“The new Wildtrak takes the Ford Ranger to the next level with an aggressive exterior, a premium, sporty, interior, the latest Driver Assist Technologies and capabilities that ensure it’s up for any adventure,” said Trevor Worthington, vice president, Product Development, Ford Asia Pacific. “Building on the bolder, smarter and more refined new Ranger, the new Wildtrak is a perfect fit for customers who want to combine genuine 4×4 capabilities with stand-out styling and premium features.”
To mark the Wildtrak clearly as the flagship of the Ranger lineup, designers worked to emphasise its tough, sophisticated design. Flanked by projector head lamps, the bold trapezoidal grille with strong outboard nostrils is finished in a dark, liquid metallic gray. The same accent colour continues to the side mirrors, door handles, side air vents, bed rails and tail lamps for a dark, sporty appearance.
“The accent colours on the Wildtrak help to punch out the architecture of the fascia, and make what is already a very bold design even bolder – it’s instantly recognisable on the road,” said Dave Dewitt, exterior design manager for the Ranger Wildtrak. “The result is more sports-focused and purposeful, and a perfect companion for a weekend getaway with a surfboard, kayak or quad bike.”
As well as being more aggressively styled, the new Wildtrak features design elements that are both premium and functional. Rectangular fog lamps and a unique sports hoop emphasise the unique nature of Wildtrak and give it a more technical, refined appearance. Sitting high on exclusive machined 18-inch alloy wheels, and with bold Wildtrak graphics, the new design communicates a fearless sense of adventure. Even the Wildtrak’s signature orange colour has been tweaked to help it stand out from the crowd.
“We wanted to push the Wildtrak’s orange further, to give it a fun, tough feeling,” said Dewitt. “We call it Pride Orange, not just because of our pride in the new Ranger, but also because it calls to mind a pride of lions – it conjures up the Wildtrak’s potential and adventurous spirit.”
The Wildtrak is also available in Cool White, Black Mica, Aluminum Metallic and Metropolitan Gray. Inside, orange is used as a strong accent colour to add a sense of sportiness to a strikingly modern and car-like interior. A strong horizontal beam spanning from driver to passenger door emphasises the cabin’s width and houses a dual-TFT instrument cluster, an eight-inch touchscreen and air conditioning registers.
A soft-touch instrument panel top with an orange accent stitch imparts a premium feel to the cockpit without sacrificing toughness. Punctuating the horizontal theme, rings around the air registers are finished in shadow chrome, which features a smoky finish inspired by high-end machinery. The new Wildtrak also features unique seats– including an eight-way power adjustable driver’s seat – with bold graphical elements and orange stitching that combine toughness, durability and sportiness.
“From a design standpoint, everything on the new Wildtrak is very tough, inspired by tools and machinery,” said Dewitt. “But the execution – the dark environment, the soft instrument panel top, the orange stitching punching through – is very modern and more like what you’d see in a top-end hot hatch. It’s tough, but it’s refined and sporty.”
As the flagship of the Ranger nameplate, the new Wildtrak boasts a full array of cutting-edge technology to help drivers stay connected and in control.
For extra convenience, the new Ranger features a 240-volt power socket that can be used to power a laptop or tablet computer anywhere, even far away from civilisation. There is also an array of driver assist technologies that help to make your drive more convenient from Lane Keeping Alert and Lane Keeping Aid that work together to help to prevent the driver from unintentionally drifting out of a lane when driving at high speeds.
To Adaptive Cruise Control that makes use of radar sensors to maintain both a preset speed as well as a preset distance from the vehicle ahead. And Forward Alert that works with Adaptive Cruise Control to give drivers a visual and audible warning when the gap to a vehicle ahead drops below a safe distance.
Along with Front and Rear Park Assist that uses sensors to detect obstacles and provide audible warnings when the vehicle approaches obstructions at low speeds, such as when parking. A rear-view camera gives a clear view behind the vehicle, giving greater confidence when parking and hitching up a trailer.
A Tyre Pressure Monitoring System helps drivers to stay safe and save fuel by alerting them when tyre pressure is too low. An Electronic Stability Program with rollover mitigation and trailer sway control helps to keep the vehicle under control even in adverse conditions. A Driver Impairment Monitor uses the forward-facing camera and on-board sensors to detect if the driver is drowsy also do duty.
Other smart technologies on the new Ranger include Hill Launch Assist, to help you confidently start off from a slope, whether in forward or reverse; Hill Descent Control, which uses the traction control system to help you descend steep slopes at a constant speed; Adaptive Load Control, which adjusts the Electronic Stability Control system based on vehicle load; and Emergency Brake Assistance, which provides additional pressure to the brake system to increase braking force when you apply the brakes quickly in an emergency situation wrap up the package.
As with any new Ford Ranger, the new Wildtrak is engineered and built to take on the world. With a class-leading ability to wade through water up to 800mm deep, and with 230mm of ground clearance, it can handle the most extreme terrains with ease.
A robust electronically controlled transfer case allows drivers in 4×4 models to shift on the fly from 4×2 to 4×4 high with a knob on the centre console. For low-speed torque or additional downhill braking, drivers can also engage low-range 4×4 gearing, while an electronic locking rear differential helps to improve traction in difficult conditions. These off-road strengths are matched by towing capability of up to 3500kg and exceptional payload capacity.
Impressive off-road credentials are matched with on-road manners that improve on the current Ranger – which already sets the standard in its class – thanks to fine-tuned suspension for additional comfort and even better handling.
The driving experience is further enhanced by an electric power-assisted steering (EPAS) system, which provides precise steering with a natural and confident feel. With EPAS, steering is light and manageable for low-speed manoeuvring, such as parking, and precise at higher speeds – with assistance varying as necessary based on speed, steering wheel angle, cornering forces and acceleration or deceleration. By eliminating the power steering pump used in a traditional power-steering system, EPAS also results in a quieter vehicle and improves fuel efficiency by about three percent.
The latest generation of Ford’s globally proven 3.2-liter Duratorq five-cylinder TDCi diesel engine powers the new Wildtrak, and enables its impressive capabilities. Putting out 147kW of power and 470Nm of torque for excellent towing performance, the engine features upgrades including an updated exhaust gas recirculation system help to improve fuel efficiency by up to 18 percent. It is paired to a six-speed automatic transmission, carefully calibrated to maximise performance, refinement and efficiency.
“For customers looking for a bakkie that shares their appetite for adventure, the new Wildtrak is the complete package,” said Worthington. “It’s the toughest, smartest, boldest Wildtrak we’ve ever made, and it’s ready to take on the world.”
The new Wildtrak will form part of the new Ranger line-up which will be launched in South Africa in the fourth quarter of this year.