more than 180 markets, and will be offered as a complete family of compact pickups – with four different cab body styles, 4×2 and 4×4 drivetrains, two ride heights and up to four series choices, depending on the market.
“We know pickups so we leveraged our best expertise from around the globe to create the all-new Ford Ranger,” said Derrick Kuzak, group vice president, Global Product Development. “Focusing our global resources on a single new compact pickup platform meant we could deliver significant improvements, technologies and features that owners will value, along with impressive fuel economy that alone will be a reason to buy.”
“Compact pickups are hugely important to customers in many regions of the world,” said Jim Farley, group vice president, Marketing, Sales and Service. “For many, it’s the only vehicle in a household headed by a hard-working person others depend on. These people need a pickup that can get the job done – and they’ll be amazed how Ranger’s smart new technologies make the job easier. And increasingly, they’re also looking for the kinds of features, technologies, spaciousness and refinement you’d expect in a car, and Ranger is just as innovative here.”
A long-lasting success in Europe since its original market launch in 1997, Ranger has also been one of Ford’s most popular pickup brands across the globe for nearly 20 years and millions of buyers have benefited from its renowned capabilities – hauling heavy payloads, pulling trailers and absorbing punishment on the roughest roads.
The all-new Ford Ranger offers even more capability, but has also been transformed with a taut and muscular contemporary shape that exudes strength and toughness.
With an all-new chassis frame, front and rear suspension and steering system, Ranger delivers more payload and outstanding towing capability. It is powered by a choice of three new, fuel-efficient powertrains, including two state-of-the-art common rail Ford Duratorq TDCi diesels and new fuel-efficient six-speed automatic and manual transmissions. Add in more chassis and safety technologies, and the story of Ranger pickup leadership becomes as vivid as its powerful, purposeful stance.
Ranger has the flexibility to handle every chore at home or on the job.
Its transformation is perhaps most vivid in the all-new interior, which brings new levels of spaciousness to the compact pickup ownership experience, a comfortable and quiet ride and a level of features and technologies that make it second-to-none.
The lustrous Aurora Blue Ford Ranger XLT Double Cab model unveiled in Sydney showcases a powerful yet fuel-efficient new Ford Duratorq TDCi 2.2-litre, 110 kW (150 PS) diesel engine, with an impressive 375 Nm of available torque.
“This new Ranger we’re revealing to the world is compelling evidence of what we can achieve by harnessing the power of One Ford,” said Gary Boes, Ford’s vehicle line director for the new compact pickup platform.
“The new Ranger responds to what pickup owners all around the world want in a vehicle and was designed and engineered by a team with unrivalled expertise. It’s being tested in the most demanding conditions, in the most gruelling testing environments on five continents, to prove its world-class credentials. Ranger respects pickup owners and it will earn their respect day in and day out,” Boes said.
The all-new Ford Ranger creates a bold and purposeful presence, with a fresh, contemporary exterior design that exudes Ford’s famous pickup personality. Designers call its new look ’21st Century Tough’.
Taut, toned muscularity and a bold, confident stance instantly signal the strength and capability of an ultra-modern pickup. Yet it also communicates a transformed, more sophisticated and refined style that appeals to a new generation of pickup owners.
“In many areas of the world, the role of Ranger has changed,” said Craig Metros, chief designer. “It still has to be a work vehicle, with a durable interior and the ability to carry a heavy payload, but it also serves a dual role with refinement, comfort and more consumer-friendly features topping the list for many buyers.”
Metros said extensive research among pickup customers around the world revealed surprising similarities in taste and design expectations.
While needs and expectations may differ in the 180 markets where it will be sold, the new Ranger design resonates around the world.
“Good design is long-lasting and transcends all markets,” said Metros. “Cute gimmicks don’t cut it with this group. It’s a robust vehicle that gets the job done, first and foremost.”
