The all-new Ford Ranger delivers on the Built Ford Tough promise with a more refined ride pickup truck customers will love
New chassis starts with a 100 percent newly designed frame, coil-over-shock front suspension, crisp rack-and-pinion steering and new rear suspension for great truck capability and a smooth, stable ride that transforms the truck-driving experience
One of the most high-tech compact pickups ever, the all-new Ranger is filled with smart Ford features, including Adaptive Load Control, Trailer Sway Control, Rear Park Assist and the segment’s first Rearview Camera system
The all-new Ranger offers excellent ground clearance plus a deeper water-fording capability than any other competitor
Exceptional towing capability and a payload capacity of up to 1500 kilograms on selected models are key strengths of the all-new Ford Ranger
SYDNEY, October 15, 2010 – Capability is the foundation of Ford’s new global compact pickup truck.
The all-new Ford Ranger builds on an impressive heritage for capability and extends it in every important aspect for the pickup truck owner – from towing capability, hauling and load capacity to stable footing on-road or off – while transforming the compact truck from a traditional workhorse to an all-around leader not only when the work gets tough but when it comes home for time with the family.
It’s also filled with smart Ford technologies, making it the most high-tech product in its segment. The key new technologies are at the heart of the Ranger capability story.
The new Ranger’s strength is the result of a major investment by Ford to make it the latest in a wave of new global products – part of the One Ford strategy.
“This new Ranger was absolutely a no-compromise project that takes advantage of Ford’s tremendous global pickup truck design and engineering expertise,” said Gary Boes, vehicle line director for Ford’s new compact truck platform. “We set out not only to meet the expectations of today’s buyers but to exceed those expectations. That’s why we believe so strongly that the market will recognise that this truck stands for leadership.”
A significant advance in payload capability is one of the key areas where Ranger asserts its strength. Ranger also boasts exceptional towing capability, a deeper high-capacity box and the best water-fording capability in the business.
“We’ve started from the ground up and have incorporated several new technologies into the all-new Ranger,” said Stephan Presser, vehicle engineering manager for the Ford Ranger. “This newest iteration of Ranger is the most capable compact pickup truck we’ve ever offered, and we believe it will be superior for years to come.”
Among the highlights of the new chassis is an all-new frame that is longer and stiffer. It’s engineered to get the job done, day in and day out. It enables a more refined ride and interior comfort, mated with new front and rear suspensions that provide excellent comfort and a quiet cabin environment. Ford is also introducing the precise control of a new rack-and-pinion steering system in the all-new Ranger, as well as hydraulic body mounts, another technology aimed at enhanced ride comfort.
Ranger also introduces the segment’s first Rearview Camera system and new Rear Park Assist. The rear-facing camera provides additional visibility, and the Rear Park Assist sensors help the driver avoid obstacles while reversing.
New frame provides backbone
The all-new Ford Ranger’s backbone was engineered for robust strength to meet the varied expectations of pickup truck customers all over the world. It was engineered to fulfil a dual role for many customers who use their vehicles for work and family. Emphasis was placed on developing a new chassis that would honour the Ford Tough Truck heritage, while improving interior ride comfort and optimising vehicle stability.
The Ranger team engineered a completely new foundation, enabling them to redesign the front and rear suspension and take full advantage of smart new technologies like Electronic Stability Program (ESP), Anti-Lock Brake System (ABS) and Traction Control. These leading-edge technologies are complemented by the availability of Trailer Sway Control, Adaptive Load Control and Roll-over Mitigation. These three systems provide additional safety and control when Ranger is put to work hauling heavy loads.
“Just imagine how all this – an all-new chassis and great new smart technologies like the Rearview Camera system and Trailer Sway Control – transforms the towing and hauling experience with the all-new Ford Ranger,” Boes said.
Ranger’s capabilities are enhanced with advanced chassis controls that work in harmony with the ABS. Features include Electronic Brakeforce Distribution and Electronic Brake Assist as well as Emergency Brake Lights.
While Ranger was already outfitted with many of these technologies, engineers introducing the new frame, new front and rear suspension, and new steering system concentrated on integrating the various features to produce the most capable Ranger yet.
A longer wheelbase and increased track, both front and rear, were adopted for improved drivability and passenger comfort. The new Ranger easily absorbs any undulations in the pavement with an extended 3220-millimetre wheelbase – the longest in class. The front and rear track on the 4×4 model is 1560 millimetres and 1590 millimetres on the 4×2 model.
With the increase in vehicle wheelbase and track, the Ranger is sure-footed, both on-road and off. The increase in track also translates into more interior comfort, shoulder and second row leg room.
