Ford South Africa has added a 10-speed automatic transmission, two new turbo-diesel engines and a revised suspesnion confiuration to its locally manufactured Ranger light commercial range.
“The current Ranger has been a fantastic success story for Ford in South Africa where it remains one of the country’s top-selling vehicles, and the leading LCV export to markets in Europe, the Middle East and Africa,” says Doreen Mashinini, General Manager Marketing at Ford Motor Company of Southern Africa.
“The New Ranger introduces fresh exterior and interior design cues that build on its ‘tough truck’ image, complemented by the adoption of new technologies that further bolster the Ranger’s established reputation for safety, convenience and comfort.
“With an extensive range of under-the-skin changes, including the introduction of the all-new 2,0-litre Bi-Turbo and Single turbo-diesel engines, a revolutionary new 10-speed automatic transmission and a revised suspension set-up, this is by far the biggest upgrade yet for the current-generation Ranger, which continues to be proudly produced at Ford’s Silverton Assembly Plant in Pretoria,” Mashinini adds.
The front-end design of the XLT series has been updated to have a more horizontal feel, with the centre grille bar now divided into two. The lower bumper gains a centre beam that runs into the outer fog lamp areas. The same design execution has been applied to XL and XLS variants.
The Wildtrak, which now comes with HID headlamps and LED daytime running lights, has intentionally kept the vertical aspect ratio grille that also incorporates the ‘nostrils’ in its design. Along with a split centre bar and additional venting holes for cooling, the new design is more aggressive in its application but remains true to the Wildtrak DNA.
The interior is now delivered with an Ebony Black environment while the Wildtrak’s updated interior gets dark-satin chrome elements, a gloss-finish decorative spear and upscale partial-leather seats embossed with Wildtrak graphics.
The high-tech 2.0 Bi-Turbo engine is available on the Wildtrak and will also power the soon to be launched Ranger Raptor. The Bi-Turbo engine relies on a variable-geometry high-pressure turbo-charger along with a fixed-geometry low-pressure unit.
The two turbo-chargers work in series at lower engine speeds for enhanced torque and responsiveness. At higher engine speeds, the smaller turbo is bypassed and the larger turbo provides boost to deliver high power. Maximum outputs are rated at 157 kW and 500 Nm of torque from 1 750 r/min to 2 000 r/min.
In the case of the 2.0 Single Turbo engine, which is offered on the Ranger Double Cab XLT 4×4 and 4×2 derivatives, delivers more performance at lower engine speed compared with the current 2,2-litre TDCi engine, producing 132 kW and 420 Nm between 1 750 r/min and 2 500 r/min.
Customers will still have the option of the five-cylinder 147 kW/470 Nm 3,2-litre Duratorq TDCi engine, available in Wildtrak and XLT specification on the double cab derivatives, as well XLT and XLS models in the SuperCab range.
The 2,2-litre TDCi engine remains a key part of the New Ranger line-up across the Single Cab, SuperCab and Double Cab models. It continues in the two existing levels: 88 kW/285 Nm with a five-speed manual gearbox for the base-spec models, and 118 kW/385 Nm for the more upmarket versions, available with a choice of six-speed manual and automatic transmissions.
“As the new 2.0 Bi-Turbo and Single Turbo engines are only available in four derivatives at launch, the Duratorq TDCi engines still power the remainder of the 33 models available in the New Ranger line-up, and we have many thousands of customers who have been truly delighted with the impressive all-round performance and durability of these units,” says Mashinini.
The 2,0-litre Bi-Turbo and 2,0 Single Turbo engines are exclusively available with Ford’s 10-speed automatic transmission, used applications as diverse as the Ford F-150 pick-up and the new Ford Mustang.
A wider spread of ratios and high-tech new features, including real-time adaptive shift-scheduling that allows the transmission to adapt to changing conditions, enable the optimal gear to be selected for performance, fuel-efficiency or refinement in any driving scenario.
Ford engineering data, based on real-world driving cycles, indicates an improvement in fuel-efficiency of up to nine percent in the case of the 2.0 Bi-Turbo engine mated to the 10-speed automatic transmission, compared to the current 3.2-litre TDCi and six-speed automatic gearbox.
