AUS: New Ford Courer
The new PG range of Courier light trucks takes it to the streets this year with a comprehensive list of upgrades and all-new styling designed to make it the instrument of choice for work and play.
“We are confident the Courier will continue to set new standards in this market in terms of style, roominess and customer-friendly features,” Ford’s 4WD and Commercial Vehicle Marketing Manager, Kevin Lillie said.
“The new styling, similar in looks to the legendary F-Series, and the innovative Rear Access System on the four-door Super Cab add to the considerable heritage the Courier has already created," Mr Lillie said.
The new Rear Access System design provides greater versatility and improved ingress/egress to the rear compartment of the Super Cab models. This feature will be standard on all 4x2 and 4x4 Super Cab models.
New Courier continues to provide customers with outstanding payload capacities, with almost 1.5 tonnes of payload in the single cab chassis 4x4 model.
Styling changes add a muscular look to the PG Courier with new grille, headlights, front bumper and front fenders. The top-of-the-range XLT models will boast high series chrome on the front and rear bumpers, door handles, tailgate handle and mirrors.
A bigger 265/70R15 tyre will be standard on the 4x4 XL and XLT vehicles.
Other new additions include optional two-tone exterior, two new colours – Amber and Spruce Green – and new alloy wheels.
Inside, buyers will appreciate new mid and high-series fabrics, chrome door handles (XLT), an upgraded stereo system (with six-stack CD on XLT), engine immobiliser on crew cab turbo-diesel models and a handy keyless entry system.
Ride quality has been improved with revisions to the suspension componentry, while twin-piston ventilated discs on the 4x4 XLT significantly reduce fade resistance in high-speed braking manoeuvres.
The Courier retains its two tried and tested powerplants; the 2.6-litre petrol version and the highly praised 2.5-litre intercooled, turbo-charged diesel.
Two new models have been added to the PG Courier range – a Crew Cab 4x2 XLT and Super Cab 4x4 XLT.
Power to work and play
Motivation for the Courier range remains with the 2.6-litre petrol engine producing 92kw of power at 4600rpm and 206Nm of torque at 3500rpm.
In the turbo diesel class, Courier's proven intercooled turbo-diesel offers excellent peak torque of 280Nm at 2000rpm and 86kW of power at 3500rpm.
This advanced powerplant features an overhead camshaft, three valves per cylinder (two intake, one exhaust) and indirect fuel injection, with dual counter-rotating balance shafts that dramatically reduce vibration and contribute to high levels of smoothness and quietness in the cabin.
“The turbo-charged diesel, with its abundance of low-down torque, offers excellent towing performance. The Courier can tow 1800kg with a full load and has a Gross Combination Mass (GCM) of 3850 kilograms including trailer,” Mr Lillie said.
The Courier offers a choice of two manual transmissions, depending on engine configuration. Both transmissions have been upgraded, with revised linkages for smoother shifts.
An optional four-speed automatic transmission is available on some 2WD petrol models and features a fourth-gear lock-up function to reduce transmission power loss and improve fuel economy at cruising speeds.
An overdrive switch allows the driver to lock-out fourth gear to prevent repeated gear-changing under heavy loads and to produce an immediate downshift from 4th to 3rd gear for highway overtaking.
The strong, silent type
The Courier frame features an overlapped box-section, cross-braced ladder design that provides greater rigidity than H-beam or open beam configurations. This design contributes to improved ride, handling, durability, passenger safety and load-bearing characteristics.
The cab is mounted to the frame with shear-type mounts that minimise lateral movement, but allow for compliance in vertical movement for a comfortable ride.
Noise in the cabin has been reduced through the use of enhanced body side panels, more rigid doors and new soundproofing in the instrument panel and floor pan. Double seals on the upper door edges also help to reduce wind noise.
A new anti-corrosion floor panel and an improved panel joint sealing method have been introduced to reduce edge corrosion, while organic resin coated steel is used for many of the body panels such as the cowl, bonnet and door outers.
The Courier’s paintwork benefits from cathodic electrocoating, while undercoating, PVC and wax coatings are used extensively to protect the underbody, frame and other exposed areas.
Comfort and control
The double wishbone front suspension uses torsion bar springs and a solid stabiliser bar for good compliance, reduced harshness and greater ride comfort.
At the rear, the leaf spring system is designed to control rear axle steer to provide more precise handling and greater straight-line stability at cruising speeds.
Bias-mounted rear dampers reduce axle tramp and the sensation of “power-hopping”. A limited slip differential is standard on 4X4 models and 4X2 XL series.
The Courier’s power steering system has been redesigned, with the manual steering gear changing from variable ratio to a fixed 24:1 gear ratio. This change makes the vehicle easier to manoeuvre during parking and low-speed cornering.
Power steering is standard across the PG Courier range and employs a constant 19.6:1 gear ratio for easy handling at low speeds and firmer steering at higher engine speed.
Both front and rear brakes use non-asbestos, non-steel friction materials. Further improvements have been made through retuning the characteristics of the brake’s vacuum assist system and increasing master and wheel cylinder diameters.
A standard load-sensing proportioning valve has been fitted to improve brake effectiveness under a variety of loads.
The Courier incorporates an impressive array of passive and active safety features, offering owners a safe and secure driving environment.
Dual airbags and four-wheel ABS are now optional across the 4x2 range and on selected 4x4 models, while standard safety items include side-door intrusion beams and a collapsible steering column.
The cabin structure has been designed to provide maximum occupant protection, and an anti-submarining bar has been built into the front seats to help position the occupant properly in relation to the seat belts. Height-adjustable head restraints reduce the risks of whiplash injury.
"Improved seat support provides a more comfortable ride than ever before," Mr Lillie said.
The Courier’s higher driving position makes it easier for the driver to see both front corners of the vehicle, allowing for more confident city driving.
The exterior mirrors are larger than the previous model and include a drip-rail that diverts water and dirt away from the mirror surface for better visibility.