As the backbone for the all-new Ranger, the frame is designed to meet stringent crash performance standards. Vehicle weight has been reduced for improved fuel efficiency. Priority was given to meeting targets for rigidity, torsional stiffness and increased towing capacity.
Initial development started with computer-aided engineering work before the first test vehicle was built. Designs generated by computer simulation greatly reduced development time and identified areas where strength needed to be added or reduced without affecting structural integrity, rigidity or crash performance. Reducing mass was also a priority for engineers.
Abundant ground clearance
To reduce the likelihood of damage during off-road driving, all critical driveline components are neatly located between the frame rails and therefore out of harm’s way. The powertrain, transfer case, oil pan, exhaust system and fuel tank are neatly tucked above the side beam rails and allow the Ranger to glide over ground swells or obstacles without impacting vehicle components if the truck bottoms out. Additional shielding protects other key components.
Minimum ground clearance for the all-new Ranger on 4×4 models, as well as 4×2 Hi-Riders that see extensive off-road use, is exceptional at 230 millimetres with base 16-inch tyres. Seventeen-inch tyres are also available.
Even if the all-new Ford Ranger gets mired in deep sand, snow or mud, engineers have provided a towing hook up front to pull the vehicle free. Dual front hooks – each rated at 6000 kilograms – are standard for the Australian market on 4×4 and 4×2 models.
To help cope with heavy monsoon rains that often wash out roads across many areas of the world, the all-new Ranger’s electrical components and air intake are mounted high in the engine compartment to minimise water penetration and potential electrical shorts. This gives the all-new Ranger impressive water-wading capability.
Leveraging global steering and suspension expertise
The driving character of the all-new Ranger has been shaped with Ford expertise from around the world. With the cornerstones of Ford’s chassis dynamics DNA – Agility, Stability, Precision and Comfort – as a guide, Ranger delivers.
The complete chassis set-up comes from a global engineering group whose expertise was brought together to enhance the all-new Ranger’s reputation for capability. Strong vehicle dynamics and on-road stability are a hallmark of every Ford product – car, truck or SUV – launched in the last decade. With the combined global expertise of experienced dynamics engineers from Australia, South Africa, Europe and North America, and with valuable insight from manufacturing hubs in Thailand and South America, the new pickup truck delivers impressive SUV-like steering and handling coupled with the highest levels of comfort. The result is on-road and off-road performance that customers will value.
In Australia, where Ranger was primarily developed, around-town manners with the ability to make a camping trip to the Outback were musts during the early phases of development engineering. Extensive gravel-road testing and long-distance test trips through the harsh and demanding Outback have helped to fine tune suspension settings, tyre performance and steering feel and response.
As part of the development phase, engineers observed customer driving practices throughout the world.
“What we found was high-speed driving on good roads; high-speed driving on bad roads; and loading the vehicle up to maximum capacity,” explained Matt Reilly, Ranger vehicle dynamics supervisor.
In South America, for example, thorough testing was required to reduce the tendency of some vehicles in this segment to ‘skate’ and swing out while driving at high speeds on rough, corrugated, dirt roads. This is a common condition where insufficient rear-axle damping leads to the rear axle pushing the rear end of the vehicle from side-to-side.
“We have spent countless hours finding the best setup for high-speed stability even on bad roads,” Reilly said. “A combination of linear steering response, excellent torque feedback, predictable vehicle roll and yaw response put the driver in control. The new Ranger is a fun-to-drive pickup truck that will instill confidence when driven.”
In Europe, where vehicles are generally operated in developed areas, a premium was placed on high-speed dynamics, handling and steering feel.
In Asia, where single-vehicle households are the norm, the all-new Ranger needs to fill a dual role of daytime work truck and after-hours family transportation vehicle. Thailand, for example, requires a softer, more compliant suspension that caters to unique road conditions, according to Reilly.
With input and feedback from some of Ford’s best engineers and collaboration with Mazda, new front and rear suspension systems were designed.
All variations for four- and two-wheel drive, high and low ride, and diesel and petrol powertrains were developed on a unique test vehicle before the first prototype was built. This helped engineers evaluate all necessary requirements and determine the best layout for details from the turning circle to confirming optimal suspension geometry including kingpin offset, scrub radius, toe and camber settings, as well as elastokinematic properties of the front and rear suspension.
“Through careful analysis and tuning, we found it was possible to build the first fleet of prototype vehicles close to final properties for suspension geometry including changes under traction, braking and hard cornering,” Reilly said. “This was achieved by using a combination of newly developed computer-aided-engineering (CAE) models, the Kinematics and Compliance test rigs available at all Ford development centres and Steering Robots for precise and repeatable test inputs.
