Anew­work­ing-class hero

Ford’s Ranger is ready to roll, writes Paul Gover

Herald Sun - Motoring - - News -

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.

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