Customers Helped Create Athletic, Bold And Distinctively Styled Next-Generation Ford Ranger Wildtrak Design

Ford designers used customer insights and award-winning global pickup formula to create an iconic and versatile Ranger.
Next-Generation Ranger Wildtrak features an athletic, confident and rugged exterior echoing Ford’s global truck design DNA.
Interior includes a stylish new cockpit, user-friendly technology, and a premium, versatile and spacious cabin.

With an athletic exterior and premium interior, the Next-Generation Ford Ranger is the result of deep customer insight, developed through extensive customer research into what makes a great pickup.

Designers took these insights, plus Ranger’s award-winning pickup formula, to create the Next-Generation Ranger Wildtrak – the one iconic, versatile and trusted pickup customers trust to tackle almost anything.

“In a very real sense, our customers have been with us all along the vehicle development journey,” said Max Tran, chief designer for Ranger. “We reimagined the Ranger from understanding and interpreting how our customers used their truck and what they expected from a pickup.

“This journey started even before we put pen to paper with our first sketches,” Tran said. “We were not just trying to create a good truck. We wanted to create an exceptional one that inspired owners every time they saw their Ranger in their driveway.”

“Seeing owners use their trucks, whether for work, family or play, inspired some fantastic ideas that drove our design and development decisions,” said Tran. “One great example of that is the integrated box side-step. During our clinic sessions, we noticed that many customers had trouble reaching over the side of the truck into the bed; others were standing on the rear tire or the bumper to gain access.

“So, we came up with the idea of a box step, behind the rear wheel,” he said. “We mocked one up, tested it with owners and the response was overwhelming. People told us that step would be reason enough to buy the Ford Ranger.”

Exterior Design

The exterior design of the Next-Generation Ranger followed two important guiding principles: to bring it into the future and to make it Built Ford Tough.

The pickup’s athleticism is intentional, with surface treatments executed to be strong and muscular. From the bold new grille with its C-clamp headlights, daytime running lights and strong horizontal upper grille bar, to the pronounced wheel arches, strong shoulder line and large sculpted Ranger logo on the tailgate, the Next-Generation Ranger conveys confidence and capability.

At the rear, the taillamps were designed in harmony with the graphics of the C-clamp headlight treatment. A 50mm increase in track and 50mm longer wheelbase than the prior Ranger allowed designers to push the front wheels out to the corners, enhancing its on-road stance.

“We’ve taken everything we loved about the Ranger and really brought that into the future,” Tran said. “We’ve managed to create a bold new look while preserving the ruggedness and capability that people love about their current truck – and we’re excited to finally be able to show it to the world.”

Up to eight different exciting exterior colors have been introduced into the line-up, evolving the Ranger’s exterior color palette with innovative and on-trend offerings to suit customer lifestyles.

Interior design

Inside, the Next-Generation Ranger Wildtrak features a stylish new cockpit, user-friendly technology and a premium, versatile and spacious cabin. Designers focused on establishing a strong visual harmony inside to complement the durable and robust exterior.

Soft-touch materials and appliques elevate the interior ambience while the new instrument panel adopts a coast-to-coast design that creates a more spacious feel. Several design cues also are carried over from the exterior: the air vent vanes feature a similar design to those in the front grille, and several exterior surface treatments have been adapted for interior use.

The dash is dominated by a high-resolution touchscreen solidly mounted into the center stack, complementing the digital instrument cluster. Customers preferred the screen’s portrait orientation because it created enough space for navigation screens while also leaving room in the lower portion of the screen for other menus, like those for the climate and entertainment controls.

Another key area of customer input was the available e-shifter for its automatic transmission. Ford initially created a rotary dial gear selector, but customers preferred the short-throw e-shifter because it boosted the truck’s high-tech appeal.

Designers also reimagined key aspects of the cabin; for example, how the door release handles could be better integrated into the ‘coast-to-coast’ dashboard design, making them easier to use. Again, customer feedback led to the door release handles being mounted lower – looking more linear to provide easier reach to window switches and the armrests. The interior also features more soft-touch materials around the cabin for a premium feel.

The seats also have been redesigned, with new bolsters and foam inserts that are more inviting, stylish and comfortable. Versatility is key with the second-row seats now folding flat and boasting out-of-sight and secure under-seat storage. Rear occupants also have heating and cooling outlets at the rear of the center console. There is also an added storage area in the door pockets with space both in the front and back.

“We are confident that the launch of the Next-Generation Ranger in the Middle East will meet the needs of our region's fearless experts, as the nameplate was produced and designed with their family, work, and play requirements in mind,” said Pedro Simões, Marketing Director at Ford Middle East. “In light of this, we're interested to see how owners will make use of the new technology and design.”