Ranger rides again: Ford introduces 2019 Ranger in Detroit

14 January, 2018, 11:39 | Author: Sammy Rose
  • 2019 Ford Ranger EMBARGOED DO NOT USE

At the 2017 North American International Auto Show, Ford announced it would be returning to the North-American mid-size pickup segment with a Ranger.

The company is making no secret of the shared DNA between Ranger and the F-Series models, a homage that is paid even in exterior design. Powerful and strong, with a high-strength steel frame, Ranger is equipped with a proven 2.3-liter EcoBoost engine mated to the only 10-speed automatic transmission in the segment. This 16-valve, dual-overhead cam engine features direct injection and a twin-scroll turbocharger.

"Ranger has always held a special place in the hearts of truck fans", said Hau Thai-Tang, Ford executive vice president, Product Development and Purchasing.

The new Ranger is based on an worldwide truck that has been available even before the old one went away, but it's been optimized for the North American market. The five-passenger pickup will be available in extended and crew cab configurations and offered in XL, XLT, and Lariat trim levels. There will also be Chrome and Sport appearance packages to tailor the look of the Ranger as well as FX off-road packages for those with serious off-road intentions.

The cabin and dashboard will look nothing like the Ranger you drove in high school. There are short overhangs to further enhance performance by providing better clearance for off-roading and maneuvering around obstacles.

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The interior is textbook Ford truck, with a smart looking instrument cluster and familiar center stack.

When it comes time to take the Ranger off-road, the FX4 Off-Road Package offers multiple enhancements to make this truck more capable where the pavement ends.

Perhaps the most notable option is the FX4 Off-Road Package which adds off-road shocks, all-train tires, and a "heavy-gauge steel front bash plate". There's also unique FX4 badging to help the Ranger stand out from the crowd. As on the F-150, a blind-spot information system includes trailer coverage. The Terrain Management System features settings for normal; grass, gravel, snow; mud and ruts; and sand. A new trail control feature maintains a set speed even on slow, bumpy trails. Additionally, as part of the FTX off-road package will be a new-to-Ford trail control system which will essentially act like low-speed cruise control on non-asphalt surfaces. It sends power and braking to each wheel so the driver can instead focus on steering.

Running gear will include sh8ft on the fly four-wheel drive, a locking electronic differential and Dana axles. The 4WD Ranger will have 2-high, 4-high, and 4-low as standard. Outside, there's the choice of LED headlamps and taillamps, together with puddle lamps and lighting for the cargo bed. A rugged steel bumper with an available integrated trailer hitch receiver helps make towing campers, ATVs or watercraft a breeze. Available SYNC 3 features include Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility, Ford+Alexapersonal assistant functionality and optional navigation, Ford said. Also available is FordPass Connect 4G LTE with Wi-Fi access for up to 10 devices to keep everyone connected. Technophobes can opt out by selectively not using the system, but on opposite day they can play with onboard WiFi, AC power outlets and USB charging, an optional B&O sound system, and Amazon Alexa integration. The top Lariat model adds pre-collision assist, pedestrian detection and adaptive cruise control.

One of the casualties was the Ford Ranger, and it slipped into that good night after the 2011 model year. In a departure from the original Ranger, the 2019 truck will have plenty of driver-assistance tech too.

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