According to Metros, Ranger looks very tough, but not in the more chiselled style of Ford’s larger North American F-Series pickups. Its contemporary design will be just as at home on city streets outside trendy restaurants in Cologne or Melbourne as it is in the Outback or on a luxury property development site.
Reflecting the diverse uses of compact pickups around the world, the all-new Ford Ranger will offer everything from a basic work vehicle, with hose-out interiors, to high series models such as the yet-to-be-revealed Ranger Limited and Ranger Wildtrak.
The best of Ford’s design language has also been applied to the interior. Borrowing cues from ergonomically-designed power tools like DEWALT®1, and encasing instruments in a protective shell like a G-Shock®2 watch, designers were inspired to blend form and function while ensuring the instruments are clearly visible for the driver.
“Look closely and you’ll see that regardless of the model, we didn’t stray from the basic layout and design,” Metros explained. “All the exterior and interior shapes and panels are identical.”
Careful attention was paid to even the smallest detail, ensuring quality and craftsmanship in every model. From graining on interior panels to tonal colour choices, the execution exudes a premium feel throughout the interior.
On the instrument panel, designs were used that would easily accept modular parts – such as radios, and heating and ventilation controls – to ensure build quality was maintained to eliminate any unsightly gaps.
According to Debbie Pascoe, colour and trim design manager, the materials used throughout Ranger’s cabin are especially durable. Seats have to be comfortable but also able to withstand commercial customer usage.
“The typical pickup driver needs space and we designed an interior that is comfortable, easy to slide in and out of, with controls that are larger to accommodate work gloves, for example. When you design a pickup interior, special considerations have to be taken to ensure the cabin will be just as durable as the rest of the vehicle. But tough doesn’t have to mean rough,” she said.
Interior materials are subjected to constant abuse and have to withstand punishing rigours not seen in a passenger car. Seating materials must be able to take a beating from tools that are flung into the cabin or forgotten in a back pocket. Door panels can’t be easily scuffed or scratched by dirty boots. And pickup customers increasingly want an interior that’s stylish and comfortable for personal use.
“We haven’t forgotten that many of these vehicles are not only used for work, but are also primary transportation as the family vehicle in many areas of the world,” Pascoe said.
Three passengers can easily fit into the second row of the new Ranger Double Cab. It offers ample knee clearance and better foot clearance between the B-pillar and seat. That means getting in and out of the new Ranger has never been easier for rear-seat passengers.
Ample storage is provided throughout the interior cabin, with up to 20 storage locations. Double Cab pockets in all four doors can easily fit water bottles and, on selected models, a refrigerated deep centre console is fitted, which will keep drinks cool. The glove box is large enough to accommodate a laptop computer and storage for mobile phones and other small items can be found in the console.
Underneath the rear seats, a convenient storage area for electronic items and small packages is provided, while on selected Ranger Double Cab models, an armrest in the centre rear seatback includes two cup holders.
To help reduce ownership costs with Ranger, especially at the fuel pump, a wide range of design features were optimised to improve fuel efficiency. Using the same leading-edge simulation technology employed by Formula One teams, aerodynamicists performed more than 1,000 full-vehicle aerodynamic simulations to perfect the shape of the vehicle.
Engineers were able to demonstrate, for instance, that a hard line at the top of the bumper divided wind flow and lowered resistance. Similarly, this technology indicated that the backlight should be positioned more vertically, A-pillars optimised and a small spoiler be added to the top of the tailgate. The front air dam plays a significant role in controlling airflow underneath the vehicle, which leads to a significant reduction in drag coefficient.
“Decreasing aerodynamic drag was a start, but small incremental gains in fuel efficiency quickly add up and help everyone to meet fuel economy targets,” Metros said.
More muscle under the bonnet – three new engines
With its lean and taut body, all-new Ranger’s muscle lies under the bonnet, where new powertrains have been engineered to give customers an uncompromised combination of power and torque.
