Wildtrak 4x2 Wildtrak 4x2

Automotive

Ford Ranger Wildtrak 4×2: Big-boy truck for the family

It’s handsome, techie, and a safe ride

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The moment I was given the keys to the all-new 2021 Ford Ranger Wildtrak 4×2, my first thoughts were of slight disappointment over two things: First, I wished this were a Ranger Raptor. Second, I hoped I had the keys to the 4×4. Little did I know that all those gripes and disappointments would be left behind as soon as I drove away from the facility I picked this up from.

Spoiler Alert: I finally get the appeal of Ford Trucks and why they are up there as one of the biggest sellers of passenger trucks in the market.

What’s new

There are very subtle changes made for the 2021 Ford Ranger Wildtrak 4×2 from its predecessor. Those very changes set the tone for this truck to become a future best seller in its own right. The exterior now features an upgraded honeycomb grill, giving it a more menacing look and reinforcing its appeal towards the rugged truck market.

Ford calls this color on the 2021 Ford Ranger Wildcatter, Saber and is exclusively available to the Wildtrak variant. Black chrome trimmings now adorn the vehicle’s front skid plate, side mirrors, door handles and those slick 18 inch alloy wheels shod in 265/60/r18 tires. The tires are rated for highway and road use but taking it down the beaten path shouldn’t pose much of a problem

You do have the usual truck paraphernalia such as the functional roof rack up top to accommodate more luggage. That is if the huge bed space up back isn’t enough for you, but the devil is surely in the details. The black sports bar in the rear, with the body colored stripe adds to its macho appeal and the huge, chunky step board proves that macho can also be a gentleman.

Courtesy lights below the side mirrors help you see where you are going as you step out of the vehicle but the best small detail on the 2021 Ford Ranger Wildtrak 4×2 would be that coveted Black Ford Badge. If some brands have their red badges set aside for the sporty versions of their cars, Ford has dibs on black, and it is glorious.

Wildtrak 4x2

Techie interior

Getting inside the 2021 Ford Ranger Wildtrak, easily, I might add thanks to grab handles on the A-Pillar and the aforementioned stepboard, you will be greeted by the plush leather interior with that Saber gold contrast stitching.

The seats also feature the Wildtrak badge embossed into it for good measure. Gone are the days of trucks being solely relegated to more agricultural duties, this truck aims to replace your family sedan.

Thanks to giant cupholders, center console and the high-resolution screen next to the speedometer, which can provide you with all the information that you need at a moment’s notice, this truck is the farthest thing from being a farm tool, and we’re just getting started.

The 2021 Ford Ranger Wildtrak is as technologically endowed as the best of them and can most definitely be worthy as your next GadgetMatch! Ford Sync 3 technology not only integrates the epic 8-inch touchscreen infotainment screen with the 6 booming speakers, but it does so in a way ever so seamlessly.

This truck of all things is the easiest to pair with your smartphone thanks to Android Auto and Apple CarPlay.

Wildtrak 4x2

Once you’ve completed the initial setup which takes literally a few seconds, it then automatically detects your phone and uses your navigation and media apps and takes on them like a champ. I tell you, Sync 3 is a revelation and isn’t a nerfed version of just screen mirroring. It totally integrates your connected way of life on the road.

Big-boy truck

After taking in all the tech the 2021 Ford Ranger Wildtrak has to offer, you can’t avoid the fact that you just tower above almost every vehicle on the road. Thanks to the 232mm of ground clearance and the high seating position, visibility is just incredible and gives you more confidence traversing our hazardous roads.

You can always manually adjust the seats and steering wheel to find the perfect driving position for you, but that doesn’t deter from the fact that you now are on a big-boy truck.

The ride quality is definitely fit for a king as the 2021 Ford Ranger Wildtrak features a suspension setting made for one.

In the past, I remember my uncle driving his old, rickety truck around with bags of sand in the back just to improve the ride quality. Not with the Wildtrak! The front, double wishbone suspension, typically found in your favorite sporty compact sedans works well in tandem with the finely tuned leaf springs in the back.

