Ranger embodies ‘21st Century Tough’ with its sculpted shape, powerful stance and confident proportions It will be offered in three cab bodystyles – Regular, Super and Double – all of which are among the roomiest in the segment Ranger’s driver-oriented interior offers a contemporary look and feel with high levels of craftsmanship, features and the […]

  • Ranger embodies ‘21st Century Tough’ with its sculpted shape, powerful stance and confident proportions
  • It will be offered in three cab bodystyles – Regular, Super and Double – all of which are among the roomiest in the segment
  • Ranger’s driver-oriented interior offers a contemporary look and feel with high levels of craftsmanship, features and the comfort normally found only in passenger cars

Brentwood, Essex, 26 October, 2011 – The all-new global Ford Ranger has been designed to look powerful from every angle, echoing the toughness and capability a pickup is geared to deliver. Looking both muscular and contemporary, Ranger is equally at home on a farm or parked outside an upmarket restaurant.

Wildtrack Ford Ranger

High levels of spaciousness, comfort and craftsmanship further complete Ranger’s transformation into the reliable workhorse that is also a refined family vehicle easily capable of carrying five adults.

At 5,359mm long (Double Cab) and 1,850mm wide, it remains easily manoeuvrable on narrow city streets and when parking, thanks to a responsive steering system that requires no more than 3.5 turns of the wheel lock-to-lock – one of the best in the segment.

Ranger will be offered in three cab bodystyles – Regular, Super and Double – all of which are among the roomiest in the segment. An innovation introduced by Ford on the Ranger in 2002, the Super Cab offers a ‘Rear Access Panel’ which is a unique four-door system, providing unobstructed access to the cabin via two forward-hinged doors and two rear-hinged access panels. The front doors and the rear panel doors link together, when closed, to provide a very strong B-pillar. A Chassis Cab version without the rear load box is also available on the Regular and Super Cab models.

To cater for a wide spectrum of customers in Europe, the Ranger will be available in four series choices: The Ranger family goes from a more ‘workhorse’ feel for the XL customer to a more luxurious feel for the XLT and Limited customer and an overtly sporty feel for the Wildtrak customer – with an extensive list of practical features.

“We tailored the Ranger series and configurations to accommodate a variety of customer applications and lifestyles around the world. Each series has its own distinctive look,” said Craig Metros, chief designer of the all-new Ranger.

“We designed to a wide spectrum. From our fleet buyers who expect a tough, workhorse with a hose-out interior to the executive who demands full leather seating with luxury sedan appointments.”

The new look of tough
Blending together tough looks and kinetic design cues in a styling the designers call “21st Century Tough,” the team has designed a pickup that looks contemporary as well as rugged.

The traditional square form of the pickup has been sculpted to give Ranger a more modern and aerodynamic look. Its front end features a short overhang with the signature three-bar grille and flanking nostrils, reflecting global Ford truck design. The front end is chamfered from the grille back to the wheel arches with a body accent line that flows through the headlights to the hood, resulting in a tough and functional shape.

The cut lines, surface treatments and graphics tie in to the flowing design of the grille, headlights and hood, displaying an attention to detail usually only seen on cars and SUVs. The windscreen has been raked back for a sportier and more dynamic silhouette, while 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, providing superior cab protection for the driver and passengers. The bodyline flows from the top of the cargo box through the doors to the closing line of the clam-shell hood design, adding to Ranger’s powerful image.

“When it comes to designing cars and trucks, it’s all about nailing the proportions – the tyres to   body stance, short front overhang, windscreen angle, and the right body to side glass relationship,” said Metros, a 24-year Ford veteran who has had an influential hand in Ford pickup design around the world.

“Our goal was to match the overall looks and presence to the capability and on-off road performance that the all-new Ranger will deliver. I believe we achieved a very confident, capable, modern, and sophisticated pickup for the global market.”

A deeper box
Each cab type has a unique box that is designed to be part of the vehicle and more integrated into the cab with a slight curve to the top of the box. At the top of the tailgate, a slight rear spoiler helps raise overall fuel efficiency – a result of the collaboration between the design team and the aerodynamicists.

The higher beltline and raised rails of the load box increase Ranger’s functionality. The Regular Cab and the Super 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 best with 1.21 cubic metres.

Pockets above the wheel wells and along the side of the box allow owners to use timber inserts to carry full sheets of plasterboard or plywood. A flexible cargo management system is available where attachment points can be moved along a rail, instead of fixed points on the body, so providing a greater choice when tying down a load.

A 12-volt power socket is available where the load box liner is fitted. The power socket provides a 10-amp supply and is located conveniently in the box to allow customers to run tool charging and other electrical goods.

Comfortable and functional interior
The all-new Ranger offers a stylish look and feel with features and comfort normally found only in passenger cars. Designers combined tough functionality, high-quality materials and ergonomic controls that look high-tech to create an interior that is tough but not rough.

Inspired by contemporary designs in consumer products, the design team borrowed from the look of power tools which convey strength and durability while remaining simple and ergonomic to use. The G-Shock®1 watch – with its precision workings protected by a robust casing – was a major influence on the instrument cluster. The team created similar elements, including little recesses to the outside of the cluster, to give it a more rugged appearance.

The centre section of the console has been purposefully designed to integrate the full-colour satellite navigation screen, audio functions and controls for the dual electronic automatic air conditioning system. A traditional, lever-style parking brake and a smaller steering wheel with adjustable column further reinforce the car-like feel of the interior.

Great care has been taken when selecting the interior colour scheme, so that dirt doesn’t show while ensuring the surfaces do not appear too dark. Graphics and textures were also used throughout the cabin to accentuate areas such as buttons and switches that customers touch and interact with the most. A combination of colours, grain and non-reflective materials help control glare and reflections on the windscreen, hence improving visibility and safety.

Up front, drivers get a commanding view of the road and off-road obstacles, thanks to the high seating position. The driver’s seat is available with two-way, four-way or eight-way adjustability. The premium eight-way power adjustable seat is new to Ranger and offers tailored seating at the touch of a button.

In the rear, the Double Cab offers improved comfort and leg room, with seats that can flip up and be secured for additional load space or access to valuable under-seat stowage. The seats also feature ‘shingle’ type head restraints, which allow for improved rearward visibility when not in use.

All seats are finished with materials that will stand up to the demands of a ‘workhorse’ while delivering a lasting quality appearance. From the no-fuss fabric seats of the XL 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 paid careful attention to every little detail to deliver a pickup truck that is world-class both inside and out,” said Metros. “The all-new Ford Ranger is every bit as capable, modern and dynamic as it looks and feels.”

Gerald Ferreira

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Published : Wednesday October 26, 2011

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