While the upcoming Ford Ranger is a rugged 4×4 truck on the outside, it does not mean that the Ranger needs to be stripped out on the inside. Instead, the Ranger is packed with technologies that you would not normally find in a run-of-the-mill truck.
For instance, the truck features the Bluetooth Voice Control system that lets the driver operate paired mobile phone, audio system and dual zone climate control using voice commands. The driver’s voice is picked up by a microphone and is activated with a button on the steering wheel.
Both hands can safely grasp the steering while making a phone call, skipping music track, changing radio stations and tweaking the temperature. Drivers can also control the iPod and other external devices plugged into the USB port by using voice commands as well.
Since the audio system is part of the Human Machine Interface in the central control and is seamlessly integrated into the centre dashboard. Potential thieves have to look elsewhere. The central control panel is inspired by the latest communication devices, which also includes with a joystick as a control element and soft feel number pad to entire phone numbers.
The basis for the electrical architecture is shared with the upcoming Focus and the current Mondeo. It comes from Ford’s common global electrical architecture that allows engineers to share components and features between vehicles. Upgrades can also be easily done when new features roll out.
In sharing the electrical platform, Ranger will have cruise control, rain-sensing wipers, automatic wiper park, auto defrosting and electrochromatic rear view mirror that automatically dims to prevent glare from too-bright headlights of cars at the back. There is also a Thatcham-rated alarm system complete with interior motion sensors, battery back-up siren and dead locks.
The 4×4 also features automatic headlights that respond to low light conditions, puddle lights than turns on when unlocking the vehicle and Follow-Me-Home sage lights that remain on for a minute after you’ve switched off the engine. The Ranger also automatically activates the hazard lights when the driver hits the brakes suddenly, warning the drivers behind to slow down immediately.
There is one more feature that drivers will find useful in the Ranger – the Rear View Camera System. It displays images not on the usual monitor on the dashboard but on a section of the rear view mirror. The system will also display marker lines that indicate the width and distance to the closest objects.
Parking sensors are ultrasonic, meaning it beeps quicker when objects become nearer. It will also display an image of the pickup truck with sensor indicators that can also give drivers an approximate distance of the nearest object.
With the Ranger, not only do you get the go-everywhere capability of a truck but also the comfort and convenience of a modern sedan.