Identifying the details that separate a good bakkie from a great one is all in a day’s work for the team behind the all-conquering Ford Ranger.
Not content with packing the bakkie with globally recognised levels of versatility, capability and performance, the engineering and design team behind Ranger also dialled in the kinds of details that only real bakkie owners need and come to rely on.
Some features are more obvious than others; the benefits of a powerful engine and large cargo bed are clear – but what about the smaller things? Here are seven ways the team at Ford has focused on those finer details to make the Ranger and Ranger Raptor a far more driver and user focused tool for work and play.
Parents know how difficult it is to keep latching a child car seat between vehicles. ISOfix is the international standard anchor point for safely securing a child car seat. Anchor bars on the lower portion of the seat make it easier and safer for parents to transfer a child seat from vehicle to vehicle. ISOfix also reduces the chances of incorrectly securing the child seat using the seatbelt. This makes the Ranger the perfect vehicle for families that need a work and play vehicle.
From navigating off-road trails to carrying kayaks and camping gear to an out-of-the-way spot, Ranger makes it all possible. But that capability would mean nothing if you couldn’t fully exploit the Ranger’s 1.1-tonne maximum payload capacity. To ensure you and your cargo arrive safely, Ford engineers incorporated a number of tie-down points into the load box to give owners and operators complete peace of mind when securing a load. When not it use, the tie-down points fold flat into the cargo bed floor, out of the way.
On-Board Trip Computer
All Rangers are equipped with an on-board trip computer which gives you insightful figures on your fuel consumption, distance covered, speed and even temperatures. Even the workhorse XL and XLS models gets a handy computer that gives drivers the information they need to monitor their movements. On certain Ranger Wildtrak models the on-board computer can set certain driver assist technologies and safety features. The Ranger Raptor’s on-board computer clearly displays the different drive modes and handy off-road telemetry like pitch and yaw. If you’re planning on going out to a remote area, the on-board trip computer comes to use, especially if there aren’t any refueling stations nearby.
Electronic Shift On-The-Fly Switch
Ford has made switching between two- and four-wheel-drive as simple as turning a dial, giving Ranger drivers the confidence to tackle any terrain. The Electronic Shift On-The-Fly (ESOF) dial is a three-position control that replaces the traditional floor mounted shift lever. It sits next to other drive control switches like traction control and the rear locking differential and allows the driver to switch between 2H and 4H without stopping or slowing the Ranger down. An electric motor is used to engage the transfer case while shifting into 4L for more challenging terrain. Being able to manipulate the switch easily with two fingers rather than manually shifting a transfer case brings a new level of ease in using the Ranger. Martin Steyn, Vehicle Integration Supervisor, Ranger Raptor says, “The ability to transform your road going fuel efficient work horse or family hauler by the flick of the ESOF switch and turn it into a very capable off-road machine for any terrain gives Ranger owners a unique experience.”
Remote Keyless Entry is a huge help for those who know what it’s like to arrive at your bakkie with armloads of gear. With Keyless Entry, owners can open their locked vehicle without triggering the key fob, which means they don’t have to set their load down. Beyond just a convenience, the key fob is also added security for your vehicle. It is programmed specifically to match only with your Ranger.
Terrain Management System
“The Ranger Raptor helps you conquer any terrain with the push of the Terrain Management System Mode (TMS) button. The Ranger Raptor’s signature Baja mode transforms your daily driver into a high-performance sports vehicle that glides over terrain at high speed,” says David Burn, Ranger Ford Performance and Special Vehicle Engineering Chief Program Engineer. TMS modes have been programmed to optimise the Ranger Raptor to be able to drive on slippery surfaces, mud and sand, rock crawl and extreme off-road conditions with just a press of a button on your steering wheel. Much like its bigger cousin the F-150 Raptor, this button is designed to be easily operated even when you’re wearing gloves. The location of the button allows you to switch modes while on the move without having to lift your hands off the steering wheel.
Steering Wheel Stripe
That little red marker on the Ranger Raptor’s steering wheel at the 12 o’clock position is more than a simple styling touch. In fact, its purpose is much more important than people think. “It helps a driver when they’re driving aggressively and helps them know which way the wheels are pointing. It is designed to be in the driver’s peripheral vision and is checked to make sure it is within the vision zone. This is more function over form,” says Justin Capicchiano, Ford Performance Program Manager.