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First Look: Ford Unveils Next-Generation Ranger

FORD Australia lifted the covers for its new Ranger this week, the fifth-generation light commercial utility debuting with a powerful new turbo-diesel V6 engine, a significantly revised chassis and suspension package, and levels of technology and equipment. Extensively updated, including a huge portrait- oriented central touchscreen.

While it has yet to announce pricing, payload, towing capacity, engine horsepower, or cargo area and cabin dimensions, Ford Australia has revealed that the Ranger will launch locally with five base models – XL, XLS, XLT, Sport (new) and Wildtrak – while the Raptor is expected to join later as a flagship of the model line.

The latest model is Ford’s first completely redesigned Ranger since the T6 series launched in 2011. It is also the first Ford light commercial vehicle to offer the combination of a 3.0-liter V6 turbodiesel engine and a 10-speed automatic transmission, the Power Stroke Unit familiar to the American F-150 and which will be offered alongside the four-cylinder mono and twin-turbo units.

Ford Australia has yet to confirm the output and fuel economy figures for the newly adopted engine, but in other markets it develops 186 kW at 3250 rpm and 597 Nm from 1750 rpm . Ford says the engine is likely to be a favorite of customers who want “more power and torque to tow heavy loads and extreme off-road handling.”

“The three-liter turbodiesel V6 is up to the task. When you drive a Ranger with the V6 turbodiesel it feels like a much bigger truck, and it’s really tough in the sense that it has endless power and torque, which is exactly what our customers wanted, ”said the Ford Ranger program director. Pritika Maharaj.

The 2.2-liter four-cylinder and 3.2-liter five-cylinder turbodiesel offerings of the outgoing Ranger will be absent from the new model, replaced by the series 2.0-liter single and twin-turbo four-cylinder diesel units. Ford’s YN2S. .

Ford Australia did not reveal the output and fuel economy figures for either engine when revealing the Ranger, the twin-turbo engine is expected to deliver the same 157 kW at 3,750 rpm and 500 Nm from 1750 to 2000 rpm than before.

Transmission choices include an updated 10 and six-speed automatic. Both are electronically controlled and the manual gearbox will be absent from the Australian Rangers lineup.

“We know our customers take their Rangers to extremes, so this is how we test them. We go the extra mile to make sure Ranger will do whatever our customers want, time and time again, ”added Maharaj.

Visually, the Ranger closely emulates the styling of its American cousin, the F-150. Ford said it has “spent a lot of time with pickup owners around the world” to create a “bold and confident” Ranger that “shares its global truck design DNA.”

A prominent new grille and Ford’s signature C-clamp headlamp treatment dominate the front, while a subtle shoulder line and bolder wheel arches give the new Ranger a “safe stance.” LED headlights are available while at the rear the taillights are designed to complement the Ranger’s front graphics.

“Customers have told us that the Ranger has to look tough and has to inspire confidence. They’ve been very clear on what Ranger should be, both in how it looks and how it feels, ”said Max Tran, Ford Ranger Chief Designer.

Underneath the new body is an improved chassis on a 50mm longer wheelbase and 50mm wider track than the outgoing model. A hydroformed front structure creates more space in the engine bay for the new V6 engine and helps to perpetuate the Ranger for other propulsion technologies, with Ford hinting that hybridization or even electrification of the Ranger is possible at the ‘to come up.

The new front-end design provides improved engine cooling for the Ranger’s turbo-diesel trio, with Ford saying the larger aperture ensures operating temperatures stay low when off-road driving, hauling and towing, or in the lane. ‘one of the many scenarios the vehicle is used for around the world.

“With Ranger, we’ve had a large extended family for decades. This truck has always been a trusted partner for small business owners, farmers, families, adventurers, commercial fleets and more in over 180 markets around the world, ”said Jim Farley, President and Chief Executive Officer of Ford.

“And with the new Ranger, it’s time to deliver. Not just a product our customers will love, but an ongoing experience that will help us build strong and lasting relationships with them. It’s the midsize truck that people will want to own and experience.

