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Ford Ranger: Coming (Back) to America

15 January 2018
Ford Ranger: Coming (Back) to America

As we've said, the all-new, 2019 Ford Ranger for North America is based on essentially the same T6 platform as the overseas model, but Ford has tweaked it to suit this market.

The Ranger has an all-new exterior design, chassis, and powertrain.

"When you pair that with its 10-speed transmission, you've got one of the most versatile, powerful and efficient powertrains in the segment", said Hau Thai-Tang, Ford's executive vice president for product development and purchasing.

Analysts have said Ford might cut into F-150 sales by releasing the Ranger in the US, but Ford executives have said F-150 shoppers are typically completely different from those who'd look to buy a Ranger. In a reversal of the Mulally-era One Ford touted for the '12 Focus, however, the Blue Oval truck people say the Ranger has been heavily redesigned for the USA market, and has its own, unique box-frame construction.

The truck will be available in XL, XLT and Lariat trim levels with chrome or sport appearance options. It comes in two cab styles, SuperCab (extended cab) and SuperCrew (four full doors), but one wheelbase, which means two bed lengths will be present depending on cab style.

Fully reengineered for the United States, Ranger will be built in MI with a 2.3-liter turbocharged four cylinder engine and 10-speed automatic transmission. Per the estimated EPA fuel economy rating, Ford says the final figures will be released this spring. Every four-wheel drive Ranger also includes 2-high, 4-high, and 4-low.

What differentiates the North American Ranger from the global model is the bumpers: Ours are steel and are mounted directly to the frame for superior durability and crashworthiness. The truck was designed with an athletic look in mind, which truck buyers favor.

New tailgate, new tail-lights and a new rear window on the 2018 Ford Ranger. There are short overhangs to further enhance performance by providing better clearance for off-roading and maneuvering around obstacles.

Ranger's FX4 Off-Road Package features an innovative Terrain Management System similar to the F-150 Raptor's.

For times when Ranger owners are adventuring to work or on errands, there's Adaptive Cruise and Lane Keep assistance, standard on the top-spec Lariat trim and optional on the XLT trim. In addition, there was only so much that Ford could do when it came to outfitting the truck with enough tech to meet more stringent safety and emissions standards.

Sync3 is available on the vehicle, as well as available FordPass with a WiFi hotspot. Customers can opt for a 3.8-, 4-, or 8-inch touch screen depending on trim level, while you'll find Android Auto and CarPlay integration as well.

It's the first time in eight years the Ford Ranger has sold in the US. Sales peaked in 1999 at around 350,000 but dropped steadily until its final year in 2011, when Ford sold 70,832.

The new-for-2018 Ford Ranger looks largely unchanged from the model already on sale in Australia - the body is the same since launch seven years ago. This year, it will replace the Focus and the C-Max there.