Ranger introduces new diesel engines to Ford’s compact pickup range globally:
* A new 2.2-litre Ford Duratorq TDCi I4 diesel engine with peak torque output of 375 Nm and power output of 110 kW (150 PS).
* A highly responsive and efficient new 3.2-litre, Ford Duratorq TDCi I5 diesel engine with a powerful 470 Nm of torque and power rated at 147 kW (200 PS).
For selected global markets a new 2.5-litre petrol powertrain will also be offered.
“This all-new engine family demonstrates our commitment to making Ranger the best option for today’s pickup customer,” said John Tatge, Ranger chief programme engineer. “We’re bringing the best engine technology from the Ford powertrain range to make Ranger the clear choice for capability and fuel economy, particularly with our world-class Duratorq diesels. Their torque makes Ranger the pickup to own.”
Developed in Australia and tested and validated around the world, Ranger’s new engines are designed to run on a variety of locally blended fuels with different octane ratings.
Selected Ranger powertrains benefit from the advantages of lower engine rpm and reduced wear and tear, with six-speed automatic and manual transmissions available across selected models. Increased fuel economy, coupled with other advances to facilitate maintenance and serviceability, help reduce annual ownership cost.
“The all-new Ford Ranger is a driver’s pickup,” said Rob Sharples, powertrain programme team leader. “It’s inviting to drive and all of its driver inputs and vehicle controls work together in harmony.”
Transmissions and final drive ratios have been carefully matched to deliver exceptional acceleration, excellent fuel efficiency, towing and a quiet ride.
The all-new Ranger four-wheel drive models are equipped with a well-proven electronically controlled transfer case that allows drivers to shift from 4×2 to 4×4 anytime via an electronic switch conveniently located on the console. If extra torque or additional downhill braking is needed, low range gearing can also be enabled.
While fuel economy certification will take place closer to the start of production, Ford is forecasting that the new Ranger powertrain range will contribute to significant savings at the pump.
New levels of ride quality and chassis control
The same level of detail that makes Ranger stand out in a crowd will set it apart from the competition, with an entirely new chassis that provides even more capability along with car-like comfort, reduced steering effort, more precise handling and better on-road stability.
Off-road performance has been improved with a stiffer frame, ground clearance of up to 232 mm and driveline components that have been strategically mounted above the frame rail and out of harm’s way.
Despite an increased 3,220 mm wheelbase and wider track – 1,560 mm for the 4×4 model, and 1,590 mm (front and rear) for the 4×2 model – the all-new Ranger’s turning circle makes it easily manoeuvrable in parking and on narrow city streets.
Its rack-and-pinion steering system has been thoroughly designed to provide robust performance while delivering more precise steering.
An entirely new front suspension, with coil-over-strut layout, allows for better tuning of the upper and lower wishbone design. The suspension set-up, while similar for two- and four-wheel drive models, has unique capabilities and has been tuned with specific damper valving and spring rates on all models to compensate for weight, centre of gravity, engine torque and drive distribution.
The rear also benefits from an entirely new suspension system, which provides a smooth, firm comfortable ride, with a rear leaf suspension design that has been carefully tuned for a variety of road conditions while still delivering outstanding payload capacity.
The rear suspension also gives Ranger a firmly planted ride for high-speed driving on dirt roads, common in South America, with reduced sway and less vehicle “skate” on corrugated or rough surfaces.
Giving consideration to those customers in areas of the world where monsoons cause frequent flooding, Ranger’s key electrical components and air inlets are strategically placed high in the engine compartment, contributing to its impressive water wading capability.
The brake system has been subjected to extreme environmental conditions and customer driving requirements – from minus 30 degrees Celsius in Sweden to the intense heat of California’s Death Valley, from the congestion of city traffic and German Autobahn to the unforgiving roads of the Australian Outback.
This resulted in the largest brake system in the segment, providing excellent fade resistance particularly with maximum payload. While competitive systems start to fade and stopping distances increase, the Ranger is engineered to keep performing.
