Ford Ranger finally reintroduced with production set to start in 2018
15 January, 2018, 00:31 | Author: Yolanda Murray
Ford expects to make a big splash in the midsize pickup market when it revives the beloved Ranger nameplate on an all-new pickup early in 2019. The truck is making its first appearance back on USA soil since 2011 and one that is well received by a large faithful following.
The truck will be built at Ford's Michigan Assembly Plant. Ford pulled the truck from the North American market in 2011, and the automaker has been on the sidelines as the midsize truck segment has grown 83% since 2014 to 452,000 sales previous year, he notes.
"Ranger has always held a special place in the hearts of truck fans", said Ford's boss of product development and purchasing, Hau Thai-Tang. "The all-new Ranger is designed for today's midsize truck buyer, delivering even more utility, capability, and technology for those who blend city living with more off-the-grid adventures on weekends".
Ford listened to what consumers wanted and it reflects in the design of the all-new truck. In this case, the sole engine that will be offered is the 2.3-liter EcoBoost four-cylinder engine, which can only be paired with a 10-speed automatic transmission. This 16-valve, dual-overhead cam engine features direct injection and a twin-scroll turbocharger. No power or towing load numbers yet - we'll have to wait a little closer to launch for those - but Ford is promising torque on a par with a V6 but with the efficiency of a four-cylinder. Although not being a diesel unit, the engine is likely to make the new Ranger the most powerful petrol ute in the class.
It will be available in both 2WD and 4WD variants and will come in Xl, XLT and Lariat trim options. In addition, Ford thought guessed that most truck buyers would just spend a few thousand dollars more and step into a larger F-150. There are numerous optional driver-assist features, too.
Automatic Emergency Braking will be standard on all models of the new truck, while Lane Departure Warning, Lane Keeping Assist, Reverse Sensing System, and BLIS (Blind Spot Information System) with trailer coverage will be standard on the XLT and Lariat.
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Inside the vehicle the infotainment system will be a Sync 3 system which will be up to eight-inches in size.
Interior changes for North America include a revised steering wheel, shifter and controls along with different trim colors and available Sync3 connectivity. This package will add off-road suspension and shocks, aggressive tires, skid plates, a Terrain Management system akin to the one in the Ford F-150 Raptor, and a new Trail Control system. It's been programmed with four modes: Normal, Grass/Gravel/Snow, Mud/Rut, and Sand.
Americans will be happy to know this isn't simply a transplant of the European Ranger, but has been designed specifically for USA market. Called Trail Control, it engages at speeds from 1 to 20 miles per hour and can be slowed to a new speed (instead of disengaged) by applying the brake. Think of this as cruise-control blended with a hill-descent control system. The package also includes Trail Control, which acts like a cruise control system for low-speed, rugged terrain. Power goes through Dana Trac-Lok differentials on both two- and four-wheel drive models. An electronic-locking rear axle is available (standard on FX2 and FX4) for increased all-terrain traction.
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