Peek behind the Ford Design curtain and discover, in 90 seconds, how Ford went from a doodle on a sketchbook to the brand's most powerful Ranger to date: The next-generation Ranger Raptor.
Hundreds of sketches, thousands of kilos of clay and hundreds of liters of paint. Sure, new cars are built by sophisticated machines on massive production lines, but the first step in the process starts with the craftsmen.
As with all our vehicles, the design of the new-generation Ranger Raptor began with a simple brief. This forms the backbone of the vehicle's design, confirming its inspiration and design essentials.
Once the design brief is locked in, the designers start drawing, and that's how it works. "always start with pencil and paper".says Dave Dewitt, responsible for the Ranger Raptor's exterior design. Once the sketches have been approved, "and there were hundreds of them", says Dewitt, the digital design team recreates them virtually both as a reference document and to feed the next step, clay modeling.
Using over 4,000 kg of clay, 1/3-scale models, then full-size models, are first sculpted by machines, before the finishing touches are added by master sculptors. For their part, the design managers approve the clay design, and for their part, the clay modelers also sculpt full-scale models of the steering wheel, dashboard and seats.
While the clay modelers continue their mission, the color and materials team begins selecting fabrics, textures and colors to emphasize the look and feel of the next-generation Ranger Raptor, while conforming to the vehicle's design DNA. The interior design team ensures that the Raptor's interior resembles a cockpit, but is as practical as possible. While the various teams work on the Raptor's interior and exterior, the design engineering team goes beyond the surface to ensure that beauty is real. The end result, after much hard work, much of it hand-built by a team of talented creatives and craftsmen, is the next-generation Ranger Raptor.
Performance at a glance
The new-generation Ranger Raptor wraps its high-performance chassis in a bold, aggressive exterior that not only takes the Ranger to the next level, but confirms Ford performance and clearly links it to the rest of the Raptor family.
"Our brief for the Ranger Raptor was to really rely on "form following function, our goal was to take the Ranger to the next level," said Max Tran, chief designer of the Ranger Raptor.
"The team was tasked with telling the story of the Ranger Raptor through its design," added Dewitt.
"At a glance, you had to have a clear picture of the Ranger Raptor's power, performance and capabilities, but also recognize that it was part of the Ford Performance and Raptor families," he said.
Raptor vehicles represent the pinnacle of off-road performance, and while each model has its own personality, they must contain design elements from the Raptor family. These include bold F-O-R-D lettering stretching across the blackened grille, with Matrix LED headlamps extending from fender to fender, durable steel front and rear bumpers designed for rigorous off-road driving, a high-strength steel skid plate, functional hood and side vents, and wide fenders.
The new-generation Ranger Raptor contains all these elements and is further differentiated with a pumped hood dome, hinting at the power outside, two raised exhaust tips to avoid obstacles in addition to precision gray accents.
"As part of our design, we made sure that the Ranger Raptor was an autonomous vehicle in its own right. Not only in the Ranger category, but also in the Raptor family," says Dewitt.
"You can arrange them all side by side and observe the aspects that differentiate them but also the elements that link them to each other," he adds.
A performance-oriented interior
According to Nick Eterovic, Ranger Raptor Interior Design Director, its interior had to give customers the confidence to feel the high performance of the next-generation Ranger Raptor.
"Our design team had to provide an imposing cabin that reflected the high performance of an off-road racing bakkie, combined with the comfort and convenience of a modern sports car," said Eterovic.
The Ranger Raptor's interior is as expressive as its exterior, with reminders of Ford Performance Code Orange throughout the vehicle. The dashboard and upper door panels are covered in Terra Suede, a soft yet hard-wearing and easy-to-clean material. Its matte finish reduces glare and adds a luxurious ambience to the interior.
Unique to the new-generation Ranger Raptor, Ford Performance seats are inspired by the seats inside the F-22 Raptor fighter jet, with side bolstering designed to keep the driver in place whatever the terrain. Seat materials have also been developed to have both functional and aesthetic appeal, with a new "super matte" seat trim, accented with suede. And because the next-generation Ranger Raptor lets you transport friends and family, the Ranger Raptor's rear seats have been designed to be as grippy and supportive as those up front.
"Fighter aircraft seats need to support from side to side and top to bottom," said Eterovic. "We spent a lot of time looking at the key details of the F-22 seats and how we could incorporate them into the Ranger Raptor seat design. We wanted to make sure that those in the back were as comfortable as those in the front."
Owners enjoy a commanding cockpit feel with a new premium leather steering wheel, including a thick rim and thumb rests adorned with an orange marker on top of the rim, as well as magnesium paddles for manual shifting. The My Mode button, specific to the Ranger Raptor, allows owners to select Normal, Sport and Bajai steering modes, as well as suspension and exhaust modes.
The customizable 12.4-inch digital instrument cluster features start-up animations tailored to the pick-up's performance character. The digital cluster is complemented by a 12-inch central touchscreen, running Ford's latest-generation SYNCÒ 4A infotainment system.
"The new-generation Ranger Raptor is as bold and expressive inside as it is outside. The digital instrument cluster provides fingertip access to customizable suspension, exhaust and steering modes, heavily bolstered seats, dedicated off-road mode and Code Orange Ranger Raptor accents designed for action out of the box," notes Eterovic.
Source: Official press release
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