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Future Cars: Drafting a Modern Light-Duty Pickup Truck for Ford

Ever since the demise of the much loved Ford Ranger from U.S. soil, fans of the small pickup have been crying out for a replacement. Rather than taking on the Australian designed and developed 'global' T6 Ranger, the Dearborn-based manufacturer decided to pull out of the more compact pickup market altogether in its home market, leaving buyers little choice - go F-Series or go elsewhere.
This is all fine and dandy if you don't mind the size of the bigger F-150, however for many that vehicle is far too big for their needs. Ford's argument for not bringing in the global Ranger is that it's too close in size to the F-Series - a point that I tend to agree with. Having climbed over, sat in and prodded the world Ranger in the flesh, it's easy to see why Ford thinks it would cannibalize sales of its No.1 chart-topper.

So what chance does a small to compact truck have in returning to the blue-oval stables? Well, according to Ford's truck marketing manager Doug Scott, there is potential for a Ranger replacement, but any successor coming to fruition would be far down the track. Which leads to an important question: what direction - if any, should a new compact Ford truck take?

More at Article
http://www.carscoops.com/2013/06/future-cars-drafting-modern-light-duty.html

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The more I look at the Ford Falcon UTE from Australia, the more I like it. It's a RWD compact built pickup with body on frame architecture. However, I don't really want or need a 4.0 liter V-6. I'd be more interested in it if it had a small diesel to provide good MPG and low end torque. Maybe a smaller EcoBoost engine might do the same thing - maybe. As long as the vehicle could haul 4 x 8 sheets, performed well in crash tests, had RWD, and good MPG, was reliable and reasonably priced, I think it would sell well in NA. The question is can Ford deliver a truck like that and still make a profit? Perhaps Ford could start importing them from Australia after the "chicken tax" expires in 2016.
 

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Awesome looking pic.

Now if it were about the size of the old Ranger, and 4 cyl powered for good economy it should sell well. It should be a small "light duty" truck and it will not compete with the F150 unless they make it too big. There is a market for a "small" fuel efficient P/U.
 

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Way too busy in the front
 

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I think Ford's new small truck will look like an appropriately smaller/less powerful version of the new F-150, and be part of the F-Series Family. Essentially an F-100, but riding on the shared Transit Connect platform.

This way Ford ensures there is no overlap in size, capacity, power or price($17k), and anticipated sales volume Ford expects to even offer this small truck, would not deduct from current F-Series sales, as this new truck will be part of the F-Series Family.

Ford is paying attention, and watching the newer Tacoma sales rise from 106K in 2010(old Ranger 55k), 111k in 2011(old Ranger 70k), 141k in 2012 (discontinued Ranger 14k)and approaching 150k for 2013.

Ford has a potential of over 1 million Ranger trucks 7+ years old that need replacing if they build the right truck to meet that customer's needs. Which would be a Ford Tough truck, not an El Camino.
 

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Whats the deal with the split cab/bed? That would be a frameless unibody so the bed and cab would be connected. And like Andrew I feel that front end is way to busy!!
 

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The problem I have with a pickup based on the Transit Connect platform is that it's FWD. For those times you do serious hauling, you need a drive system with some sort of RWD. FWD vehicles aren't as utilitarian because as the load increases in the truck bed, the front wheel traction decreases - like a see-saw. With a RWD vehicle, the rear wheel traction increases as the load increases - way better. That's why I like the Ford Falcon Ute platform - RWD and body on frame. On a side note, Chevy's research discovered the MPG doesn't really increase by going to a unibody platform. Funny, I thought it would.
 

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The problem I have with a pickup based on the Transit Connect platform is that it's FWD.
That's true. It will need to be RWD and AWD. The larger Transit is RWD, so who's to say that the new Transit Connect platform, which is just a smaller version of the larger Transit platform, cannot be modified to be RWD and AWD also.

Ford can't compete with a FWD pick-up.
 

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That's true. It will need to be RWD and AWD. The larger Transit is RWD, so who's to say that the new Transit Connect platform, which is just a smaller version of the larger Transit platform, cannot be modified to be RWD and AWD also.

Ford can't compete with a FWD pick-up.
first with no competition how would a FWD NOT compete? as the TACO is as big as a T6 ranger and a connect based unit would be more like the old bantam/tornado and NOT a ranger/S10
and I would assume a lot of the Connect PU customers would be fleet buyers and to be able to tout 30 MPG would be way more then competitive
 

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The more I look at the Ford Falcon UTE from Australia, the more I like it. It's a RWD compact built pickup with body on frame architecture. However, I don't really want or need a 4.0 liter V-6. I'd be more interested in it if it had a small diesel to provide good MPG and low end torque. Maybe a smaller EcoBoost engine might do the same thing - maybe. As long as the vehicle could haul 4 x 8 sheets, performed well in crash tests, had RWD, and good MPG, was reliable and reasonably priced, I think it would sell well in NA. The question is can Ford deliver a truck like that and still make a profit? Perhaps Ford could start importing them from Australia after the "chicken tax" expires in 2016.
Not to nitpick, but the Falcon Ute uses a 4.0 inline-6. Not that it would matter. Ford could easily use the EB V6 & gain the benefits of the turbo I6 that the Falcon uses, & possibly lower the cost. But in worse news, Ford will quit building the Falcon altogether after 2016. Otherwise, we have a Free Trade Agreement with Oz & cars are part of it. We have been making the argument for the Holden Ute to be imported since Chevy will have all of the hurdles cleared with it's SS sedan.

As for the drawing, I like it, whether other people think it's busy or not. Ford may have a way to use the TC platform with flexibility to use RWD only for a small truck. They do sell the Falcon sedan in Australia with a RWD version of the 2.0L EB.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Way too busy in the front
Yes I agree it is a bit busy but it could be toned down to easily reflect the look of the Atlas Concept. If the new F-150 takes it's cues from the Atlas then a Mini-Me F-100 (or as a Ranger) would sell well in my opinion.
 

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...Falcon Ute uses/d a 4.0 inline-6...
...But in worse news, Ford will quit building the Falcon IN AUSTRALIA altogether after 2016...
fixed^ (just imho)

...we have a Free Trade Agreement with Oz & cars are part of it...
...making it just as easy to ship them from the US to Oz
 

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2b2, do you have any solid info or rumors from reliable sources saying that Ford is seriously thinking about building the Falcon in the US? The last I heard, the GRWD platform was put on ice & that was the platform that the Falcon was expected to move to after the current FG Falcon ran its course. I like the Falcon as it is (& the Ute), but neither Ford nor GM has shown any interest in building car based "trucks" anymore.
 

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^ sccaSVT,
the only pertinent rumor was that the S550 could be/is based (at least partly) on the Falcon = just one lone voice in the wilderness, not mine

my own insistence on there being an eventual US-built Falcon is based pretty much solely on my belief that a Rwd Lincoln Continental MUST happen
= another lone wildernessed voice screaming something else
or maybe muttering incoherently

"logic" (or what passes for it persoanlly) says that the practically Announced 2016my 3-series-alternative from Lincoln CAN'T be its only Rwd
 
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