“But the final say will always be left to test and development engineers evaluating every small change subjectively and by measuring objective vehicle response data. The Dynamics team had one single and clear objective – deliver a true Ford driver’s truck that is agile, precise and comfortable. And we left no stone unturned,” Reilly said.
The result is a Built Ford Tough pickup truck with a single design that provides the best possible road manners. For traditional buyers, the benefits are huge with no compromises in payload capacity or towing ability. For sport utility enthusiasts who prefer smoother, more refined road handling, the all-new Ranger delivers with less of the harshness typically found in trucks.
Engineers didn’t ignore the ‘fun-to-drive’ aspects. The new rear suspension system provides a smooth, firm and comfortable ride without diluting the payload capacity. While the rear leaf suspension design may seem simple, with careful tuning it rewards the driver under all types of driving conditions.
“It wasn’t simply a matter of changing spring rates,” said Reilly. “We evaluated the thickness of the springs to determine if we could reduce mass without affecting performance. We found the best common location for both the front bushings, rear shackles for springs and shock absorbers on all models. We tested bushing diameters and construction for a more compliant ride.”
The same thorough development process was applied to the entirely new front suspension.
The torsion spring suspension was abandoned in favour of a new coil-over-strut design that allows for better tuning of the upper and lower wishbone design. Similar for both two- and four-wheel applications, suspension tuning is unique due to vehicle weight, centre of gravity, drive configuration and torque distribution.
Damper valving and spring rates have been tailored to meet global market requirements and deliver the best possible ride and handling.
The all-new Ranger features a new rack-and-pinion design that gives drivers more precise steering control.
All the steering play that is normally associated with the re-circulating ball has been eliminated. “We’ve successfully designed a steering system that is precise but not overly tight like a sports car,” Reilly said.
In tight parking confines or narrow off-road tracks, all drivers will benefit from the all-new Ranger’s turning circle – 11.8 metres on 4×2 models and 12.4 metres on 4×4 variants. Drivers also benefit from careful tuning of parking and low-speed manoeuvrability steering efforts. The responsive steering system requires no more than 3.5 turns of the wheel lock-to-lock, making it one of the best in the segment.
Adapting these proven technologies pushes the suspension geometry of the Ranger to new levels, making the vehicle extremely responsive. Response is linear and controllable, and vehicle reactions including roll and yaw are carefully balanced. As a result, the all-new Ford Ranger is a vehicle that beckons to be driven.
“We looked at many different settings and we were able to meet all the suspension requirements and provide customers with a suspension that is responsive with no surprises or reactions from steering input. The driver feels comfortable and in control at all times,” Reilly explained. “Ranger is easy to drive and delivers what the driver expects. Even with heavy loads, the all-new Ranger exhibits excellent body control.”
Improved comfort is the result of Ford’s introduction of ‘hydro’ mounts for the Ranger body. Constructed of hard rubber and filled with hydraulic fluid, the hydro mount is located on the frame between the rail and cabin and helps isolate vertical and horizontal motions more effectively. It reduces cabin shake and delivers a more comfortable, pleasing ride without the harshness associated with a truck.
Exceptional towing and hauling capabilities
With the longer wheelbase, wider track and tall-shouldered box design, the all-new Ranger boasts generously increased cargo capacity.
When equipped with selected Ford Duratorq TDCi diesel engine packages and selected transmission and rear-axle final-drive gearing, the all-new Ranger delivers exceptional towing capability.
The all-new Ford Ranger features a payload capacity of up to 1500 kilograms on selected models. The Ranger Double Cab box is 1549 millimetres long. With box height increased to 511 millimetres, the cargo volume has been increased to 1.21 cubic metres. Maximum cargo width is 1560 millimetres and width between the wheel arches is 1139 millimetres.
The improved passenger comfort of the all-new Ranger Double Cab is immediately noticeable. Passengers will appreciate more legroom in the rear cabin, which also provides an ideal space for secure stowage.
Largest brakes in its segment
Braking capability is another leadership trait of the all-new Ford Ranger. Brakes on the new Ranger are the largest in class and are designed to provide maximum braking performance.
Brake systems include vented disc brakes up front with drum brakes in the rear.
All Ranger models are equipped with larger front rotors measuring 302 by 32 millimetres and twin-piston callipers. The brake calliper features a pair of phenolic pistons that reduce weight and improve thermal performance.
Two-wheel-drive Rangers use a 270-by-55-millimetre rear drum, whilst the Hi-Rider and 4×4 vehicles use a 295-by-55-millimetre rear drum.
To help reduce the possibility of pad contamination and rotor wear from pebbles that may become embedded between the rotor and pad, front brakes include a brake dust shield as standard equipment. All brake linings are constructed using the latest non-asbestos organic materials, which meet global comfort requirements for noise and pad life while fulfilling pickup truck thermal and fade requirements.
