Ford’s continual drip-feed of new information on the all-new Ranger ute continued overnight, with the release of more images showing the popular nameplate being torture tested overseas.
Ford is currently putting the Ranger through its last test programmes in Thailand and Australia, before the model gets revealed in full later this year. Its local launch is scheduled for mid-2022.
The latest series of images doesn’t necessarily highlight much that we haven’t already seen, although they do give an insight into the kinds of testing Ford has been putting the Ranger through.
Ford says that the Ranger has covered 10,000km of desert driving during testing, “the equivalent of” 1,250,000km of customer driving, and “the equivalent of” 625,000km of off-road driving at maximum load capacity.
“Earning a Built Ford Tough status is not something we take lightly. Every part of the next-generation Ranger was tested to the same standards that we demand of every Ford vehicle,” says Ford Ranger Chief Program Engineer John Willems.
“It’s important that our customers are able to rely on Ranger to deliver years of dependable service. So, 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.
“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.”
In addition, Ford notes that it’s done plenty of computer simulation tests and real-world lab tests on the Ranger, too. The latter includes the use of a ‘ squeak and rattle rig’, which exposes the model’s full body and suspension to test cycles that can last over 24 hours, in an attempt to find component and structure shortcomings.
“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 explained.
“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.”