Ford Ranger towing Bluebird

Ford has sent a diesel Ranger Thunder double cab to join up with team Bluebird as they attempt to shatter an existing electric vehicle land speed record. This after a setback in August where the Bluebird slid sidewards at speeds in excess of 100 miles per hour while gunning for the record at Pendine Sands in Wales, prematurely ending the session.

The Ford Ranger, with its best-in-class towing capacity of up to 6,614 pounds, will transport the 25.9-foot, 2,337-pound Bluebird to exhibitions, testing sessions and record-setting attempts. The Bluebird holds the UK's one-mile land speed record for electrics, which was set at 137 mph back in 2000 at Pendine Sands. Bluebird driver Don Wales is aiming to shatter the one-mile electric record within the next year and has even set a three-year target of 500 mph.
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FORD RANGER BACKS THE BLUEBIRD LAND SPEED RECORD PROJECT

BRENTWOOD, Essex, 5 September, 2011 – The durable Ford Ranger has joined forces with the Bluebird team as it attempts to set a new electric vehicle land speed record.

The Ford Ranger, with its best-in-class towing capacity of up to 3,000kg, will tow the Bluebird to exhibitions, testing sessions and record attempts.

Don Wales, grandson of Sir Malcolm Campbell and nephew of Donald Campbell, will be attempting to break the one mile UK electric vehicle land speed record in the next year.

The Bluebird is the fastest electric vehicle in Europe. The present car - the second powered by electricity to be built under the name - holds the UK land speed record for electric vehicles at 137mph, achieved in 2000 at Pendine Sands. The car, and driver Don Wales, hold another seven class records over a variety of distances.

The car's 300 nickel-cadmium vented cell batteries power two belt-driven 200kW brushless permanent magnet motors, providing around 1100 Nm peak torque to the rear wheels. Bluebird is 26ft long, weighs 1,060Kg and has a drag coefficient of 0.15 Cd.

The team's Ford Ranger support vehicle is a Ranger Thunder with a double cab and a 2.5-litre TDCi 143PS engine. Martin Rees, Bluebird project manager, said: "The Ford Ranger perfectly met our requirements and the historic link between Ford and Sir Malcolm made the choice an obvious one. As well as Sir Malcolm's one-time directorship at Ford of Britain, the Bluebird and Ford of Britain centenary created a natural synergy between the two brands and reason to mark this special year."

The Ford Ranger combines a sleek modern exterior design with a fresh interior, competitive cost-of-ownership and durability. Available with two fuel-efficient Duratorq TDCi engines, the Ford Ranger is offered with a choice of manual or automatic five-speed transmission and 4x2 or 4x4 drivetrains. A wide choice of model series and body configurations, including chassis cab, make Ford Ranger the ideal workhorse with huge potential for business and leisure activities.

Ford has committed to introduce five full-electric and hybrid models in Europe by 2013 as part of its global electrification strategy. These include the Transit Connect Electric this year, the next generation Ford Focus Electric in 2012, followed by hybrid and plug-in hybrid derivatives of the all-new C-MAX and another hybrid-electric model in 2013.

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Details on the new Bluebird electric land speed record project car and archive material can be found at www.bluebirdautomotive.com.