News - Ford - Ranger
Next-gen Ford Ranger edges closer
Ford details prototype testing regime ahead of Ranger’s end of year launch
21 Oct 2021
By MATT BROGAN
FORD has detailed the grueling testing regime undergone by its upcoming Ranger as part of an on-going teaser campaign ahead of the model’s launch at the of the year.
The blue oval says Australian input has been an imperative part of the ‘T7’ Ranger’s development, and that local engineers pulled no punches in ensuring the ute is not only capable and customer ready, but that it also meets Ford’s stringent quality, reliability, and durability standards.
Much of the Ranger’s testing took place in Australia, the variability of extreme conditions on offer ideal for ensuring the model’s fitness for sale in over 180 countries across the globe. Ford clocked up over 10,000km of desert driving it says is the equivalent of 1.25 million customer kilometres, and the equivalent of 625,000km of rugged off-road durability testing at maximum payload 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 we demand of every Ford vehicle,” chief program engineer John Willems said.
Ford said it will continue to test the Ranger not only in some of the toughest terrains in the world, but also in the laboratory. Here, engineers subject the Ranger to thousands of hours of computer simulations and thousands more of real-world simulations testing elements including aerodynamic performance and structural durability.
“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,” Mr Willems said.
“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.
“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.”
Ford said the laboratory testing, which takes place at its facilities across the globe, mimics a variety of real-world scenarios and that the latest Ranger has been subjected to more physical and virtual testing than any iteration before it.
Some tests are deemed too rigorous for humans to endure, says Ford, with engineers instead utilising computer simulations and robotics in instances where continual and repeated test cycles are performed.
“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,” Mr Willems said.
Ford Australia says its next-generation utility will be the “most capable and most connected Ranger yet” when it debuts before the end of 2022. Full specification and pricing details will be announced closer to the model’s launch.
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