New Ford Ranger is first ute to earn 5-Star safety

The latest round of Euro NCAP safety testing has revealed that Ford’s new Ranger is the first pickup to achieve the organisation’s highest five-star rating. The 2012 Ranger finished with an overall score of 89%, which is the best ever recorded by a pickup truck in the European testing.

To break it down, the Ranger scored 96 percent for adult occupant safety, 86 percent for child occupant safety and 81 percent for pedestrian safety. The pickup’s “safety assist” systems also achieved a 71 percent score. The most impressive figure here is the 81 percent for pedestrian safety, this is the best rating ever for pedestrian protection among the cars tested by the Euro NCAP since it was established in 1997. A surprising result for a high-riding ute.

Euro NCAP secretary general Michiel van Ratingen, said: “With such good pedestrian protection, the Ford Ranger is undoubtedly raising the bar of safety in the category of pickup trucks, which had until now not proven to be the safest.”

The pedestrian safety technologies include a “hexageneous” under-bonnet structure to reduce the potential for pedestrian head injuries, and a pedestrian-friendly front bumper design incorporating energy-absorbing materials.

To achieve the result, Ford engineers started with simulating more than 9,000 virtual crashes to optimize the Ranger’s structure and safety system before moving on to testing the pickup. There, they completed 110 actual crash tests and 410 system sled tests with actual prototypes.

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