The new Ford Ranger to be built at the company’s factory in Silverton, Pretoria from next year has finally had the wraps removed.
“With Ranger, we’ve had a big extended family for decades,” says Jim Farley, president and CEO. “This truck has always been a trusted partner to small business owners, farmers, families, adventurers, commercial fleets and so many more in more than 180 markets around the world. And with the new Ranger, this is our moment to deliver.
“Not just a product our customers will love, but an always-on experience that will help us build strong and lasting relationships with them. This is the midsize truck people will want to own and experience.”
The next-gen Ranger project was led by Ford’s Product Development Center in Australia. Its international team of dedicated designers and engineers worked with teams around the globe to not only incorporate the very latest in Ford technology, capability and safety, but to also engineer and test the Ranger to Ford’s toughest standards.
Visually, the next-generation Ranger gets an exterior that shares Ford’s global truck design DNA. The design features a defined new grille and signature C-clamp headlight treatment at the front while a subtle shoulder line down the sides incorporates bolder wheel-arches. For the first time, Ford Ranger offers matrix LED headlights.
At the back, the taillights are designed in harmony with the graphics on the front.
Inside, the cabin steps up, using premium soft-touch materials, and a prominent portrait-style centre touchscreen with Ford’s SYNCi 4 connectivity and entertainment system.
The reveal models – the XLT, Sport and Wildtrak – sit on an upgraded chassis riding on a wheelbase 50mm longer and a track 50 mm wider than the prior Ranger.
Customers wanted a choice of more power and torque for towing heavy loads and extreme off-roading, so the team added Ford’s 3,0-litre V6 turbo-diesel and developed it for the Ranger. It is one of three turbo-diesel engine options available at launch, depending on the market.
In addition, it will be available with a 2,3-litre EcoBoost four-cylinder.
New transmission choices include an updated 10-speed auto or six-speed manual, complementing the current six-speed automatic.
Engineers moved the front wheels forward by 50mm for a better approach angle and outboard for better off-road articulation, both of which improve the off-roading experience. They also shifted the rear suspension dampers outboard of the frame rails to give drivers and passengers a better ride both on- and off-road, no matter if they’re carrying heavy cargo for work, or just taking the family out for dinner.
The heart of the Ranger’s connective experience is the large 10,1-inch or 12-inch touchscreen in the centre stack. It complements the fully digital instrument panel and is loaded with Ford’s latest SYNC4 system, which comes customer-ready with its voice-activated communications, entertainment and information systems.
Many of the traditional driving mode controls have been moved from the dash and centre console to their own dedicated display on the SYNC screen. With one button press, drivers can go to Ranger’s dedicated screen for all off-road and drive modes where they can monitor the driveline, steering angle, vehicle pitch and roll angles and other controls.
The screen also is linked to a 360-degree camera to make parking a breeze in tight urban spaces or to assist when negotiating particularly tricky terrain while out exploring.
Specific details on the local variants will be confirmed closer to launch next year.