A smarter kind of tough

The Witness - Wheels - - MOTORING -

BANGKOK — Ford on Mon­day un­veiled its new Ranger, which will be launched in South Africa in the fourth quar­ter.

Pric­ing will be con­firmed closer to the launch, but Ranger fans may want to place an or­der al­ready, as the list of ex­tras in the big bakkies back Ford’s claim of new bench­marks in the bakkie seg­ment.

“The new Ford Ranger brings a new level of com­fort and re­fine­ment to its seg­ment with­out com­pro­mis­ing on the rugged ca­pa­bil­ity that our cus­tomers de­mand,” said Brett Wheat­ley, vice pres­i­dent of mar­ket­ing, sales and ser­vice at Ford Asia Pa­cific.

“It rep­re­sents a smarter kind of tough, and will help our cus­tomers to achieve more, whether at work or with their fam­i­lies,” said Wheat­ley.

The new Ranger has a new look nose and a stylish, smart and func­tional new in­te­rior. It also boasts an ar­ray of new cut­ting-edge tech­nolo­gies that en­able new and more prac­ti­cal so­lu­tions to ev­ery­day chal­lenges.

“When we set out to im­prove upon the Ford Ranger, we knew we had our work cut out for us— the cur­rent Ranger is one of the tough­est, most ca­pa­ble trucks out there,” said Richard Til­ley, ve­hi­cle line direc­tor, Ford Asia Pa­cific.

As the cur­rent model, the next Ranger can wade in 80 cm deep wa­ter and tra­verse 230 cm high rocks.

An elec­tron­i­cally con­trolled trans­fer case al­lows driv­ers in 4x4 mod­els to shift on the fly from 4x2 to 4x4 high with a knob on the cen­tre con­sole. For lowspeed torque or ad­di­tional down­hill brak­ing, driv­ers can also en­gage lowrange 4x4 gear­ing, while an elec­tronic lock­ing rear dif­fer­en­tial helps to im­prove trac­tion in dif­fi­cult con­di­tions. Th­ese off-road strengths are matched by tow­ing ca­pa­bil­ity of up to 3 500 kg and ex­cep­tional pay­load ca­pac­ity.

Ford said its elec­tric power-as­sisted steer­ing “pro­vides pre­cise steer­ing with a nat­u­ral and con­fi­dent feel”.

The Ranger comes with Ford’s lat­est gen­er­a­tion in-car con­nec­tiv­ity, which al­lows the driv­ers to tell the bakkies to set the cli­mate con­trol by sim­ply say­ing “tem­per­a­ture 20 de­grees”, or “play AC/ DC”, or “I’m hun­gry”. The lat­ter ob­ser­va­tion will have the sat nav look for the near­est place that sells food.

There is also a 240-volt power socket to power a lap­top com­puter.

Driver as­sist tech­nolo­gies range from Lane Keep­ing Alert and Lane Keep­ing Aid that will steer the big bakkie back onto its proper course if the driver drifts be­tween the lines; to adap­tive cruise con­trol.

The rest of the list in­clude a rear- and front view cam­eras, a tyre pres­sure mon­i­tor­ing sys­tem, rollover mit­i­ga­tion and trailer sway con­trol, Blue­tooth-paired emer­gency as­sis­tance, as well as hill launch as­sist and de­scent con­trol.

The next Ranger still comes with an op­tion of four en­gines. The proven 3,2-liter Du­ra­torq five-cylin­der TDCi diesel en­gine has a new ex­haust gas re­cir­cu­la­tion sys­tem to im­prove fuel ef­fi­ciency by up to 18%, while still putting out 147 kW and 470 Nm.

Ford’s lat­est 2,2-litre Du­ra­torq four­cylin­der TDCi diesel en­gine uses less fuel, but still makes 118 kW and 385 Nm. For up to 22% per­cent less diesel, there is also a 96 kW vari­ant.

The fourth en­gine is a 2,5-litre Du­ratec petrol en­gine, that makes 122 kW and 225 Nm.

For city slick­ers who drive their Rangers in peak hour traf­fic, all four en­gines have Au­to­matic Start/Stop Tech­nol­ogy, which can im­prove fuel econ­omy by up to 3,5%.


The new Ford Ranger ar­rives in SA af­ter Oc­to­ber.

In­side the big Ford, the cabin pro­vides a con­tem­po­rary car-like en­vi­ron­ment for both driver and pas­sen­gers.

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