Ford brings back the Ranger

Terry Joseph
January 15, 2018

The company is leaning on its reputation for trucks for the North American relaunch of a truck it once sold hundreds of thousands of. Ford raised President Trump's ire when it announced it was moving Focus production to a new plant, since cancelled, in Mexico.

The Ranger has an all-new exterior design, chassis, and powertrain.

"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. Three trim levels - XL, XLT and Lariat - will be offered when the Ranger goes on sale in early 2019, each available with Ford's FX4 Off-Road Package.

The Ranger already is a best-seller in Europe, South America and New Zealand and is the second-best-selling midsize truck globally, Eckert says.

Analysts have said Ford might cut into F-150 sales by releasing the Ranger in the USA, but Ford executives have said F-150 shoppers are typically completely different from those who'd look to buy a Ranger.

Inside, there's room for up to five people, an 8-inch center touch screen for audio, climate control and other functions, and the driver's gauge cluster includes two LCD screens for displaying the truck's information. There will also be Chrome and Sport appearance and FX Off-Road packages and in SuperCab or SuperCrew cab configurations. The truck will also have an FX4 Off-Road Package.

Detroit Auto Show: The 2019 Ford Ranger is a high tech little truck

Revealed overnight, the US-market version of the Ranger - a competitor for the Chevrolet Colorado that's also sold here wearing a Holden badge - will exclusively use the turbocharged 2.3-litre Ecoboost petrol engine from the Mustang - performance details are a bit light on the ground at the moment - mated with a 10-speed automatic transmission that includes Ford's terrible gearstick-mounted shifter toggle instead of steering wheel-mounted paddle shifters.

Ford did not release fuel economy projections for the new vehicle. Four-wheel-drive Rangers feature 2-high, 4-high and 4-low transmission modes.

The Ranger for North America rides on a completely re-engineered, fully boxed, high-strength-steel frame with six crossmembers to meet North American safety and stiffness requirements, says Rick Bolt, chief program engineer. The gap between the fender and front door is reduced 0.008 in. The truck was designed with an athletic look in mind, which truck buyers favor. Ford also prioritized ground clearance for off-roading.

This package includes Ford's Terrain Management System, which is similar to what's found in the F-150 Raptor.

Technology changes include automatic emergency braking and blind zone warning (with large sensors in the corner of the tail-lights) to be added to the current Ranger's radar cruise control and lane keeping assistance. The Ranger features styling and performance both inside and outside, which means this truck should preform well both on the pavement and in the dirt. FordPass Connect will give the Ranger Wi-Fi hotspot capabilities, ensuring that new adventurous owners can post their adventurous lifestyles to their favorite social media outlets, making the rest of our life feel uninteresting and void of Ranger-worthy adventure.

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