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When giants rumble and roar

When giants rumble and roar

Ronald Rey M. de los Reyes

Ford’s behemoths shake up ASEAN region with newest features and technologies

HANOI-Vietnam In ancient Greek mythology, when the Titans climbed down, in revenge, from Mount Tartarus, the whole world trembled.

In similar fashion, when Ford ASEAN recently held a media drive to flex the muscles of its giant pickup trucks and sport utility vehicles—not for vengeance, but for a grand display, the whole region was rocked, hence sending a clear message to all its contemporaries.

“We’re here to showcase the capabilities of the Next-Generation Ford vehicles. This is our commitment to deliver and redefine the segment with new features, new technologies and new capabilities,” Ford Thailand and ASEAN markets communications director, Kamolchanok ‘Om’ Prasertsom, said in an exclusive interview with Inquirer Mobility.

“From Thailand, we brought into Vietnam 20 vehicles from our four newest models, the Ford Ranger Raptor 2.0L, Ford Ranger Raptor 3.0L V6 engine, the Ranger Stormtrak and the Ford Everest Wildtrak.”

Exciting Vietnam media drive

Our ongoing five-day media drive in Vietnam from June 1 to 5 first started with our early morning four-hour transport from Hanoi airport all the way to the mountain city of Sa Pa, north of the country. The place, populated by the Hill tribes, Hmong, Tay and Dao, is famous for trekking, overlooking the terraced fields of Moung Hoa Valleys and the 3,143m-tall Phang Xi Pang peak.

The official media drive then started on Day 2 when journalists from other countries, like Indonesia, Malaysia, Laos, Myanmar and South Korea joined our 20-vehicle fleet to a designated secluded destination in the outskirts of the city.

“From our short city drive, we traveled for one hour, passing through the rural places and toward a carved out unique offroad track in Seo My Ty Reservoir. Here, we were able to showcase the handling, maneuvering and suspension of the vehicles,” Om continued.

“We have many stations particularly featuring the terrain management system.”

Full-time four-wheel drive system switched on the fly to rear wheel drive, a rear locking differential, underbody protection, and aggressive approach and departure angles with a cinch.
Ford Ranger Raptor 2.0L

Along with my colleagues in the industry, Vince Pornelos of and EJ Francisco of Ford Philippines, I first drove the Ford Ranger Raptor 2.0L from Sa Pa City toward the secluded reservoir, tackling the tight twisties and narrow one-way roads near sharp cliffs of the mountain region.

Being introduced in our own country recently, the Raptor just made me excited to try it out on actual roads.

As expected, its full-time four-wheel drive system switched on the fly to rear wheel drive, a rear locking differential, underbody protection, and aggressive approach and departure angles with a cinch.

Its 2.5-inch FOX shocks with position sensitive damping technology, provided higher damping forces at full jounce and rebound to enable better off-road capabilities. It does this while increasing wheel travel and outstanding bump absorption.

This Raptor’s offroad capabilities were further put to the test with the fun activities at the reservoir. Here, the Trail Control System, performing like “cruise control” was tailored for the various offroad conditions thrown its way during the exercises. For terrains, like: Mud ruts, rock crawling, and sand, just to name a few, there were various sets of speed to control the throttle and braking functions. This allowed me to focus entirely on steering while tackling these terrains.

The same exercises were also done with other models available in the makeshift offroad track.

Under the hood of this Raptor is the 2.0L bi-Turbo diesel engine, mated to a 10-speed automatic tranny with e-Shifter, producing 208hp and 500N-m torque. Among the four models being tested, this behemoth is the only model currently available in our own local market.

Stormtrak features the Flexible rack system.
Ford Ranger Stromtrak

Speaking of other models currently available in other countries, the Ford Ranger Stormtrak is one of them.

“It has a unique feature never been seen before in any other truck,” Om said.

“It is called the ‘Flexible rack system’, which is a sport bar and a roof rail which you can adjust to use for longer objects that you want to carry, for lifestyle or for work.”

It also features 20-inch alloys in Asphalt Black matt paint with one bright Race Red wheels insert and five Gloss Black ones.

Like any other Ranger, it sports an e-Shifter, electronic parking brake and other features unique to this model.

This Stormtrak is currently being offered in Thailand.

Ford Everest Wildtrak tackles the river crossing.
Ford Everest Wildtrak

Another vehicle being test driven in the offroad track was the Ford Everest Wildtrak. At the onset, I was impressed with the vehicle as it easily tackled the offroad course.

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“It is based on the Everest that everyone already knows and loves,” shared Om.

According to her, there were many upgrades in this Everest, especially the e-shifter that comes with a full automated parking.

“Because the SUV is for family, people care so much about safety and technology. The Ford Everest has all that. For the Everest Wildtrak, we understand that it’s not just for family. There are other people who want to go outdoors and want that more sporty look,” she said.

“When we think about sporty, we think about the Wildtrak, which is available in the Ranger. And so, we combined the Everest with the Wildtrak brand.”

Per Om, this Everest Wildtrak features a bold lettering, roof rail, more functional exterior and interiors and new wheels.

For Thailand, they have the bi-turbo engine. While in the South African market, the model there packs a 3.0-liter, turbo-diesel V6 engine, which sends its 184kW and 600N-m outputs to a full-time all-wheeldrive system through a 10-speed automatic transmission.

Ford Ranger Raptor 3.0 L V6 engine

Now, as we talk about the powerful 3.0 L V6 Twin-Turbo EcoBoost engine, let’s now focus on a Ranger Raptor model, which is likewise offered in other markets.

“It’s definitely very powerful with its 397 hp ad 535 N-m of torque coming from its V6 engine,” Om averred as she proudly described this giant of a Ranger.

However, when asked whether this mighty Ranger Raptor will also be available in the Philippines, she said: “We’ll have to wait and see.”

Like with any other effective marketing and sales plan Ford has executed before, the company first heavily relies on the clamor and needs of a particular market.

Bottom-line, she said: “Let’s see how that is possible. In the end, however, it really depends on whether there is enough demand for it.”