The Ford Ranger is officially returning to North American market in 2019, and the Blue Oval brand is putting its new US-spec version of the bakkie through what it describes as "torture testing".
In the video below, Ford shows the Ranger being put through its paces to ensure it meets “durability standards” and is “ready for adventure”.
“We torture every component – from its high-strength steel frame to its EcoBoost engine to its cloth- and leather-trimmed seats – to ensure Ranger is ready for any season and nearly any terrain,” said Rick Bolt, Ford Ranger chief engineer.
Ford says its “rigorous approach” to ensuring Ranger quality and capability starts in the lab, progresses to its proving grounds then is confirmed through "intense real-world challenges in locations near and far”.
At the brand’s Michigan proving grounds, a fully loaded Ranger hits the Silver Creek track with impacts Ford says are “so severe robotic drivers are used so humans don’t get injured”.
In the lab, a four-post shaker table “abuses Ranger for days” to check against squeaks and rattles. In the real world, Ranger towing capability is tested in high temperatures on the unforgiving steep grades of Davis Dam in Arizona, while the Australian Outback treats the bakkie to more heat and choking dust over harsh off-road terrain.
While SA-spec bakkies come from the Silverton Assembly Plant in Pretoria – where Ford will also assemble the new Ranger Raptor from 2019 – this US-spec model will be built in Michigan, as the nameplate returns to North America after an absence of about seven years.
Ryan has spent most of his career in online media, writing about everything from sport to politics and other forms of crime. But his true passion – reignited by a 1971 Austin Mini Mk3 still tucked lifeless in a dark corner of his garage – is of the automotive variety.