Published: Mon, January 15, 2018
Research | By Derrick Holloway

Ford launches new Ranger bakkie

Ford launches new Ranger bakkie

The Ford Ranger has been launched in the USA to satisfy burgeoning demand in the mid-size pick-up truck market.

It'll sit below the Ford F-150, the market-leading full-size truck, with Ford hoping to attract legacy Ranger owners.

More than two years ago Ford telegraphed its decision to re-launch the Ranger midsize truck in North America after killing the model in 2011. Although not being a diesel unit, the engine is likely to make the new Ranger the most powerful petrol ute in the class.

"Ranger has always held a special place in the hearts of truck fans", said Hau Thai-Tang, Ford's executive vice president of product development and purchasing. The 2019 Ford Ranger will come in XL, XLT and the Lariat trims, which will be available with chrome, sport or the FX Off-Road packages in either SuperCab or SuperCrew cab setups. Globally, the Ford Ranger design is distinct for its fast windshield, high beltline, and short front overhangs, which make for good approach/departure angles.

Short overhangs also serve the dual goal of cleaning up the Ranger's stance while enabling those bumpers to crawl over rocks without scraping. The rear of the 2019 Ranger keeps the large vertical taillights and the tailgate features the Ranger name stamped across it, like the Toyota Tacoma.

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There's also a sliding rear window like the Nissan Navara's, plus that steel bumper has an integrated trailer hitch receiver.

As we've said, the all-new, 2019 Ford Ranger for North America is based on essentially the same T6 platform as the overseas model, but Ford has tweaked it to suit this market.

In the USA the Ranger comes with power from the Ford Mustang Ecoboost - the turbo 2.3-litre four-cylinder petrol matched to a 10-speed auto. For added durability, the engine features a forged-steel crankshaft and connecting rods, and chain-driven dual overhead cams. Despite the 10-speed transmission where a rotary control selector could be possible, the Ranger gets a sportier transmission lever in the center console. That's an attitude American customers expect from a truck, he said.

Ranger prioritizes ground clearance to help climb over off-road obstacles.

In addition to the Terrain Management tech, a system Ford calls Trail Control will debut on Rangers outfitted with the FX4 Off-Road package. For the Ranger, it's paired with a 10-speed automatic transmission as standard.

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The FX4 Off-Road Package introduces Ford's all-new Trail Control technology. It takes over acceleration and braking to allow the driver to focus on steering over rugged terrain.

Power is distributed through DanaAdvanTEK independent front and solid rear axles on both 2WD and 4WD models with an available electronic-locking rear differential (standard on FX2 and FX4) for increased all-terrain traction.

On the inside, you'll find a modern cockpit (and a significant upgrade from what was available in the last Ranger) complete with Ford's Sync 3 infotainment system. The Lariat will also be available with optional Pedestrian Detection and Adaptive Cruise Control.

Lots of modern entertainment and connectivity options will be available, like Ford's SYNC3 system with support for Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. There's even an optional B&O Play sound system for those that like their tunes.

Additional features include LED headlamps and tail lamps with optional puddle lamps and cargo bed lighting.

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Ford+Alexa provides a personal assistant in the truck.

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