Congratulations on your award.HI Rich,
Back Story, we had a program called UPN105. It was a common chassis program for Ranger and Explorer when we switched from Twin I Beam to Short/Long Arm (SLA) front suspension. Then the Explorer SUV diverged and not a lot of comonality. So the Sport Trac was body on frame SUV with a pickup box. Sales were below expectations, but the folks that bough them were some of the most ardent supporters of the brand. Alas...the CUV scuttled the Sport Trac. I still have two friends with them and both are above 300,000 miles and the owners are going to keep them going regardless of cost.... I just smile.
At the time I had chassis FEA, and we were trying to get a grip on the steering knuckle...aka spindle. I hooked up with a fellow from Ford Scientific Research that has developed a optimization program to guide to an optimized design. It was poopoo's by engineering, but I saw the value and my analysis engineer and I worked with him (RenJay Z.) Our first analysis gave really weird results of a new design but when we realized what it was telling us with respect to thickness and ribbing of the casting, we were able to make the spindle 5 times more robust and took three pounds per spindle out of the design for a 6 lb reduction in unsprung weight. Absolutely unheard of ever before in suspension design. Testing of prototypes validated this and Renjay, Amar O and I won a Henry Ford Technical Achievement award for this (Ford's version of the Nobel Prize.) My satisfaction was that the customer got better handling, fuel economy and durability. Take away...sometimes you have to gamble on doing something in a new way, accept the arrows in the back from disbelivers and forge ahead. The accolades were secondary but nice...bigger pay check...promotion and satisfaction of a job well done... Take prudent risks. Think out of the box... Do not be afraid to fail.
Ranger Vehicle Engineering
Ford Motor Co. Retired
Maybe not anymore, but didn't manual trans used to be generally cheaper than autos? Less electronics and what not? I would have paid more for a manual honestly. But, like you said, I'm definitely in the minority I would imagine.Because they think enough of the target market for the bronco will take the option to make it worthwhile. Just like the wranglers take rate on the manual, while still small, is much higher than the industry average. Or maybe, even if it's a money loser, it's worth eating the cost to head off a bunch of complaints that the bronco doesn't have a manual but the wrangler does.
The manual is a much cheaper part to build & develop, but (really, really) low volumes mean that the fixed costs are spread over far fewer units. (Everything from regulatory certification to the cost of another option on the assembly line.) And you might pay more for a manual but most people would say "no way should some simple manual cost more than a 10 speed automatic" meaning that the manufacturers don't have a lot of ability to raise the price--the more they do raise the price, the lower the take rate gets and the more they need to raise the price to cover the fixed costs.Maybe not anymore, but didn't manual trans used to be generally cheaper than autos? Less electronics and what not? I would have paid more for a manual honestly. But, like you said, I'm definitely in the minority I would imagine.
Hi Mark,Don't want to hurt any feelings...lol, but I believe fugly would be the correct term.....
Ok Brother Phil...you must know me from another place....my best friend in HS had a 1982 EXP...lolHi Mark,
Reminds me of the Escort based Ford EXP. A very poor attempt at a two seater. Demographics showed the poor sales.... A 27 year old divorced female. Another Marketing disaster that resulted in $$$ investment that resulted rotten fruit still on the tree. Sheesh!
We had a few in the vehicle pool fleet at Ford at the time...no one in Truck would drive one....
Ranger Vehicle Engineering
Ford Motor Co. Retired
Agreed. I'm driving an 07 Ranger regular cab. Love the size.You're acting like those are bad things. The Ranger used to be small too, and yet no one complained about that. I've said it before that for most home owning adventurer people, this is essentially all they need. The comfort of a car, car like size/space and amenities at the front, and outside storage area at the back for yard work, small home improvement projects, and outdoor gear. Sure it won't haul a dirt bike. If you need to haul a dirt bike, then get something else, but most people don't have dirt bikes. If this can fit my fatbike in the bed, comes with AWD and a hybrid, is capable enough to hit some forest roads and two-tracks, and can tow at least 2200lbs, then that's all I need, and all/more than most people need if we all really step back and look at our lives. Maybe you need more capability and size, but then this truck isn't for you, but that doesn't mean it isn't for somebody.
Thats what I thought at first but the Ridgeline has a 3" longer bed than the Ranger double Cab. The unibody should serve it well. I sure like the ride in the Honda.Looks like a competitor to a ridgeline, its a 'car' with an open trunk space on a uni-Body. I laugh when guys look at it then as 'Gee ya think it will fit a motorcycle, be good for off-roading.." It's a niche utility vehicle like an el camino, ranchero, courier or sport-trac.
If its on the new 2020 escape architecture then it might be a good contender for the same/modified Atkinson Hybrid drivetrain system..
I’ll be ordering one in the 4th Quarter...2.0 Ecoboost front wheel drive ...tuner Surprise !Thats what I thought at first but the Ridgeline has a 3" longer bed than the Ranger double Cab. The unibody should serve it well. I sure like the ride in the Honda.
I have had the Honda for a year now!!! 1090 miles...I should think of Uber..LOL
Had a 2007 Limited, it was great. It's why I bought a Ranger since it was comparable. The rockers rusted, the cab corners rusted, and the bed was impeccable which I really appreciated. The transmission was crap however.Ouch, a Sport Trac dig. I owned both models, first and second gen and got them because I came from a Ranger and don't need a full size. I honestly thought the fiberglass/composite bed was the way Ford was going to go in the future but guess wrong. It was the only midsize pickup in Fords line at the time. Now back to the Ranger for the same reason.