AUTO INDUSTRY NEWS

2011 Ford Ranger makes World Premiere in Sydney

2011 Ford Ranger makes World Premiere in Sydney image

Text: / Photos: Ford Press | posted October 15, 2010 10:32

New global Ford Ranger debuts at the Australian International Auto Show

The all-new global 2011 Ford Ranger 'T6' held its world premiere at the 2010 Australian International Auto Show in Sydney. There's no mistaking the all-new Ford Ranger's Built Ford Tough credentials. Its powerful presence exudes capability, confidence and, more than ever, unexpected levels of spaciousness, comfort, craftsmanship and technology that will transform the pickup truck ownership experience.

The all-new model - destined to be sold in more than 180 markets on five continents - marks the complete transformation of the Ford Ranger: tough and more capable than ever, yet just as at home as a family vehicle with all the comforts, features and refinement for up to five occupants. However, it will not be available to the US and Canadian markets.

Ford is revealing an all-new Ford Ranger Double Cab model as the flagship in a progressive reveal of its comprehensive new range of pickup trucks. The all-new Ranger family will include three body styles, 4x2 and 4x4 configurations, high and low-ride models and a broad series array to answer every pickup owner's requirements - from hose-out work trucks to fully-featured personal vehicles.

The all-new Ford Ranger is the latest in a wave of global products coming from the One Ford product strategy - and is the first global pickup truck to extend the Built Ford Tough reputation that originated in the United States with the best-selling Ford F-Series lineup. It's a hard-working truck designed to make its hard-working owner proud, according to chief designer, Craig Metros, a 24-year Ford veteran who has had an influential hand in Ford pickup design around the world.

Metros led the Australia-based design team that created the new model making its global debut today at the Australian International Motor Show. He previously served as design chief for the Ford F-150 in North America.

Global Interior Designs

Reflecting the diverse uses of compact pickups around the world, the all-new Ford Ranger product range will offer everything from basic work trucks with hose-out interiors to high-series models, such as the Ranger Limited and Ranger Wildtrak, both yet to be revealed.

"We believe the new Ranger has a dynamic balance that pushes Ford Tough Trucks into the future," Metros said. "It looks very tough but not in the same geometric F-series approach. Instead, Ranger has its own contemporary appeal - its own approach to tough."

Built on innovation, it boasts a list of technologies and features to lead the segment - including a new Rearview Camera System, Rear Park Assist, Trailer Sway Control and Adaptive Load Control. Ford plans to reveal even more new Ranger technologies in the coming months.

The best of Ford's design language also have been applied to the interior. Borrowing cues from ergonomically-designed power tools like DEWALT, and encasing instruments in a protective shell like a G-Shock watch, designers were inspired to blend form and function while ensuring the instruments are clearly visible for the driver.

According to Debbie Pascoe, Ford's color and trim design manager, the materials used throughout the cabin have to be 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 truck 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.

Improved Aerodynamics for Efficiency

To help reduce Ranger's ownership costs, especially at the fuel pump, a wide range of design features were optimized to improve fuel efficiency. Using the same leading-edge simulation technology as Formula One teams, aerodynamicists performed more than 1000 full-vehicle aerodynamic simulations to perfect the shape of the vehicle.

Using this technology, engineers demonstrated that with a hard line at the fender top, wind flow was divided and resistance lowered. The backlight was positioned more vertically, A-pillars optimized and a small spoiler was added to the top of the tailgate. A front airdam plays a significant role in controlling the airflow underneath the vehicle, leading to a significant reduction in the drag coefficient.

"Decreasing wind resistance was a start. Small incremental gains in fuel efficiency quickly add up and help meet fuel economy targets," Metros said.

Tough Muscle

Three new engines to Ford's compact pickup truck range globally: a new 2.2-liter Ford Duratorq TDCi I4 diesel engine with peak torque output of 375 Nm and power output of 150 PS; a highly responsive and efficient new 3.2-liter Ford Duratorq TDCi I5 diesel engine with a powerful 470 Nm of torque and power rated at 200 PS; and a 2.5-liter Ford Duratec I4 petrol engine with more power at 166 PS that can be configured for E100 flexible fuel capability or aftermarket upfitted to run on CNG or LPG.

New transmission options include the new Ford 6R80 six-speed automatic transmission has been extensively tuned to deliver smooth, quick shifts almost imperceptibly to the driver. In Normal mode, the calibration focuses on comfort and fuel economy. For sportier driving, a quick flick of the shifter changes the transmission into Sport mode. This provides later shift points and the driver can manually select gears through a forward (downshift) or rearward (upshift) movement. Or can also be fitted with Ford MT82 six-speed manual transmission with its short, car-like shifter - well-positioned ergonomically for the driver - that provides crisp, precise shifting matched perfectly to the generous torque output of the new diesels.

New levels of ride quality and chassis control

An entirely new chassis design promises to provide 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 millimeters and driveline components that have been strategically mounted above the frame rail and out of harm's way.

Despite an increased 3220-millimeter wheelbase - and wider track for the 4x4 model of 1560 millimeters and 4x2 model of 1590 millimeters at the front and rear - the all-new Ranger's turning circle makes it easily maneuverable 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.

A new coil-over-strut suspension for the front 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, center of gravity, engine torque and drive distribution.

At the rear, an entirely new suspension system 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 provides 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.

More load for work

The cargo box of the double cab is more than 100 millimeters wider, measuring 1549 millimeters long, 511 millimeters high and with a maximum cargo width of 1560 millimeters. Volume is an impressive 1.21 cubic meters.

New from the ground up and ready for the world

It's not often that engineers and designers have the opportunity to build a new pickup truck from the ground up, and the all-new Ranger is evidence of how Ford seized that opportunity. The new Ranger will be manufactured around the world in three volume production sites geared for regional reach, especially in growth regions.

A progressive production ramp-up is slated to begin next summer (Northern Hemisphere) in Rayong, Thailand, for the Asia Pacific region. Ford is transforming plants in Argentina and South Africa for additional capacity to eventually serve other key regions as the launch cadence progresses. The new manufacturing strategy for the single global compact truck platform will drive new levels of product commonality for the Ford Ranger all around the globe.