Additional innovations include the Progressive Range Select (PRS) that has an SST (Select Shift Transmission) button. This function is able to lock out selected gears from the automatic shifting range, which can be beneficial when towing, driving in slippery conditions or climbing a steep gradient.
‘Sport’ mode makes the gearbox more responsive for maximum performance, and there’s the option of full manual mode from the ‘S’ position, controlled via +/- buttons on the new gearshift lever.
I await an opportunity to put all of this to the test.
A key handling change has been the relocation of the front stabiliser, or anti-roll bar, from the tight confines in front of the fully independent suspension to a new position behind the axle. This new set-up optimises the design and performance of the stabiliser bar, resulting in improved roll control – which, in turn, enables a decrease in front spring rates, giving the Ranger better ride performance and comfort.
On the driver aid list, the Semi-Automatic Parallel Park Assist (SAPPA) currently available on Ford’s Everest SUV is now standard on the Ranger Wildtrak. The system uses ultrasonic sensors on the front and rear bumpers that search for and identify parking spaces that are big enough to parallel park the vehicle.
Adding convenience is the new Passive Entry and Passive Start (PEPS), fitted as standard on the XLT and Wildtrak. The keyless entry and passive start uses an intelligent access system that allows the driver to unlock the vehicle and start the engine without removing the key fob from a pocket or bag.
Ford’s SYNC technology remains the cornerstone of the Ranger’s in-car entertainment system. XLT and Wildtrak models are equipped with the high-end SYNC 3 with Navigation, linked to the integrated eight-inch touch-screen colour display.
The safety package offered in the Ranger and depending on specification level, incorporates a comprehensive Electronic Stability Control (ESC) system with Traction Control (TC), Trailer Sway Control (TSC), Hill Start Assist (HSA), Hill Descent Control (HDC), Adaptive Load Control (ALC) and Roll Over Mitigation (ROM).
Model Range and Recommended Retail Prices:
2.2 TDCi Base 5MT 4×2 R287 100
2.2 TDCi XL 6MT 4×2 R359 800
2.2 TDCi XL 6AT 4×2 R372 300
2.2 TDCi XL 6MT 4×4 R411 400
2.2 TDCi XLS 6MT 4×2 R390 900
2.2 TDCi XLS 6AT 4×4 R449 200
3.2 TDCi XLS 6MT 4×2 R401 800
3.2 TDCi XLS 6AT 4×4 R460 100
2.2 TDCi Base 5MT 4×2 R336 500
2.2 TDCi XL 6MT 4×2 R381 400
2.2 TDCi XL 6AT 4×2 R393 800
2.2 TDCi XL 6MT 4×4 R429 300
2.2 TDCi XLS 6AT 4×2 R426 400
2.2 TDCi XLS 6AT 4×4 R472 400
3.2 TDCi XLS 6MT 4×2 R424 900
3.2 TDCi XLS 6MT 4×4 R480 900
3.2 TDCi XLT 6AT 4×4 R568 600
2.2 TDCi Base 5MT 4×2 R350 000
2.2 TDCi XL 6MT 4×2 R409 400
2.2 TDCi XL 6AT 4×2 R428 800
2.2 TDCi XL 6MT 4×4 R455 300
2.2 TDCi XL 6AT 4×4 R474 700
2.2 TDCi XLS 6MT 4×2 R455 100
2.2 TDCi XLS 6AT 4×4 R508 400
2.0 SiT XLT 10AT 4×2 R514 300
2.0 SiT XLT 10AT 4×4 R570 200
3.2 TDCi XLT 6MT 4×2 R542 600
3.2 TDCi XLT 6AT 4×2 R571 400
3.2 TDCi XLT 6MT 4×4 R604 800
3.2 TDCi XLT 6AT 4×4 R617 300
3.2 TDCi Wildtrak 6AT 4×2 R609 800
2.0 BiT Wildtrak 10AT 4×2 R632 300
2.0 BiT Wildtrak 10AT 4×4 R678 200
All models come standard with Ford Protect, comprising a four-year/120 000 km comprehensive warranty, three-year/unlimited distance roadside assistance and five-year/unlimited km corrosion warranty. A six-year/90 000 km service plan is included, with 15 000 km service intervals.