Ford reveals facelifted Ranger in United States guise

2019 Ford Ranger EMBARGOED DO NOT USE

It was unveiled at the Detroit motor show overnight where the Ranger is due to go into production for the first time since 2011. Instead, they hope to bring back former customers who have owned Rangers in the past and, perhaps more importantly, newer, more adventurous customers.

Ford is reintroducing the Ranger to the United States market, coming in as what it would call a mid-size pickup truck. After an eight-year absence from the US market, Ford decided last year that it could no longer ignore a mid-size pickup segment that was attracting a half million buyers annually.

"Ranger has always held a special place in the hearts of truck fans", Hau Thai-Tang, Ford executive vice president of product development and purchasing, said in a news release. Ford has chose to return to the midsize pickup truck segment because sales for this type of vehicle have increased 83 percent since 2014. The engine is paired with a 10-speed automatic transmission. 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. Although not being a diesel unit, the engine is likely to make the new Ranger the most powerful petrol ute in the class. Specific Sport and FX Off-Road appearance packages will be offered on some of the trim levels. It slots in beneath the F-150, featuring an all-new body design, new in-car tech and decor, and a fresh engine.

Ranger incorporates smart driver-assist, passenger convenience, and connectivity technologies.

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The US Ranger also gets some advanced driver assist technologies, such as adaptive cruise control, automatic emergency braking, pedestrian detection and blind spot assist with trailer coverage.

"We see more of an opportunity that didn't exist five years ago", Ford truck marketing manager Todd Eckert said. Keeping the crew comfortable during the journey is a live rear axle and electric steering while entertainment responsibilities are doled out to the 8-inch touchscreen infotainment system loaded with SYNC 3 software, Apple CarPlay, and Android Auto. The Ford+Alexa personal assistant and 4G LTE modem with WiFi access for up to 10 devices is also optional. The interior features and trim incline toward durability, not luxury. Plus Ford wanted it to bear some resemblance to the larger F-150 pickup. The FX4 Off-Road Package provides additional trail capability and includes a terrain management system that offers four distinct driving modes: normal; grass, gravel and snow; mud and ruts; 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.

Americans will be happy to know this isn't simply a transplant of the European Ranger, but has been designed specifically for U.S. market.

A new low-speed off-road cruise control (similar to Toyota's Crawl Control) is also standard on four-wheel-drive models. An electronic locking rear differential is optional, standard on FX2 and FX4 models.

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