For superior braking performance, Ranger will also be available with Ford’s Electronic Stability Program (ESP) system, that includes four-wheel traction control, yaw control and roll-over mitigation.
Ranger is among the segment leaders with an exceptional towing capacity and sure-footed grip and stability is ensured with the available Trailer Sway Mitigation and Adaptive Load Control.
If a trailer begins to sway, brakes are selectively applied to slow down the vehicle-and-trailer combination. To ensure that Ranger maintains a stable ride when carrying full loads of cargo, Adaptive Load Control determines the payload and applies the necessary measures to maintain a straight and level ride.
Like all contemporary Ford products, the all-new Ranger is engineered to provide comprehensive safety protection, starting with a highly protective body structure, which utilises high-strength steel throughout to protect occupants in the event of a collision.
Engineers used sophisticated computer modelling to hone the crashworthiness of the all-new Ranger. This included more than 9,000 full-vehicle crash simulations before the first prototype vehicle was subjected to a physical crash test.
The all-new Ford Ranger offers new passive safety technologies, including the availability of side curtain airbags on all cab styles for the first time.
Other new Ranger technologies – including Rear Park Assist and new Rearview Camera system – not only aid pickup drivers in everyday use, but also help them avoid potential contact with pedestrians.
Carrying a crew of five? Headed to the job site with large appliances, building supplies, sand or gravel? Loaded with produce for sale at the local farmer’s market? Whatever the payload, all are easily stored within the cargo box of the new Ford Ranger Double Cab – even with a full passenger load.
The cargo box of the new Double Cab is more than 100 mm wider than before – 1,549 mm long by 511 mm high and with a maximum cargo width of 1,560 mm. Volume is an impressive 1.21 cubic metres.
Width between the wheel arches is 1,139 mm on all models and special provisions are provided in the cargo box to place struts of lumber 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 1,330 mm.
New from the ground up – more to come
It’s not often that engineers and designers have the opportunity to build a new pickup from the ground up, and the all-new Ranger is evidence of how Ford seized that opportunity.
When production of the Ranger begins in less than a year, it will set new benchmarks in many categories, including its stand-out design, road manners that are smooth and refined, a chassis that is off-road capable and class-leading powertrains that are fuel efficient and clean.
New Ranger will be manufactured in three volume production sites around the world geared for regional reach, especially in growth regions.
A progressive production ramp-up is scheduled to begin next summer, first in Rayong, Thailand, for the Asia Pacific region. Ford is also transforming plants in Argentina and South Africa for additional capacity to serve other key regions as the launch cadence progresses. The new manufacturing strategy for the single global compact pickup platform will drive new levels of product commonality for the Ford Ranger all around the globe.
Although not planned for introduction in the United States or Canada, the new Ranger will eventually be marketed in 180 countries, making it one of Ford’s farthest reaching products. This reflects the importance of compact pickups to consumers in many parts of the world and the significance of the Ranger in Ford’s global product portfolio.
Ranger also symbolises how Ford is leveraging its global product resources more efficiently. Its product development team was headquartered in Melbourne, Australia. The full-range product development facilities at Ford’s Melbourne-based Broadmeadows Complex and nearby proving ground facilities in Geelong became an ideal base for the global Ranger team.
“One Ford brought all of our strengths together to create the all-new Ranger,” Kuzak said. “When you look at how important compact pickups are around the world, it was the ideal candidate to be our next global product.”
Ford will progressively reveal more members of the Ranger family in coming months.
“”The new Ranger is an exciting and dynamic vehicle that will undoubtedly raise the bar in the compact pickup market. The scope of its capability and high level of technology it features are further evidence of how powerful the One Ford initiative is in helping us globally to develop a whole range of all-new class-leading vehicles for our customers. We look forward to bringing new Ranger to European customers by 2012 and I am confident it will exceed their expectations,” said Stephen Odell, chairman and CEO, Ford of Europe.