GO
GoAutoLogo
MENU

Make / Model Search

Future models - Ford - Ranger - Max

First look: Max previews Ford's Aussie Ranger

Made in Australia: One-tonne utility concept previews next-gen Ranger.

Ford Australia brings the T6 ute alive with Ranger Max pick-up concept

4 Dec 2008

FORD has unveiled an Australian-designed show truck at the 2008 Thailand International Motor Expo, demonstrating the design direction the Blue Oval brand has taken for the forthcoming redesigned Ranger one-tonne ute.

Due for release in 2010, although the current economic conditions could see that pushed back, the next-generation Ranger is being designed and engineered in Australia on a new global platform codenamed T6, and this is the first indication of what the vehicle will look like.

The sporting intentions are obvious, which is a significant move considering the unremarkable sales of the current version and the emergence of high-performance light trucks Down Under – not to mention the question mark hanging over the medium- to long-term future of Falcon-based utilities.

Questions have risen in recent months after the Ford Motor Co placed its global rear-wheel drive development program on hold and revealed that it was considering a front-wheel drive future for the Falcon.

27 center imageSuch a move could mean the end of, or at least a radical shift for, the popular and iconic Falcon-based utes as we know them. It could also see the end of Falcon ute production in Australia, which in turn could see the Ranger – which is currently built in Thailand – rolling down the assembly line at Ford Australia’s Broadmeadows plant in Victoria.

Being built off a workhorse, rather than passenger car, platform virtually guarantees the Ranger will never be in the same performance league as the Falcon ute.

Mechanical specifications for the next-generation truck are also still to be divulged, but the concept, known as the Ranger Max, shown here at least features a strong and sporting new design with a number of elements expected to be transferred to the production version.

Note in particular the big three-bar chrome grille, bonnet ‘power dome’, deep-dish 18-inch alloy wheels, a unique crossbar/sports bar (sculpted with air scoops and integrated grabhandles) that runs across the back of the cab, and a customised remote-control hard tonneau that covers the tub.

Chief designer Paul Gibson, who works with Ford’s Australian-based Asia Pacific and Africa development team, said the Ranger Max carried design cues that could be seen in the forthcoming all-new model.

“The Ranger Max is not just about creating show excitement,” he said. “We have a great opportunity to test design themes that may make their way into production. Ranger Max says exciting things about the possibilities for truck fans in Ranger’s future.

“When you look at the front design, the three-bar grille, the overt nostrils and open mouth, you're looking straight into the face of Ranger’s evolution. There are design elements we are developing and Ranger Max is one possibility.

“We’ve crafted the face of the Ranger Max to explore a new look. Elements from it could evolve into the new identity of Ford Ranger.”

Likening the Ranger design to a modern industrial tool, Mr Gibson said the orange paintwork with matte black accents was inspired by the functional design found in power tools. Other inspirations apparently came from active sports such as rock climbing.

In other global Blue Oval news, Ford has announced the addition of two new variants to its Kuga compact SUV range in Europe, which could also eventually go on sale here.

First up is a new front-wheel drive version of the existing 2.0-litre turbo-diesel variant, with the 2.0-litre TDCi 2WD lowering CO2 emissions to 159g/km.

Second is a 2.5-litre Duratec all-wheel drive version, powered by a 147kW/320Nm five-cylinder petrol engine similar to that seen in the Focus ST, Mondeo and S-Max.

In six-speed manual guise, Ford's new Kuga flagship (pictured above) is claimed to sprint to 100km/h in 8.2 seconds.

As well as a five-speed automatic transmission, new Kuga options in the UK also include a reversing camera, a panoramic glass sunroof and run-flat tyres.

Read more:

Small cars are safety stars - for now

First drive: Blue Oval calls in the Ranger

Ford wants Australia to be Kuga country

Five stars for Ford's Kuga

Ford Australia could build Kuga

Ford puts front foot forward


The Road to Recovery podcast series


All future models

Ranger pricing

Motor industry news

GoAutoNews is Australia’s number one automotive industry journal covering the latest news, future and new model releases, market trends, industry personnel movements, and international events.

Click to share

Click below to follow us on
Facebook  Twitter  Instagram

Ford models

All future models

Ranger pricing

Motor industry news

GoAutoNews is Australia’s number one automotive industry journal covering the latest news, future and new model releases, market trends, industry personnel movements, and international events.

Catch up on all of the latest industry news with this week's edition of GoAutoNews
Click here