It absolutely felt like I was driving in the clouds during highway cruising as well as stop and go traffic. The suspension is also stiff enough to handle corners, quick evasive maneuvers thanks to the light, electronic steering mechanism.

Plenty of power

All that icing on the cake gives way for the cherry on top of this very capable truck. Ford has given the 2021 Ranger Wildtrak 4×2 the Single-Turbo version of their 2-liter Common Rail Direct Injection Diesel Engine.

Just push on the start button and you’ll start to feel the distinct rumble of the diesel engine. But thanks to powerful sound insulation, nary a noise. You might call this a watered-down version of the Bi-Turbo engine on the Ranger Raptor, however your butt-dyno will prove you otherwise.

There is plenty of power on tap thanks to the 10-Speed automatic transmission and shifts smoothly as the power management system selects the best gear for the situation.

Wildtrak 4x2

This proves beneficial for fuel consumption as city driving nets an average of 9 km/l on an average of 30km/h and highway runs at an astonishing 14 km/l at an 80km/h average. Keep in mind that these numbers can certainly vary, but with all that power at your disposal, it’s easy to keep things sane.

Why drive like a madman when you can take it easy and let others gawk at your own personal handsome-truck!

Safety is a priority

You also get a whole slew of safety features that come standard on the 2021 Ford Ranger Wildtrak. Six (6) Airbags, Anti-lock Brakes with Brake Force Distribution, Parking Sensors, a Rear-View Camera, Iso-Fix Anchors all come as standard. This truck offers so much more under its sleeve that will put executive sedans to shame.

Features such as Autonomous Braking Pre-Collision Assist with Pedestrian Detection, Lane Keeping Aid with Lane Departure Warning, Adaptive Cruise Control with Forward Collision Alert, Hill Launch Assist and the magic Active Park Assist feature that takes the anxiety out of parallel parking create the perfect vehicle for safety.

A fantastic overall package

I never got to test the 2021 Ford Ranger Wildtrak’s Towing and Hauling capabilities but that just goes to show you how much trucks have evolved over the years. I am certain that this truck is very much capable of carrying on the tasks of its forebears but that is no longer the point of passenger pick-up trucks these days.

Wildtrak 4x2

It would be nice to have the option when hauling is necessary but for about 99% of this truck’s use, it should stand as the perfect family car. And it definitely does, quite tall and proud in fact!. The Wildtrak Starts at PhP 1,545,000 which, if you ask me, is a total steal considering the overall package.

Is the 2021 Ford Ranger Wildtrak 4×2 your Gadgetmatch? It very well just might be!

Automotive

Volkswagen lied about rebranding its America division to ‘Voltswagen’

The carmaker should just stop lying

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On March 29, Volkswagen’s America division released a press note saying that the company shall be changing its name to ‘Voltswagen.’ The rebranding was to stress its commitment to electric vehicles.

As it turns out, the press release was fake and the carmaker purposely leaked it ahead of April 1, which is universally celebrated as April Fool’s day. Mark Gillies, a company spokesman, confirmed Tuesday that the statement had been a pre-April Fool’s Day joke.

The stunt was supposed to be a marketing campaign for the new electric SUV — ID.4. While the name change may have been deemed a joke, Volkswagen states that the underlining theme was the emphasis on EVs.

However, the joke wasn’t funny for many because the announcement prompted the company’s stock to go up by almost five percent in one day. Following the name change, many investors believed Volkswagen is serious about the EV space and has future potential. Those who fell for the news and invested in the company are now left in limbo.

The joke has received a lot of criticism because this isn’t the first time Volkswagen has lied to the public. The German carmaker was infamously found guilty of Dieselgate, a high-profile scandal wherein the company was caught cheating and manipulating emission tests via dedicated software changes.

