Unveiled last Friday at the opening of the 2010 Australian International Motor Show, Ford’s all-new 2011 T6 Ranger has already been well received by show attendees and ute fans.
Nearly ready to go on sale in 180 markets around the world, the new Ranger has been developed in cooperation with the new Mazda BT-50. This new-generation Ranger is an integral part of Ford’s ‘One Ford’ strategy and was developed in Australia with 450 local engineers working on the project.
“In Australia, Ford reinforces its tough-truck credentials by revitalizing the Ford Courier and re-branding Ford Ranger around the world,” Ford Australia President and Managing Director Marin Burela said. “It’s anchored by work credibility, versatility and bolder styling, which will make it more appealing to a dual-purpose user.”
In terms of styling the 2011 Ranger moves a step closer to passenger cars in aesthetics, interior appointments as well as equipment levels. The Ranger’s interior design is intensely modern with Ford’s designers looking to ergonomically-designed tools and Casio’s G-Shock watches for inspiration.
Ford has revealed details on the available engines in the Ranger’s line-up, although pricing remains a secret for now.
Two new diesel engines will be offered with the Ranger, along with Ford’s new 6R80 six-speed automatic transmission and the MT82 six-speed manual transmission. Ford’s new common rail Duratorq TDCi diesel engines will see duty under the bonnet, starting with the 2.2 litre four-cylinder unit offering 110kW and 375Nm of torque. At the other end of the scale is Ford’s 3.2 litre five-cylinder producing 147kW and a stump-pulling 470Nm of torque.
Unlike some current ute ranges Ford will be offering a petrol model that uses a 122kW 2.5 litre Duratec four-cylinder petrol engine, mated to the MT75 five-speed manual transmission.
The new 6R80 six-speed automatic transmission will have two driving modes, Normal and Sport mode which will provide quicker shifts and a general sportier feel. Another feature of the six-speed auto is Ford’s Grade Control Logic, designed to automatically shift down on a downhill grade when sufficient brake pressure is sensed.
The 4WD models are equipped with an electronically controlled transfer case that allows drivers to shift from 4×2 to 4×4 through an electronic switch located on the console, while low range gearing can also be enabled when required.
In size the new Ranger is larger than its predecessor in almost every way. The new Double Cab model is 190mm longer, 43mm wider and 63mm taller, while its wheelbase has seen an increase by 220mm to 3220mm.
Carrying capacity has also increased with the more powerful engines now reaching 1500kg.
Safety features have been stepped up as well with all Ranger models equipped with a new Electronic Stability Program (ESP) system that includes four-wheel traction control, yaw control and roll-over mitigation, as standard. Other new tech includes Rear Park Assist and new Rearview Camera system, plus the availability of side curtain airbags on all cab styles for the first time.
In terms of suspension the new Ranger uses a coil-over-shock arrangement up front, while the rear gets a new leaf spring set up which is designed specifically to offer a more planeted ride at high speed on dirt roads, with reduced sway and less ‘skate’ on corrugated or rough surfaces. Minimum ground clearance on 4×4 models is 232mm when fitted with the stock 16-inch wheels. With new hard-rubber ‘hydro’ mounts between the rail and the cabin, Ford says the Ranger offers significantly improved comfort through reduced body shake.
The new Ranger will be built alongside the Mazda BT-50 in Thailand for global markets – but the US won’t be included.
Ford’s Global Product Development Vice President, Derrick Kuzak said that the new Ranger’s right-hand-drive layout and closeness in size to the US-market F-150 saw it ruled out for North American sales. According to Kuzak, the new Ranger is now only about 10 percent smaller than the F-150.
Check out images of the new Ford Ranger ute in the gallery below and let us know what you think of this new machine in the comments section. Will it sell more than the more radically styled BT-50 (read news).