The new Ranger Wildtrak, the ultimate model in the Ford Ranger line-up, made its global debut on 10 June 2015, ready to take on the world with a new array of smart technologies and an even bolder look for one of the world’s toughest and most capable trucks.
“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 capability with stand-out styling and premium features.”
To mark the Wildtrak clearly as the flagship of the Ranger lineup, designers worked to emphasize 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 color continues to the side mirrors, door handles, side air vents, bed rails and tail lamps for a dark, sporty appearance.
“The accent colors 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 recognizable 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 emphasize 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 color 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 color to add a sense of sportiness to a strikingly modern and car-like interior. A strong horizontal beam spanning from driver to passenger door emphasizes 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.”
The smartest yet
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.
SYNC 2, the latest generation of Ford’s in-car connectivity system, gives drivers smarter and safer ways to stay connected. Using natural voice commands, like “temperature 20 degrees”, “play Motörhead” or “I’m hungry”, the driver can control the car’s climate controls, entertainment system and navigation system more easily than ever before. An eight-inch touchscreen places more controls at the driver’s fingertips, with color-coded corners for easy menu navigation.
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 civilization.
There is also an array of driver assist technologies that help to make your drive more convenient.
• Lane Keeping Alert and Lane Keeping Aid work together to help to prevent the driver from unintentionally drifting out of a lane when driving at high speeds. If the forward-facing camera detects the vehicle is straying from its lane, Lane Keeping Alert warns the driver with a vibration in the steering wheel. If no action is taken to correct the drift, Lane Keeping Aid applies steering torque to guide the vehicle back into its lane;
• Adaptive Cruise Control makes use of radar sensors to maintain both a preset speed as well as a preset distance from the vehicle ahead. When the system detects a vehicle ahead, it decelerates automatically to maintain a safe distance. It accelerates back to the driver’s preset cruising speed when the road ahead clears. An adjustable speed limiter helps drivers avoid unintentionally exceeding their selected speed;
• Forward Alert 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. The system also charges the brakes to ensure optimum braking performance;
• Front and Rear Park Assist 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;
• Tire Pressure Monitoring System helps drivers to stay safe and save fuel by alerting them when tire pressure is too low;
• Electronic Stability Program with rollover mitigation and trailer sway control helps to keep the vehicle under control even in adverse conditions
Driver Impairment Monitor uses the forward-facing camera and on-board sensors to detect if the driver is drowsy. If it notices signs such as drifting off course and sudden corrective steering inputs, the system warns the driver with gradually louder signals;
• In markets where it is available, Emergency Assistance uses a Bluetooth-paired and connected phone to call local emergency services in the event of a serious collision. The system communicates details of the accident and your vehicle’s location, and then opens the line to let you speak directly with responders;
• 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.
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 800 mm deep, and with 230 mm 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 center 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 3,500 kg 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 maneuvering, 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 147 kW of power and 470 Nm 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 maximize performance, refinement and efficiency.
“For customers looking for a truck 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.
* Driver assistance technologies do not work in all conditions and are supplementary and do not replace driver judgment.
^ Specific feature availability varies by market