Two and four-wheel drive versions of the returning Ranger will be available-a truck that, by the way, has been continuously sold outside of the US since 1998-all with Ford's new ten-speed automatic transmission developed with Chevy.
The traditional argument against mid-size pickups is that they're not much cheaper than fullsize trucks, which offer more capability. But Ford pulled it from the market because gas prices were high and it saw demand dwindling. The company shuttered the 86-year-old Minnesota factory where the Ranger was made. Ford is profitable and has the cash to invest in new vehicles.
It was unveiled at the Detroit motor show overnight where the Ranger is due to go into production for the first time since 2011. Automakers sold 448,000 midsize pickups in the U.S.in 2016; that's forecast to grow to 470,000 in 2019, according to the consulting company IHS Markit. "The powertrain and the off-road packages are both unique to the USA market". It's the second best-selling pick-up in Europe, for example.
The company gradually realized there was still USA demand for a smaller, easy-to-maneuver pickup. Ford hasn't released horsepower, torque, or towing figures yet, but says it can tow campers, ATVs, or watercraft, and its power will be in line with competing V-6s. In an attempt to snag some of the glory, Ford has crafted a midsize truck using a tried and true formula: F-150. By contrast, the Colorado starts at $20,200.
The 2.3-litre petrol powerplant is unlikely to make its way to Australian Rangers
The interior of the 2019 Ford Ranger. It has four modes: Normal, Grass/Gravel/Snow, Mud/Ruts, and Sand. Trail Control will allow the driver to set and maintain a low vehicle speed (1-20 mph) while traveling through less-than ideal trails on the way to the next adventure. North American Ford Focus production now moves to China as Michigan Assembly retools for the '19 Ranger, and about one year later, the new Bronco SUV.
The Ranger for North America rides on a completely re-engineered, fully boxed, high-strength-steel frame with six crossmembers to meet North American safety and stiffness requirements, says Rick Bolt, chief program engineer. Steel bumpers were added in the front and rear to better resemble the F-150, which isn't a big seller outside North America.
There appear to be just mild titivations to the Ranger we get in the United Kingdom, but the big change is the 2.3 litre turbocharged EcoBoost petrol engine under the bonnet, instead of the UK's diesel option, complete with 10-speed auto. It will be mated to the 10-speed automatic with three overdrive gears co-developed with the folks at General Motors. No manual will be offered. It also will be offered with a Ranger-specific off-road package. That will suit Dan MacLeod, 28, an insurance broker from Menomonee Falls, Wisconsin, who wants room for auto seats and a bed that will fit his hunting and fishing gear.
A locking rear differential will be available on trucks fitted with the FX2 and FX4 off-road packages, with the later also equipped with a Terrain Management System with drivetrain and traction control settings optimized for various surfaces, and a Trail Control low speed cruise control for off-roading that's similar to the Toyota Tacoma's Crawl Control feature.
But other fans are already dismissing the new Ranger.
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