Twenty-four days after traveling across the archipelago, the Ford Ranger finally reached the finale of what could be the country's toughest road test yet - the 'Fearless: The Ford Ranger Extreme Drive.'
Covering 14 regions, 45 provinces, 329 towns and 52 cities since it flagged off at the Ford Group Philippines headquarters at Sta. Rosa, the Ford Ranger concluded the long distance run in an off-road drive experience at Sapang Bato in Angeles City, Pampanga, in a lahar canyon by the foothills of Mount Pinatubo.
The Fearless team composed of Larry Mendiola, Beeboy Bargas, JJ Javier, Paul Javier, with alternate drivers Eric Camarillo and Eric Salonga, as well as the coverage team led by photographer Chino Acosta with Mitch Genato and Ronnie Trinidad were welcomed by FGP executives led by AVP for ASEAN Brands Tonette Lee and members of the motoring media.
The team successfully linked the northmost tip of the Luzon main island (Claveria, Cagayan Valley) through to Mindanao island (Glan, Sarangani Province) in a single journey on board the Ford Ranger, negotiating different road networks and conquering off-road challenges on the way. The 24-day activity aimed to demonstrate the vehicle's capabilities, highlight different destinations in the Philippines, and allow local residents to get familiar with the Ford Ranger.
"Since its launch in November last year, the Ford Ranger has been consistently praised for its durability, reliability, fuel efficiency and versatility. With the Fearless run, we have validated these features that make the Ranger the best in its class," said Tonette Lee. "But this activity is more than just an endurance run - while it served as another testament to the Ranger's renowned Built Ford Tough DNA, it also became an opportunity for us to reach out to more consumers in areas outside of the NCR, and introduce the excellent capabilities of the Ford Ranger to them. Lastly, the countrywide run allowed us to lead the pack in taking on the roads less traveled and discovering new sights, which is what the Ranger character is all about - being fearless, conquering obstacles, and allowing you to do more and be more," she further added.
Roaring across the country's varied road networks demonstrated the Ford Ranger's powerhouse DuraTORQ 380 engine, as it delivered superior torque and performance even on the hardest driving conditions, such as the craggy roads of Samar, the slopes of Mt. Banahaw in Quezon or rough trails in Kapatagan, Davao del Sur. Its 4-wheel drive capability effortlessly maneuvered uphill terrains encountered in Donsol, Sorsogon and Hacienda La Fortuna in San Carlos, Negros Occidental.
The tougher and more durable chassis and strong ladder frame offered sharper handling and a more refined ride. The independent double-wishbone suspension, featuring a longer and larger torsion bar and larger diameter dampers, provided a good combination of driver control and ride comfort, even on off-road conditions such as the mud runs in Candara, Samar, riverbed in Tanay, Rizal or sand dunes in La Paz, Ilocos Norte.
"With the Fearless Run, we have encountered the most beautiful destinations, s well as the worst set of roads in the Philippines. With each challenge, the Ford Ranger took the battering pretty well, with finesse. Some of the roads we've passed would have left any other vehicle whimpering. Traveling an average of 500 kilometers a day and experiencing all those challenges was indeed a tough job, but the Ranger helped us to do more," said Larry Mendiola.
The Ranger also proved its agility and nimbleness in smooth highways and paved roads which encouraged spirited driving to discover unfrequented destinations like Glan in Sarangani and Magat Dam in Isabela. Boasting of its "Can-Do" functionality, the Ford Ranger was loaded with Coconuts in Quezon and bananas in Davao to demonstrate its "Can-Do Business" aspect, while its "Can-Do Lifestyle" feature as it traveled along popular tourist destinations.
Pit stops were scheduled as the caravan moved from one province to another at Ford dealerships nationwide to involve the local market. These dealers are located in Dagupan, Cabanatuan, Pampanga, Cavite, Battings, San Pablo, Iloilo, Bacolod, Cebu, Cagayan de Oro, and Davao. Destination consolidator Island Caravan was tapped to provide route mapping, under the supervision of the Department of Tourism.