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Ford Ranger finally reintroduced with production set to start in 2018
14 January 2018, 03:37 | Melissa Porter
A Ranger Raptor hasn't been confirmed for North America yet, but spy photos have us crossing our fingers.
The compact segment is really a mid-size segment, as the new generation of smaller pickups aren't as downsized as their predecessors, such as the Ranger and Mazda B-Series vehicles that Ford and former partner Mazda discontinued in the U.S. but continued to sell in other markets.
The only engine offered for the North American Ranger will be a 2.3-liter, direct-injected four-cylinder with a twin-scroll turbocharger. 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.
No changes have been made to the Ranger's design, but it features a bespoke chassis set-up to cater to United States tasted and uses Ford's 2.3-litre Ecoboost petrol engine, as opposed to one of the diesel units offered in the UK. "The all-new Ranger is designed for today's midsize truck buyer, delivering even more utility, capability, and technology for those who blend city living with more off-the-grid adventures on weekends".
Trim levels will consist of an "entry-level XL, mid-level XLT and high-level Lariat trim series with available Chrome and Sport appearance and FX Off-Road packages, and in SuperCab or SuperCrew cab configurations", Ford said. Ranger four-wheel-drive versions feature 2-high, 4-high and 4-low.
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. There's also unique FX4 badging to help the Ranger stand out from the crowd. It has four modes: Normal, Grass/Gravel/Snow, Mud/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. Think of this as cruise-control blended with a hill-descent control system. It's specifically designed for low-speed, off-road terrain and takes over acceleration and braking. 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. Optional exterior lighting includes puddle lamps and lighting for the cargo bed, while Ford's available Smart Trailer Tow connector alerts drivers to faulty trailer connections. The Ranger sits on a fully boxed, high-strength steel frame with six cross members. A rugged steel bumper with an available integrated trailer hitch receiver helps make towing campers, ATVs or watercraft a breeze. SYNC 3 with its 8-inch touchscreen, Apple CarPlay, and Android Auto is optional, while the driver gets dual-LCD info screens that show things like real-time vehicle information, navigation, and audio settings. Available AC power outlets allow for charging of laptops and USB outlets provide more options for passengers to connect. Automatic Emergency Braking is standard, while lane keeping assistance and departure warnings, a reverse sensing system, and blind-spot warnings with trailer coverage are standard once you get to XLT and Lariat trim. The Lariat also features pre-collision assist with pedestrian detection and adaptive cruise control.
Joe Hinrichs, Ford president of the Americas, said at the 2017 auto show that both vehicles will be built at the Michigan Assembly Plant in Wayne.