In a nutshell, diesel cars were emitting much more pollutants than they should, but regulators were not able to detect this due to special modifications. Volkswagen admitted that about 11 million diesel vehicles worldwide were fitted with deceptive software. The scandal cost the company US$ 35 billion in fines, penalties, and recall of millions of vehicles.

April Fool’s day is a joke and it’s normal to see companies come up with unbelievable or even bizarre ideas to grab the limelight. Although, it’s easy to distinguish between humor and serious news on April 1 since jokes are expected by everyone. Volkswagen’s timing was extremely poor and gave little opportunity for media organizations as well as investors to consider it humor.

The poorly planned publicity stunt could boomerang for the automaker. US securities regulator, the SEC, has often fined companies for fake disclosures that mislead investors. In 2018, Tesla CEO Elon Musk was fined US$ 20 million when he tweeted about turning the company private, without any funding actually lined up. The tweet boosted Tesla’s stock temporarily and created a false market frenzy, prompting a crackdown by regulators.

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Automotive

Xiaomi is venturing into smart vehicles

Ready to ride on a Mi Car?

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Image by GadgetMatch

It was just rumors a few weeks back but we now have confirmation from Xiaomi that they are indeed entering into the business of making smart vehicles.

An announcement shared by a Xiaomi representative to GadgetMatch reads the following:

The board of directors of the Company has resolved to commence the smart electric vehicle business. The Company will set up a wholly-owned subsidiary to operate the smart electric vehicle business. The initial phase of investment will be RMB 10 billion, with the total investment amount over the course of the next 10 years estimated to be USD 10 billion. Mr. Lei Jun, the Chief Executive Officer of the Group, will concurrently serve as the Chief Executive Officer of the smart electric vehicle business.

Seeing as Xiaomi has practically dipped its toes into pretty much everything, the decision to venture into this new business isn’t exactly surprising. The company already has a firm hold in the smartphone market but, as Engadget noted on their report, expanding into electric vehicles will give them another revenue stream with bigger profit margins and is not susceptible to risks of chipset shortage.

The company will face tough competition not just from existing car manufacturers like Tesla and Nissan, but also other big tech companies like Apple who are looking at widening their horizon and expanding into smart transportation.

We still don’t know when an actual Mi Car will first hit the market. However, with this announcement, we can expect the company to start showing of a concept or a prototype to generate buzz and develop interest.

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Automotive

Elon Musk says you can now buy a Tesla with bitcoin

And it won’t be converted to fiat currency

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Tesla chief and billionaire Elon Musk said on Twitter that the electric vehicle maker has started accepting Bitcoin. To buy a brand-new electric car from Tesla, now you can use cryptocurrency. And it won’t get converted to fiat currency.

“You can now buy a Tesla with bitcoin. Tesla is using only internal and open source software and operates bitcoin nodes directly,” the CEO said in a series of tweets.

The automaker last month revealed that it had bought $1.5 billion worth of bitcoin and that it would soon start accepting the world’s most popular cryptocurrency as a form of payment. Tesla’s vehicles range from US$ 40,000 to US$ 125,000 before tax. Based on the market rate, you can pay via the cryptocurrency and roll-out of the showroom with a brand new Tesla.

It’s available only to US customers right now, but Tesla did say that more countries shall follow later this year. It’s to be noted that bitcoin is the only cryptocurrency Tesla accepts.

Musk has always been an ardent supporter of cryptocurrencies and envisions a day when it’ll take over the world. While a tiny portion of the money is flowing in Bitcoin right now, many predict it to be the future of payments and human economics.

Tesla embracing bitcoins is a bid-deal because many other smaller companies shall be encouraged to make a move. Acceptability has always been a strong-point for cryptocurrency critics, and this one small act of confidence-building.

Some investors, however, are convinced that Tesla and bitcoin are both in bubble territory. The value of a Tesla share and bitcoin has soared in the last year, breaking all fundamental rules of value-based investing. Investors are concerned that cryptocurrency is still an unregulated industry and that many governments, like the Indian one, shall clamp down on it. Making it a very volatile investment.

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