Ford’s Ranger is ready to roll, writes Paul Gover
THE Ford Ranger is finally real and ready to roll in the middle of 2011. The new working-class hero was revealed in the lead-up to the Australian International Motor Show at the end of the T6 development program, which has brought big business to Broadmeadows.
The Ranger is aimed at 180 countries under the One Ford product development and rationalisation program, which also points to the Falcon being twinned with something else — most likely the American Mustang — to ensure its survival here.
The Ranger is twinned with the Mazda BT-50 and both models will be built in Thailand for sales in Australia.
The hero of the new line-up, and the star under lights at the show in Sydney, is the XLT Double Cab with a 2.2-litre Duratorq diesel engine with 110 kW and 375 Nm of torque. But there are three engines in total.
Other early technical details include leaf-sprung rear suspension, with short and long-arm front suspension, petrol and diesel engines, five and six-speed manual gearboxes with a six-speed auto available, and a choice of body styles from a cab-chassis to the dual- cab luxury model. There are also rear and four-wheel drive models.
The new Ranger continues the 20-year run of the nameplate but Ford says it is a huge change.
‘‘It’s the largest single vehicle development program ever undertaken in Australian automotive history for global markets,’’ says Martin Burela, president of Ford Australia.
The new Ranger is longer and stronger than the previous model, with a payload of up to 1500kg.
It also has a more-luxurious cabin.
Ranger arrives: the XLT Double Cab has a 2.2-litre Duratorq diesel engine.