The idea of putting an SUV (Sport Utility Vehicle) body on a ladder chassis, from its pickup truck sibling is not new.
Toyota did it with the IMV (Innovative International Multi-purpose Vehicle) platform, spawning vehicles such as the Innova, Fortuner and Hilux. Toyota was so successful in maximizing the platform that over 5 million cars were sold since 2005.
Little known however, 2 years before Toyota’s IMV platform, Ford stuck an SUV body on to its Ranger’s chassis and voila, the Ford Everest was born. The first generation Ford Everest was introduced in March 2003. It was built at the Auto Alliance plat at Rayong, Thailand. The Everest was sold in Asia and Central America.
To lower the cost in meeting market requirementss, the underpinnings of the Everest remained pretty much unchanged in relation to its Ranger origins. It gets an independent suspension up front, while the rear is of a leaf spring configuration. Only a single engine option was available, a Mazda-derived 118hp, 2.5-litre diesel engine.
3 years later, the second iteration of Ford Ranger was introduced. Depending on market requirements, a 4X2 2.5-litre 143hp or 4X4 3.0-litre 156 hp Duratorq diesel engines were offered. In addition to that, a new 5-speed automatic transmission and a 4X4 shift-on-demand system were added. 2 seats were also added to the rear in most areas. The 7 seater SUV made an interesting value proposition for emerging markets’ consumption.
In mid-2009, the Everest received a facelift in Southeast Asia. This facelift is in line with the Ranger’s update. The facelifted Everest continues to be available with the same 2.5-litre or 3.0-litre Duratorq turbo diesel engines.
Ford chose to launch the new Ford Everest at the recently concluded Bangkok International Motor Show. The all-new Everest was designed in Melbourne, Australia, which seems to have radicalized this segment with a bevy of driver aid systems. Looking at the hugely successful Ford Ranger T6 and the soon to be launched, all-new Toyota Fortuner and Mitsubishi Pajero Sport, will Ford be able to replicate the sales numbers with the new Everest?
Meanwhile, enjoy Ford’s Everest videos!