Ford Ranger debuts in Detroit

Ford Ranger debuts in Detroit

Ford Ranger debuts in Detroit

Ford reintroduced its Ranger model to North America by releasing a collection of photos and facts about the midsize pickup truck early Sunday morning, January 14. At the Detroit auto show, Ford revealed the 2019 Ranger pickup, following the industry back to the mid-size segment it seemingly abandoned nearly a decade ago.

The company is leaning on its reputation for trucks for the North American relaunch of a truck it once sold hundreds of thousands of. That is not the case.

It's a real truck.

The Ranger's suspension is a dual A-arm with coil springs in front with a solid Dana rear axle with leaf springs in back. Power steering will be electronically-assisted.

Of course, Ford promises a body-on-frame construction, with a frame and bumpers made out of high-strength steel. Powertrain-wise, there's only one offered, at least for the moment.

The Ranger will be offered in two-door or four-door configurations with a choice of a 5-foot or 6-foot bed. The truck also gets an aluminum hood and tailgate and steel bumpers for this market. Curb weight ranges from 4,066 pounds for the non-North America standard cab, to as much as 4,875 pounds, which still is more than 600 pounds lighter than a Ford F-150 Platinum 4×4 Super Crew. The exterior and interior styling of the North American Ranger will be aimed at a more affluent, recreational use buyer.

Ford will market the Ranger as a vehicle for urban adventurers. MacLeod used to drive an F-150 and now he drives a GMC Yukon SUV, but he prefers Ford trucks and will buy a Ranger if he likes what he sees. The lack of a stripper model with plastic wheel well trim pieces leads us to believe that higher-volume, lower-profit fleet sales/work truck sales aren't as high of a priority. It consists of Ford's turbocharged, 2.3-liter EcoBoost petrol engine - with a forged crankshaft and forged connecting rods for durability - paired with Ford's proven 10-speed automatic transmission.

The standard Ranger is rear-wheel drive, but part-time shift-on-the-fly four-wheel drive is optional.

The Ford Ranger FX4 will also get a Terrain Management System not dissimilar to that found on the Ford F-150 Raptor. Grass/gravel/snow simply numbs throttle response. Automakers have learned how to iron out powerful engines and make them fuel efficient while teaching themselves how to wrangle daily drivability, off-road ability, and delivery truck utility into a single package and deliver it to customers, who moan "we want it allll" like undead zombies, with a bow on top. Think of this as cruise-control blended with a hill-descent control system. Called Trail Control, it engages at speeds from 1 to 20 miles per hour and can be slowed to a new speed (instead of disengaged) by applying the brake. Where it differs from a cruise control is that pressing the brake while it's activated doesn't deactivate it but rather, brings the cruise speed down to whatever the driver slows to.

This pickup will also be safer than your old truck with standard emergency braking across the lineup and standard (on XLT and above) lane keeping, lane departure warning, reverse sensing system and blind spot information. The second row in the SuperCrew also features underseat storage that's waterproof.

The Ranger will be available in three different trim levels- XL, XLT, and Lariat- in ascending order of price and included features. The FX4 Off-Road Package provides additional trail capability and includes a terrain management system that offers four distinct driving modes: normal; grass, gravel and snow; mud and ruts; and sand. The FX2 variant gets all of the above, but only two powered wheels.

Ford will build the new '19 Ranger beginning early next year, famously, at its Michigan Assembly Plant in the City of Wayne, where it now produces the Focus and C-Max.

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