Ford has continued dropping hints of the all-new Ranger despite the ongoing emergence of spy images showing the newcomer undergoing testing.
In the latest teaser clip, the Blue Oval’s Chief Program Engineer for the Ranger, John Willems, confirmed that extensive testing had taken place in various conditions in countries such as Australia, New Zealand, the United States and the Middle East in order to ensure “durability and reliability of the various components”.
“We’ve gone to great lengths to subject next-gen Ranger to extreme tests – stressing it much more than a typical consumer would – to help ensure it is ready to face everything life throws at it,” Willems said in an accompanying statement.
“Whether it’s tackling muddy bush tracks, coping with the rigours of extreme tropical weather, towing over alpine passes, or enduring temperatures of more than 50° Celsius, Ranger has to do it all”.
According to the Blue Oval, around 10 000 km of desert testing has gone into the Ranger, along with 625 000 km of off-road testing and the equivalent of 1 250 000 km ‘customer testing’ which likely refers to urban and everyday driving on town and city streets.
“Computer simulations have helped us speed up development, while lab testing has helped us refine and test specific components – but there really is no replacement for real-world testing to really see how it stands up to years of customer use,” Willems continued.
“Our job as engineers is to translate the customer experience insights into a clear product definition brief for the engineering group, which becomes the absolute reference for engineers.
“This is particularly important for the Ranger, given we are developing it to be sold across the globe,” he concluded, adding that the Ranger will be marketed in 180 countries.
Dearborn’s latest details comes less than a week after spy photographers exposed the Ranger’s face by way of a pair of images of the newcomer being tested in what appears to be Thailand where production take places for Australia and other Asia-Pacific markets.
Sporting the same design as the Maverick and the F-150, the ranger6g.com online forum, who posted the images in question, has uploaded another image depicting three Rangers next to each other with the same light black, white and blue masking.
According to the publication, the models are in fact the new XLT, FX4 and Wildtrak, though it didn’t any reveal any other details.
As is well known by now, the Ranger will provide the foundation for not only the next generation Everest, but also the Volkswagen Amarok with all three set to be built at Ford’s Silverton Plant outside Pretoria from next year following the Blue Oval’s record R15.8-billion investment into the plant back in February.
On course to ride on a revised version of the T6 platform reported to be called T6.2, the Ranger, and therefore the Everest and Amarok, will have a choice of three engines; the current single and bi-turbo 2.0-litre Panther turbodiesel and the 3.0-litre Powerstroke V6 famously axed from the F-150 earlier this year due to poor sales.
In North America, the 2.3 EcoBoost will reportedly gain electrification and become a plug-in hybrid, while a bigger engine petrol will serve as substitute for the six-cylinder diesel and come in the form of either the 2.7 EcoBoost V6 from the Bronco, or the twin-turbo 3.0 EcoBoost V6 from the Explorer ST.
Expect more teasers and clearer spy images to emerge over the coming weeks, including a possible launch date confirmation.