A NEW RANGER FROM FORD
This article is from our archives and has not been updated and integrated with our "new" site yet... Even so, it's still awesome - so keep reading!
Published on Sat, Oct 16, 2010
By: The LACar Editorial Staff
Ford’s Ranger in the USA has been virtually unchanged since the Stone Age, but it continues to be marketed against a number of newer compact pick-up trucks from the likes of Toyota (Tacoma), Nissan (Frontier), and even Honda (Ridgeline). So when Ford announces that an all-new Ranger is making its debut in 180 markets on five continents, it’s cause for some celebration. Alas, those 180 markets don’t include the United States—at least not yet.
New from the ground up Ford says it is revealing a 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. “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. “It’s not often in the pickup truck world that designers get the opportunity to re-invent a vehicle from the ground up.” Metros previously served as design chief for the Ford F-150 in North America.
“We explored a bandwidth ranging from Ford North America’s very traditional and much liked F-Series to influences from Europe’s very successful kinetic design language,” said Metros. According to Metros, the entire front end of the vehicle, particularly the hood, proved to be very challenging due to pedestrian protection requirements. At the same time, aerodynamic requirements needed to be factored in to help reduce drag and boost fuel efficiency. “The gains in fuel efficiency were made in small increments by efficient design and weight reduction,” said Metros. “We continually looked for small ways to gain a tenth here and two-tenths there. In the end, good design practices help extend Ranger’s fuel efficiency story.”
Inside, looking out “We looked outside the automotive industry at contemporary designs in many consumer products,” Metros explained. “From power tools to wristwatches, we wanted to apply that same sort of ruggedness and purposeful styling to the interior.” The team says it borrowed from the look of power tools from both BOSCH® and DEWALT® to bridge the gap between form and function. Inside the instrument cluster, the G-Shock® watch was a major influence. “This approach encases delicate instruments within a strong protective housing. We were inspired by this design language as it applies to a tough truck, and created similar elements, including little chaplets to the outside of the cluster, to give it a more rugged appearance,” Metros said.
Special attention was paid to interior materials on all models, according to Debbie Pascoe, colour and trim manager. “Selecting materials for a truck has its own unique set of criteria and requirements,” she said. “Materials have to not only look contemporary and stylish but they also have to be durable and able to withstand abuse and punishment in work use.” “We haven’t forgotten that many of these trucks are used for work,” Pascoe says. “But with careful selection of colors and materials, coupled with contemporary styling, they can serve a dual purpose and be enjoyed by the family. The new Ranger interior proves that tough doesn’t have to mean rough.”
Market place Ford hopes that the new Ranger will be a hit at the 2010 Australian International Motor Show, where it will be showcased. “With the new Ranger, we’ve progressed with a truck that is fresh, modern and right for the times,” Metro says. “This newest Ranger is modern, capable and dynamic, and at the same time lives up to its roots as a very rugged truck.” Let’s hope that the USA is not forgotten as one of the markets for the new Ranger. - Roy Nakano