Here Comes the High Stepper
Ford Australia is set to add another invaluable implement to its tool chest with an all-new Hi-Ride ute.
Sitting 80 mm higher than a standard Ford utility and boasting a locking rear differential with in-cabin switch allowing 'shift-on-the-fly', the Hi-Ride ute will be just as comfortable off the beaten track as it is on any four-lane highway.
The Hi-Ride ute also boasts an increased wheel track of 50 mm, underbody protection shields, ABS, power windows, power driver's seat, CD player, driver's airbag, the choice of three engines including the 220 kW 5.4-litre V8 and a range of transmission options including a four-speed floor shift automatic, four-speed column shift automatic and a five-speed manual.
“The new Falcon Hi-Ride ute is set to become a unique vehicle that truly is just at home on the blacktop as it is beyond the Black Stump with the added surety of increased ground clearance,” 4WD and Commercial Vehicle Marketing Manager Kevin Lillie said.
“Prototype versions have already undergone hundreds of hours’ tortuous testing in some tough conditions and come through with flying colours.
“That’s important for Ford because we have built a reputation for creating tough trucks suited to the unique conditions Australia can provide.
“Just as importantly it still provides a sensationally comfortable ride on the smoothest four-lane highway with proven suspension components that deliver superb ride and comfort.
“The Hi-Ride ute also has a true one-tonne load carrying capacity.”
Mr Lillie said the Hi-Ride utility was designed to complement Ford’s excellent range of 4WD utilities such as the legendary F-Series and Courier range.
“If you want to explore the Canning Stock Route or traverse the Gunbarrel Highway then an F-Series or Courier is still the vehicle of choice.
“For the tradesman who wants something that is a durable workhorse during the week and a more than capable leisure vehicle he can take just about anywhere on the weekend, the Hi-Ride Falcon ute is a fantastic option.
“Our objectives with the Hi-Ride utility were a workhorse that offered outstanding comfort, ride and performance with some off-road ability – and this ute certainly delivers on all those attributes.”
Inside, the Hi-Ride utility offers all the creature comforts that continue to make the BA range of Falcons the best selling utes in Australia.
Externally, the new Hi-Ride utility sits higher, has rugged 16-inch wheels and tyres and will boast a unique grille that links it to the F-Series and Courier range of 4WDs.
Pricing will be announced closer to the launch of the Hi-Ride utility later this year.
“Value for money is a vital component for tradesmen and we expect pricing to start from approximately $30,000 for the cab chassis, which represents sensational buying,” Mr Lillie said.