Make no mistake about it: when it comes to trucks, Ford is the authority.
For over 100 years, the American automaker that pioneered the mass production of automobiles has had a very soft spot for hardworking trucks. It comes as no surprise, especially since people like to haul cargo and equipment all across the United States. From home to the job site, from farm to market, or from the city to the campsite, Ford has been moving whatever you need to get things done, no wonder the F-Series of trucks is the consistent best selling truck in North America.
The F-Series, of course, is a very American truck that's made for wide American roads. What about a global truck that fits the bill, no matter where in the world its owned, driven, and put to work?
That's where the Ranger comes in.
Ford took that same dedication, that same sense of dependable duty to something that appeals to a more global audience: the Ford Ranger. But what makes it so special? We think there are three key reasons why the Ranger, particularly the Wildtrak model, is all the truck you'll ever need.
1. A Frame That Lasts
The Ranger Wildtrak's story starts not with the handsome design or the engine. It all begins with the frame. Much like the solid foundations required for a well-built house, a well-built pick-up truck requires a solid frame, and the Ranger Wildtrak's chassis is truly first class.
The 100% steel ladder frame has 5 cross members, providing a strong chassis for the Ranger Wildtrak. Despite the simple looks of the Ranger Wildtrak's ladder frame, it not just a matter of welding tubular steel pieces together. Ford actually engineered the Ranger frame using 8 different types of steel of varying strengths to produce a structure that is fairly light, but has the rigidity and performance to pull up to 3500 kilograms.
To put that in perspective, the Ranger Wildtrak can pull another fully loaded Ranger Wildtrak (3200 kilograms gross vehicle weight) with no problems.
2. Reinforced Bed and Suspension
The key to a pick-up truck is the bed, and that's one aspect that Ford really made sure can handle a lot of load. But it wasn't just a matter of pressing and fabricating steel panels into the shape of a box; Ford actually put a lot of thought and tough engineering into the design to be able to boast of a bed that is quite easily the best.
While the bed looks simple, under the skin hides three U-shaped steel bars for added reinforcement. These bars actually connect directly to the frame via proprietary smart mounts, allowing painfully heavy loads to be carried without any issues. Coupled with the ridged bed floor for extra strength and a rugged rear leaf spring suspension, that means the Ranger Wildtrak can handle up to 1120 kilograms on its back.
That's the weight of a typical compact family sedan.
3. The Performance to Haul
Performance has always been the strongest suit of the Ranger Wildtrak, particularly the new 2.0-liter bi-turbo diesel engine. It's actually the best performing turbodiesel in the pick-up category, able to churn out 213 horsepower and a whopping 500 Newton-meters of torque. Ford was able to achieve this level of performance from a small and more efficient diesel engine through the use of dual sequential turbochargers.
But it's not just all about power. No, the Ranger Wildtrak 4x4 is built to perform, and channels the advanced engine's performance to the road -or the ground- via a 10-speed automatic for smooth performance. With hill launch assist, even the toughest 45 degree inclines can be easily surpassed, and with an electronic differential lock system, traction control and stability control, you've got a truck that can maneuver on tricky terrain even when loaded to the limit.
The Truck To Do It All
There are many more characteristics of the Ranger Wildtrak like being able to go through floods as deep as 800 millimeters (about 2 feet and 7 inches deep), a smart electronics package that has Bluetooth and voice recognition control, comfort features that includes a dual zone electronic climate control system and an adaptive cruise control system, and a safety package that includes lane departure warning and autonomous emergency braking. The Ranger Wildtrak is also the only truck in the market that can parallel park all by itself using Active Park Assist, taking away the difficulty for parking a 5-meter long truck into a slot for its customers.
Yet despite all these, at its core, the Wildtrak is a tough truck at heart. This Ford Ranger Wildtrak platform was proven in over a million kilometers of testing on the most punishing environments like the Australian outback, and continuously gets proven everyday on roads all around the world.
Hardworking and tough pick-up trucks have been a Ford staple, and it all began with a version of the great Model T... that had a bed. Today's Ranger Wildtrak is a culmination of sorts of a century of accumulated knowledge and development, and they applied it to a truck that, quite frankly, has all we'll ever really need.