Text and photos by Aries B. Espinosa
I REALLY won't know whether Ford Philippines consciously wants the activity of going up and down the 2019 Ford-Ranger Wildtrak car that has just been there on November 6-7 to play with the concept of pairs, doubles and from number 2. But there it is , patterns that are not wrong, and too extraordinary to pass without being noticed.
Here's what you really got "two-gether pieces":
1) The most obvious, of course, is the engine and transmission of the new Wildtrak Ranger. Exit with 3.2 liters, with a 2.0-liter Bi-Turbo diesel engine mated to a 10-speed automatic transmission.
But don't be fooled by its size. Although smaller, this twin-turbo engine produces 210 hp and 500 Nm of torque. Combine with a lighter engine, and you get more efficient fuel.
For our group trip of 240 kilometers from Quezon City to Candelaria in Zambales through Clark in Pampanga and Subic, our Wildtrak Ranger does not deviate from consumption of 14-15 kilometers per liter.
2) Besides the power of the famous Ranger, there are two "C" – comfort and connectivity. You can call the comfort of this creature, and the Wildtrak 2019 Ranger presents it in a spade. Sedan-like suspension is given (and we feel this both on a paved road from a highway bound to the north and on a dusty dirt road from the Acoje Mining Trail in Zambales), and the interior facilities we enjoy during the trip deserve special mention, too, like : electric-powered steering; SYNC 3 connectivity system; multi-function multi-function TFT touch screen; eight-way driver seat that can be adjusted power and four-way passenger seats manually-adjust; and smart keyless entries.
3) This trip also accomplishes two things: We have to drive the Wildtrak Ranger 2019, and then we visit the latest Ford dealer – the 47th in the country – Ford Clark throughout the M.A. Roxas Highway in Clark Freeport Zone.
What's very special about Ford Clark is that it is the first dealer in the country to follow the new global dealer branding guidelines, following a more parallel global and exterior appearance to offer customers a better dealer experience while at the same time aiming to connect the customer's online purchasing journey with the in-store environment – paving the way for a more connected and seamless automotive retail experience.
Our visit to Ford Clark also allowed us to witness the power meetings of Bert Lessard, Ford Philippines managing director, and Levy P. Laus, CEO and chairman of the Laus Group of Companies, which established and operated dealerships covering 1,863 square meters highlighted by four-car showroom screens, interactive bay, and seven service bays.
"Today's automotive customers are increasingly sophisticated, business minded, and understand technology. Therefore, it is very important that the dealer facility, which is one of our customers' most important points of contact, adapts to this changing consumer behavior in terms of the appearance, taste and experience offered to customers, "said Mr. Lessard.
Mr. Laus assured the group that Ford Clark would develop in the new automotive business landscape, because it revealed that dealers would have 5G Wi-Fi connectivity, equivalent to the developed region in the world.
4) There are two Wildtrak variants tested. The 2.0-liter Wildtrak Turbo is 4×2 AT, the price starts at 1.455 million, and the bi-Turbo Wildtrak is 4×4 A / T top-of-the-line, which costs at least P1.695 million. In addition to the two Wildtrak variants, the Ranger 2.2L XLT 4 × 2 A / T variant (at a price of P1,089 million) was also driven.
5) All other small things. Just like Noah's Ark, where creatures were ridden by pairs, we were paired and given the assignments of our vehicles. Then, after the long first day of driving, we watched the sunset of Zambales on an island called Potipot, which has two repetitive syllables that sound like ancient car horns.