Thursday, November 17, 2005

The Myth of the divergant Rangers

OK, now this is something that has bothered me for months and I don't want to put anyone person on the spot, but Jeff Fischer, who I respect and acknowledge as a well informed automotive enthusiast and pundit, responded to one of my recent posts and in his answer is the perpetuation of a myth that needs to stop now. The Myth of the Divergant Rangers there simpy is no truth to this.

Here is part of Jeff's answer, so you can read what he was told by a Ford Employee;
"The next Ranger could be nothing more than a shortened Explorer... which would match up very well (and better, since it's an excellent platform) with the competition. The GM trucks in this size range are fine mechanically... but are almost the ugliest things GM has.Had an interesting talk with a Ford engineer a little while ago... while I can't go into details I did find out that a Ranger replacement is planned yet again (of course these days who knows where the budget is) - but it will have to share a single platform and suspension worldwide. That's what I was told... keep in mind that there are currently a couple of different platforms worldwide all labeled "Ranger" and apparently somebody has an idea of doing this with 1 response (Nissan and Toyota does, why can't Ford?). The term "worldwide" to me means low common denominator for the places where a truck is still a truck (aka where it would actually be used as a truck). Furthermore that says the Explorer platform would be too expensive."
Now, I'm not saying Jeff is wrong, I'm saying he's misinformed by his friend. Jeff isn't the only pundit or blogger that has passed on this same eronious information. And the shame is that anyone who takes the time to check Ford's Global websites, can see the truth for themselves. This Red Ranger Crew Cab is from the UK, and is the same one that's available in Mexico, All of Europe, Australia (as the Courier) Indonesia, Malaysia, Philipines, Taiwan, Thailand and all of Africa and the Middle East as well as South America. Depending on where you are it's called eitiher the Courier or the Ranger, but look at the photos and specs and they are all the same truck.
This truck, the same one sold in the US for over a decade!!
The major differences are the optional crew cab and available 2.5L Diesel. Otherwise, the same chassis with torsion bar front suspension is offered globally.
I posted months ago, that this "new" grille for the 06 Ranger was in fact one from the overseas parts bin. That's all the difference, minor sheetmetal and lighting differences.
Now with SUVs there is a huge difference, the Explorer is available almost everywhere in the world as well.
But the Endeavor or Everest, again depending on where it's sold, is for markets where the Explorer's IRS and soft road suspension is not suited to the roads or lack of. This is popular in Asia and the Middle East. This is based on the Ranger/Courier.

So maybe Jeff's friend is correct that for the Ranger to continue being a global vehicle the above concept, which is actually a photoshop image, based on the Explorer, would not be likely.

But unless someone can produce a picture of the "other" Ranger, I would consider this MYTH BUSTED!!

Again, this is not directed to Jeff, this is something I've heard time and again from all over the Internet and from knowledgable guys. This is just one of those urban legends that gets reapeated so often that people assume it's true. I've checked every global Ford and Mazda site I can and not found any indication that Mazda even builds a unique truck anywhere either.

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