The new Wildtrak, the ultimate model in the Ford Ranger line-up, made its global debut last week, with a new array of smart technologies and an even bolder look for one of the world’s toughest and most capable trucks.
To mark the Wildtrak clearly the flagship of the Ranger line-up, designers worked to emphasize its tough, sophisticated design. Flanked by projector headlamps, the bold trapezoidal grille with strong outboard nostrils is finished in dark, liquid metallic gray. The same accent color continues to the side mirrors, door handles, side air vents, bed rails and tail lamps to create a dark, sporty appearance.
The new Wildtrak features design elements that are both premium and functional. Rectangular fog lamps and a unique sport-scoop emphasize the unique nature of the Wildtrak and give it a more technical, refined appearance. Sitting high on exclusive machined 18-inch alloy wheels and adorned with bold Wildtrak graphics, the new design communicates a fearless sense of adventure. Even the Wildtrak’s signature orange color has been tweaked to help it stand out from the crowd.
Inside, orange is used as a strong accent color to add a sense of sportiness to a strikingly modern and car-like interior. A strong horizontal beam spanning from driver to passenger door emphasizes the cabin’s width and houses a dual-TFT instrument cluster, an eight-inch touchscreen and air conditioning registers. A soft-touch instrument panel top with an orange accent stitch imparts a premium feel to the cockpit without sacrificing toughness. Punctuating the horizontal theme, rings around the air registers are finished in shadow chrome, which features a smoky finish inspired by high-end machinery.
Combining toughness, durability and sportiness, the new Wildtrak also features a unique eight-way power adjustable driver’s seat – with bold graphical elements and orange stitching.
The smartest pickup
The new Wildtrak boasts a full array of cutting-edge technologies to help drivers stay connected and in control. SYNC 2, the latest generation of Ford’s in-car connectivity system, gives drivers smarter and safer ways to stay connected. Using natural voice commands, like “temperature 20 degrees,” “play Motorhead” or “I’m hungry,” the driver can control the car’s climate controls, entertainment system and navigation system more easily than ever before. An eight-inch touchscreen places more controls at the driver’s fingertips, with color-coded corners for easy menu navigation.
For extra convenience, the new Ranger features a 230-volt power socket that can be used to power a laptop or tablet computer anywhere, even far from civilization.
Included in the wide array of driver assist technologies available with the Ranger Wildtrak are Lane Keeping Alert and Lane Keeping Aid. The systems work together to help to prevent the driver from unintentionally drifting out of a lane when driving at high speeds. If the forward-facing camera detects the vehicle is straying from its lane, the Lane Keeping Alert warns the driver with a vibration in the steering wheel. If no action is taken to correct the drift, Lane Keeping Aid applies steering torque to guide the vehicle back into its lane. Meanwhile, Adaptive Cruise Control makes use of radar sensors to maintain both a preset speed as well as a preset distance from the vehicle ahead. When the system detects a vehicle ahead, it decelerates automatically to maintain a safe distance. It accelerates back to the driver’s preset cruising speed when the road ahead clears. An adjustable speed limiter helps drivers avoid unintentionally exceeding their selected speed.
Forward Alert works with Adaptive Cruise Control to give drivers a visual and audible warning when the gap to a vehicle ahead drops below the safe distance. The system also charges the brakes to ensure optimum braking performance.
Furthermore, Front and Rear Park Assist uses sensors to detect obstacles and provide audible warnings when the vehicle approaches obstructions at low speeds, such as when parking. A rear-view camera gives a clear view behind the vehicle, giving greater confidence when parking and hitching up a trailer. Another feature of the Wildtrak is the Tire Pressure Monitoring System that helps drivers stay safe and save fuel by alerting them when pressure of a tire or tires is too low.
Electronic Stability Program with rollover mitigation and trailer sway control helps to keep the vehicle under control even in adverse conditions, and Driver Impairment Monitor uses the forward-facing camera and on-board sensors to detect if the driver is drowsy. If it notices signs such as drifting off course and sudden corrective steering inputs, the system warns the driver with gradually louder signals.
Other smart technology on the new Ranger is the Hill Launch Assist that helps drivers confidently start off from a slope, whether in forward or reverse while Hill Descent Control uses the traction control system to help a driver control the Wildtrak to descend steep slopes at a constant speed.
Last but not least, Adaptive Load Control adjusts the Electronic Stability Control system based on vehicle load and Emergency Brake Assistance provides additional pressure to the brake system to increase braking force when the brakes are applied quickly in an emergency situation.
As with any new Ford Ranger, the new Wildtrak is engineered and built to take on the world. With a class-leading ability to wade through water up to 800 millimeters deep and with 230 mm of ground clearance, it can handle the most extreme terrains with ease. A robust electronically controlled transfer case allows drivers of the 4×4 models to shift on the fly from 4×2 to 4×4 high with a knob on the center console. For low-speed torque or additional downhill braking, drivers can also engage low-range 4×4 gearing, while an electronic locking rear differential helps to improve traction in difficult conditions. These off-road strengths are matched by towing capability of up to 3,500 kilograms and exceptional payload capacity.
The Wildtrak’s suspension has been extensively fine-tuned to give occupants additional comfort and even better handling. The driving experience is further enhanced by an electric power-assisted steering (EPAS) system that provides precise steering with a natural and confident feel. With EPAS, steering is light and manageable for low-speed maneuvering, such as parking and precise at higher speeds – with assistance varying as necessary based on speed, steering wheel angle, cornering forces and acceleration or deceleration. By eliminating the power steering pump used in a traditional power-steering system, EPAS also results in quieter operation and improves fuel efficiency by about 3.0 percent.
The latest generation of Ford’s globally proven 3.2-liter Duratorq five-cylinder TDCi diesel engine powers the new Wildtrak and gives it impressive capabilities on and off the road. Putting out 200 PS of power and 470 Nm of torque for excellent towing performance, the engine features upgrades including an updated exhaust gas recirculation system that helps to improve fuel efficiency. It is paired to a six-speed automatic transmission that is carefully calibrated to maximize performance, refinement and efficiency.