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Courier is taken to Extreme

Transformed: The Ranger Extreme has turned the humble Courier light commercial into a macho off-roader.

Ford Malaysia's latest model has strong links with two Australian companies

31 Jan 2002

IT may look like a Ford Courier to us in Australia, but this is actually the Ranger Extreme, Ford Malaysia's latest lifestyle four-wheel drive model.

Released in Malaysia just over a fortnight ago, it is also the latest example of work from Ford's OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturer) supplier UP Tooling.

The Melbourne-based manufacturing company is also responsible for the V8 Supercar-inspired bodykit on the Havoc Falcon, which was shown at last year's Sydney motor show, as well as styling components on the latest Ford T-Series range and the Mitsubishi Magna VRX.

UP Tooling has been working with Tickford for over a decade, mostly as a supplier of composite tooling, but more recently providing mouldings as well.

As the design work for the Ranger Extreme was undertaken by Tickford, the link between the two operations led to UP Tooling picking up the contract for the bodykit components on the Extreme.

Initial plans were for 700-800 examples of the special edition Ranger to be produced each year, but following a strong response to the vehicle at the launch in mid-January, that number has increased to 1200 units.

On top of the standard Ranger XLT specification, the Extreme picks up a new grille with dual-lamp headlight surrounds, dual-entry bonnet scoop, three-inch wide wheel arch extensions, new rocker panels, 16-inch alloy wheels and a lockable hard tonneau.

The Ranger Extreme is a Malaysia-only model at this stage, but Ford Australia is looking at the project and considering aspects of the bodykit for a sports version of the Courier in the local line-up.

"We've had a good look at it and we're looking to pick up some bits and pieces out of it for the future, particularly things like the bodykit, the wheelarch flares and the alloy wheels," Ford SUV, 4WD and light commercial vehicle marketing manager Kevin Lillie said.

"It's just a matter of how you can deliver it so that it meets Australian design requirements and all of the other requirements that we have here that may be different from the Asian markets."

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