This week Ford took the wraps off their new Ranger bakkie and Everest SUV in Thailand. Both models are destined to land on South African shores in the fourth quarter of 2015. Prices and exact specifications for our market will be announced at launch – but for now, here are the salient points and an assortment of pictures.
Ford’s billing the new Ranger as tough and smart. Locally, the bakkie has garnered praise for its car-like persona in the face of more agricultural peers in the segment. It even made it as a Car of the Year finalist. And the plusher, technologically-sharper model looks set to stay in this premium truck vein.
The suspension has been tweaked with a bias towards comfort and handling, although the off-road credentials still seem very much in tact. Ford claims a wading depth of 800 mm, a 28-degree approach angle and a 25-degree departure angle. Low-range gearing and an electronic locking rear differential also feature. In addition, the Ranger has a towing capability of up to 3500 kg.
Ford also says they’ve been more liberal with the sound deadening and insulation materials. Inside, you’ll also find the newest generation of Ford’s Sync connectivity system. A highlight of Sync has always been the voice command function. And in the Ranger, drivers will be able to adjust the climate control – in addition to the audio system, by speaking.
And there’s also more in the way of driver assistance systems. Features like lane keeping alert and lane keeping aid serve to avoid straddling the road’s lines. Adaptive cruise control maintains a set distance from the vehicle ahead. Plus, the forward alert system indicates if you’re following too closely to the car in front. A Driver Impairment Monitor will also be available. It uses a camera and on-board sensors to detect if the driver is drowsy.
Things remain largely the same on the power front, with Ford’s proven diesel mills doing duty – although they’ve undergone revision. The 3.2-litre Duratorq, five-cylinder mill received an updated exhaust gas recirculation system, which purportedly improves efficiency by 18 percent. The 2.2-litre derivative will be offered in two states of tune (118kW and 96kW); or you can have Ford’s 2.5-litre Duratec petrol engine with 122kW and 225Nm. Measures like automatic stop-start promise to boost economy.
The larger Everest is pretty much identical to its sibling, save for the added practicality of a third seating row. This third row can be lifted and stowed electronically. There are around 30 storage spaces inside the cabin. Ranger models for the African and European markets will be manufactured at the Silverton Assembly plant in Pretoria, South Africa. The Everest will be manufactured at the AutoAlliance Thailand plant in Rayong, Thailand.