We knew ballpark arrival times, but now we have the specifics.
Ford Australia says it plans to put the first batch of new-generation Everest SUVs into customer hands from August this year, sounding a warning to the top-selling Toyota Prado.
This is right on the bumper of the closely related new Ranger ute, deliveries of which commence in June, putting the Toyota HiLux and Isuzu D-Max on notice.
The more hardcore new Ranger Raptor will hit driveways just one month later in July. This new super-ute moves things forward thanks to a much more powerful turbo V6 petrol engine.
As before, the models were engineered and developed in Australia by Ford’s big local team of engineers and designers, and put through their paces here.
They’re again being made in Thailand, where Ford recently pumped a claimed $US900 million ($A1.2 billion) into its manufacturing operations to support production.
The new Everest is quite a departure from the old model, though at its core it re-uses the Australian-engineered T6 architecture.
Unlike four-cylinder rivals (Toyota Fortuner and Prado, the Isuzu MU-X, the Mitsubishi Pajero Sport, and the new Jeep Grand Cherokee) it will come available with an optional 3.0-litre V6 diesel once used in the F-150.
All variants are to be offered with a permanent four-wheel drive system using an electronically controlled on-demand two-speed electromechanical transfer case with selectable off-road modes.
Ford says the maximum braked towing capacity for the Everest will be an Isuzu-matching 3500kg when equipped with the optional Tow Pack.
Overall, Ford has kept the Everest largely the same length but increased the wheelbase by 50mm over the previous model. The Everest essentially uses the same front section as the Ranger, but switches the leaves for Watt’s link suspension with coil springs.
All models feature a Sync 4A infotainment system with wireless Android Auto and Apple CarPlay. All bar the base Ambiente use a 12-inch portrait-oriented touchscreen.
A new range-topping Platinum offers quilted leather upholstery, ambient lighting, Matrix headlights, 21-inch wheels, and a panoramic sunroof.
When the next-generation Ranger line-up arrives in June 2022, it’ll initially consist of five trim levels. That’ll grow to six a month later when the next-gen Raptor joins the line.
The redesigned range will also continue to offer a choice of 4×2 or 4×4 drivetrains, while we expect to see a full spread of Single, Super and Double Cab bodies, plus a choice of cab-chassis or pickup styles.
According to a leaked dealer bulletin, Ford will have “approximately” 7000 or 7500 cars to sell – or fewer than two months worth, based on 2021 sales – as part of its first allocation.
The new Ranger’s 3.0-litre V6 will be the torquiest mainstream dual-cab ute on sale in Australia. The Blue Oval has confirmed the 3.0-litre V6 turbo-diesel engine option produces 184kW of power and 600Nm of torque and is available in the Ranger XLT, Sport, and Wildtrak.
The rest of the range will be offered with a choice of two more familiar 2.0-litre four-cylinder turbo-diesel engines, one with two turbos.
The range-topping Raptor is powered by a 3.0-litre twin-turbo V6 petrol engine with 292kW and 583Nm. It’s a (claimed) full minute quicker around a 10km off-road test track than the old Raptor.
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