Ford Ranger Production to Begin in Late 2018

Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published broadcast rewritten or redistributed

Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published broadcast rewritten or redistributed

Ford Motor Co. returned to the midsize pickup truck market with the 2019 Ford Ranger, bringing back the vehicle at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit following an eight year absence from the USA market. The truck is making its first appearance back on USA soil since 2011 and one that is well received by a large faithful following.

Incidentally, the Ford Ranger was SA's second best selling vehicle in 2017.

Production begins late this year at Ford's Michigan Assembly Plant as customer demand is growing for midsize trucks. While it only looks slightly different from the global Ranger that's been on sale outside North America for years and is the best-selling pickup in Europe, there are some differences. This twin-scroll turbocharged engine is created to be efficient and durable with a forged-steel crankshaft, connecting rods, and chain-driven dual overhead cams.

The Ranger nameplate is stamped across the tailgate.

Engines in Australia are yet to be confirmed but given buyer preference for diesel it's likely the new Ranger will power on with the old 2.2-litre four-cylinder and 3.2-litre five-cylinder turbo diesels.

Yes, a unique powertrain; for now, at least, the North American 2019 Ford Ranger will be available with just a single engine and transmission combination, although it's a rather promising one.

Ford says the Ranger will initially be offered in XL, XLT and Lariat configurations.

The rough-and-tumble truck features plenty of tech tidbits too.

Other available features will include LED head and taillights B&O audio, blind spot alert for the truck and trailers, 4G LTE hot spot, adaptive cruise control, pedestrian detection and autonomous emergency braking. Marketing-speak translation: Ford wants buyers willing to splurge on the Ranger because they think it's cool, even if they in no way need a pickup truck.

One of the largest crossovers from the F-150 can be seen in Ford's attention to how many people nowadays hit the dirt with their truck. That package provides part-time four-wheel drive, a steel skid plate up front, other steel underbody skid plates, off-road shocks and tires, and Magnetic Grey trim accents. It's been programmed with four modes: Normal, Grass/Gravel/Snow, Mud/Rut, and Sand. The system can shift on the fly to automatically change throttle responsiveness, transmission gearing, and vehicle controls to tailor traction, driveability, and performance to any given terrain or weather condition. However, its fully-boxed ladder frame, exterior styling, and package options have been redesigned to specifically suit the American market.

Something new in the FX4 package is Ford's all-new Trail Control technology. An off-road drive assist technology maintains speed as low as 1 miles per hour and as high as 20 miles per hour, in any transfer-case setting. This means the technology will send power or brakes to each wheel as needed so drivers can keep their eyes on steering while off-road driving. An electronic locking rear differential is optional, standard on FX2 and FX4 models.

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

More interestingly for us, this US-made Ranger previews what the updated T6 Thai-made version, that we're to get, will look like, ahead of what we expect to be its Australian on-sale date around September of 2018.

Missing from Ford's information about the new 2019 Ranger are numbers - any of them.

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