The Next Generation Ranger Project was led by Ford’s Product Development Center in Australia. Its team of 2,000 international designers and engineers worked with teams around the world to ensure the new Ranger met “Ford’s highest standards.”

Compared to the outgoing model, the front wheels of the new Ranger are located further forward (+50mm) to provide an improved approach angle and further outward (+50mm) to increase articulation outside. road.

Rear shocks are moved outside of the frame side members to improve ride quality on all surfaces and at full load, while the availability of dual four-wheel drive systems and prominent double recovery hooks in the bumper Front shocks ensure that off-road tasks are properly taken care of.

“Our team was focused on one goal: to make this the toughest, most capable Ranger we’ve ever created. They put it through one of the most comprehensive global testing programs we’ve ever developed and didn’t stop until we were convinced it was a Ford Tough product. Said Graham Pearson, Ford Ranger Vehicle Program Director.

“We have a very wide range of clients. On the one hand, you might have small business owners looking for a very work-oriented mode of transportation. They want traditional two-wheel drive with a single cabin and a cargo box to transport their goods. At the opposite extreme you have the serious off-roaders who really push their Rangers to the limit with endurance races like King of the Hammers or the Dakar Rally.

“The next-generation Ranger will meet the needs of both types of customers and those in between… have achieved the capability, strength and durability that Ford trucks are known for, along with the comfort and handling. more like that of a car for which Ranger is famous.

Mr Pearson said Ford has worked alongside Australian off-road equipment supplier ARB to offer a range of “nearly 600 fully factory-backed work, urban and adventure accessories.”

The ARB Accessory Collaboration will initially be rolled out in select markets, with Australia seen as “top of the list”.

The cargo box of the new Ranger has also undergone a major redesign, a side step integrated behind the rear tires providing improved access to the wider deck, which now incorporates a standard plastic tub liner, an adjustment load range and stay securing functions and additional tie-down points.

Its tailgate was designed to serve as a mobile workbench with clamp pockets for measuring, grabbing and cutting building materials, the LED-lit area under the left and right rails – joining additional external lighting to create a field of 360 degrees of lighting around the vehicle.

“When we met our customers and watched how they got to the cargo bed, we saw a great opportunity for improvement. There were people stepping on the tire and then stepping over the side of the truck or climbing onto the open tailgate, ”said Anthony Hall, Ford Ranger Vehicle Engineering Manager.

“Widening the truck 50mm may not seem like much, but it makes a huge difference, especially in the cargo box. This means that customers will be able to flat-load fairly basic items, like a sheet of construction plywood or a full-size pallet.

Inside, the Ranger now offers better storage space and additional space behind the rear seats. New door pockets provide additional cargo capacity, as do a dashboard storage box and rear drawers under the seats.

Ford said it is aware that the Ranger’s cabin caters to work and family tasks in equal measure, offering SYNC4-equipped infotainment systems with 10.1 or 12.0-inch touchscreens to complete the picture. fully digital on-board panel and built-in factory-installed mobile internet connectivity.

Many hard buttons in the center console have been removed, with functions integrated into the touchscreen, a dedicated off-road mode now offering transmission, steering angle, vehicle pitch and roll angles and control. other controls for four-wheel drive enthusiasts.

The Ranger is also available with a 360-degree camera and the ability to allow owners to start their vehicles, check various functions, and lock and unlock from their cell phones through the FordPass Connect app.

“We know that our customers are looking for smart, functional and comfortable indoor space. So we set out to design it with a high level of well-integrated technology, smart functional storage and visual cues to make the environment comfortable and spacious, ”Mr. Tran said.

“You will find the interior sumptuous, but with the dual purpose of work and play in mind. The new short-throw electronic shifter is at the heart of the setup and is another example of where customers really guided our decision-making. Customers overwhelmingly liked the e-shifter – they liked the fact that it looked more technological and that it was intuitive to use, ”he said.

It is understood that the Ranger will be joined “later” by a new Everest SUV – its twin under the skin Volkswagen Amarok also scheduled for next year.

The fifth-generation Ranger will be built at Ford’s manufacturing plants in Thailand and South Africa from 2022. Local specifications and pricing will be announced closer to launch.

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