When it comes to buying a used car, buyers are always looking for the newest version of a car with the lowest mileage. But for development vehicles it’s another story altogether.
We had the chance to visit Ford’s proving ground in regional Victoria to check out the all-new Ford Ranger Raptor and quizzed the program manager about how much of a torture test these vehicles go through before they are signed off.
One test vehicle in particular used for a wide range of on- and off-road testing had copped some 150,000km of travel in just six months to ensure the new drivetrain would be up to the task.
We exclusively spoke with Ford Performance program manager Justin Capicchiano about how they managed to clock up these miles in such a short amount of time.
“We’ve got people working around the clock at the proving ground, right, we’ve got day shift and an afternoon shift working. It’s not uncommon for the guys in the morning to be driving the car to do running kilometres, then hand the car over to the afternoon guys who continue putting on kays. It’s all day.
“It’ll be on engine dynes [dynamometers] and chassis dyno [dynamometer], it’ll be doing emissions work. This [vehicle] has done some durability work, because I can see some of their markings on the on the thing. So it literally does that stuff day in and day out.”
This particular Ranger Raptor was one of 50 cars being used by Ford as part of the development program. It was in the process of being loaded on to a plane to be sent to Dubai for hot weather sand driving. So it gives you an idea of how hard a life these development vehicles cop before they are signed off for general sale.
MORE: Everything Ford Ranger