“The new brake system was developed jointly with Mazda Design and Development Engineering and subjected to a comprehensive validation process,” said Lyndon Loader, brake development supervisor. “The brakes were subjected to the extremes of environmental conditions and customer driving requirements.”
“It didn’t matter where I drove the vehicle, whether it was at minus 30 degrees Celsius in Sweden, the extreme heat in California’s Death Valley, the congestion of city traffic, the German Autobahn or the Outback roads of Australia, the brake system fulfilled all of Ford’s stringent requirements,” said Matthew Avedian, lead brake development engineer.
A key factor in the early stages of the programme was designing the brake system to meet Ford’s global DNA and to align with the dynamic performance of the vehicle.
“We wanted to achieve passenger car-like response on the brake pedal so every single component was assessed and then designed to deliver optimal pedal stiffness,” Loader said. “Using a stiffer ‘tie rod booster design’, low-expansion hoses, high-rigidity callipers and reduced running clearances on the rear brake are some of the design features we have incorporated. This results in brake pedal travel that is typically seen on passenger cars and contributes to real reduction in stopping distances.”
Having the largest brake system in segment provides excellent fade resistance particularly with maximum payload. While other systems start to fade and stopping distances increase, the Ranger is engineered to keep performing.
“Pennsylvania’s Laurel Mountain and the Grossglockner mountain range in Austria were no match for the Ranger,” said Avedian.
For superior braking performance, Ranger is available with an Electronic Stability Program (ESP) that includes four-wheel traction control, yaw control and roll-over mitigation.
The traction control system includes sensors located at all four wheels that independently monitor wheel speed up to 50 times per second to detect wheel slip during acceleration or braking. If wheel slip is detected, engine torque is managed in conjunction with selective independent brake application to ensure optimal traction and stability.
Under extreme conditions of wheel slip during acceleration, the system’s torque management system will momentarily shut down fuel delivery and spark to the engine cylinders to reduce power. Once wheel slip is controlled, full power is restored.
The ESP system includes a variety of vehicle sensors that measure steering wheel input as well as throttle and brake application to ensure the Ranger stays on its intended path. By measuring lateral and longitudinal acceleration and yaw rate, it determines deviations between what the driver wants and how the vehicle reacts.
On slippery surfaces like ice, the system intervenes through selective brake and throttle interventions.
The ESP available on Ranger is designed to be unobtrusive. It supports rather than overrides the driver.
The ESP and ABS intervention and control strategy are tuned differently for on-road (sealed roads) and off-road conditions. ABS, for example, determines whether the driver is on gravel roads and then adjusts the control parameters to allow for more wheel lock-up which, through a wedge of material buildup in front of the wheels, leads to shorter stopping distance.
To help maintain stability and prevent the vehicle from swerving, Ranger is available with Adaptive Load Control. The system automatically determines the payload and automatically adjusts the sensitivity of the ESP system to maintain stable handling.
Under panic stop conditions, Emergency Brake Assist provides maximum boost to achieve the shortest stopping distance possible. Independent studies have shown that stopping distances can be significantly reduced even when customers hesitate to fully apply brake pedal pressure. When the ABS is engaged, emergency brake lights flash to warn the car behind you of a panic stop.
Mid-level braking systems for Ranger include four-wheel ABS with Electronic Brakeforce Distribution (EBD).
EBD is engineered to determine rear-wheel slip and maintain maximum brake-line pressure to the rear wheels whilst avoiding over-braking of the rear wheels – for the best stability and shortest stopping distance, regardless of payload.
Advanced chassis controls for a stable ride
Two smart new Ranger technologies – Trailer Sway Control and Adaptive Load Control – help provide confidence-inspiring handling when towing a trailer or with heavy loads.
Even the most experienced drivers are aware of the difficulties of controlling a swaying trailer. On the all-new Ranger, if the trailer begins to sway, the Trailer Sway Control system efficiently takes control, selectively applying brakes to reduce the speed of the truck and trailer combination.
“The effectiveness of Trailer Sway Control is a real eye opener,” said Presser. “The availability of this system as part of ESP underscores the capability of Ranger as a serious tow vehicle.”
Ranger maintains a stable ride with Adaptive Load Control. This system automatically determines the payload of the Ranger and applies the necessary measures to maintain a stable ride.
Fitted with an 80-litre fuel tank, Ranger is expected to have outstanding fuel economy.
Whatever the job in South America, road conditions in South Africa or personal use in Europe, the new Ford Ranger delivers on the Built Ford Tough promise with heightened capabilities in ride, payload, safety and interior comfort.