A smarter kind of tough
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.