Ford just keeps on whetting our appetite for its next-generation Ranger pickup, and after showing us last week what its in-car entertainment features are, the American carmaker is now demonstrating just how roomy its cabin is.
Ford's engineers put in a lot of effort to keep the vehicle short yet its interior space large by fully utilizing every millimeter of the Ranger's dimensions. The engineers also came up with innovative solutions to make sure no space is wasted in the next-generation Ranger.
One solution was to optimize the clearance between the rear seat, the box and the body structure by slimming down the back of the seats and headrests while still ensuring the same level of comfort. The clearance between the headliner and the sheet metal, for example, was squeezed to the absolute minimum to achieve the best-in-class front headroom of 1022mm. Clever shapes in the sheet metal were also used by utilizing smaller sections instead of one large section. This resulted in a thinner body structure that doesn't compromise the vehicle's structural integrity.
"It should be big enough to do its job and no more," said David Stanley, package supervisor for product development of Ford Australia. "We try to account for every millimeter and during Ranger's development, we'd often find a few millimeters here and a few millimeters there, which we would pare down to push out the interior as much as possible."
For the next-generation Ranger, the regular cab and super cab share one long front door while the double cab has a separate shorter front door.
For the double cab, Ford moved its B-pillars to give it a best-in-class leg room of 902mm and a knee clearance of 39mm, which translates to three adults fitting easily in the back seat, with two six-foot-tall occupants comfortably sitting one behind the other.
Ford was able to achieve this without sacrificing the seat back angle unlike some pickup truck manufacturers that make the rear seats very vertical to improve the leg room and knee room but end up having the passengers slouching down into the available knee room.
"We wanted Ranger to be better than an ordinary pickup. We wanted it to have the comfort levels of an SUV," added Stanley. "So we looked at the hip angle, back angle and torso angle to make sure we've got it right. Ranger certainly has better knee room and better hip angle than its competitors."
Check out the video below, and although it doesn't show the double cab variant, which is similar to our local current-generation Ranger, it does demonstrate how spacious the super cab is. Do you think it's roomy enough or you'd rather wait to see a video of the double cab's interior?