Ford Ranger revealed in Detroit with 2.3L EcoBoost

Mike Mozart                                                                   Creative Commons 2.0

Ford's auto show press conference is scheduled for 4:30 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 14. The last model sold here hadn't been updated in what seemed like decades, and the average Ford truck buyer could get almost the same gas mileage from a V-6 F-150 (and run it on cheap gas), with a bigger cargo box and much better towing capacity for a few bucks a month more.

The Dearborn, Michigan-based automaker announced it would bring back both the Ranger and Bronco models to the USA market at last year's North American International Auto Show in Detroit.

While mechanically very similar to the existing T6 Ford Ranger sold in various other markets around the world, the North American version gets quite a lot of unique equipment. Already a fondly-remembered nameplate in North America and the second-best-selling mid-size pickup outside of that market, the 2019 model is dramatically improved from the last Ranger sold there, and it's been torture-tested using the very same grueling regimen that the F-150 is subjected to. XLT and Lariat models will get active lane control, lane departure warning, rear park assist, and blind-spot monitors that also cover the trailer the Ranger might be towing. Every body panel was "touched", for "optimized panel gap reduction, and wind noise reduction", Wolff adds. Ford designed the new model on the platform used in global production.

For those intent on reaching that goal, Ford marries the capable Ranger with its FX4 Off-Road package that adds off-road tuned shocks, all-terrain tires, a heavy-gauge steel front bash plate and skid plates-both mounted to the frame, and the Ford Truck division's Terrain Management System. An off-road drive assist technology maintains speed as low as 1 miles per hour and as high as 20 miles per hour, in any transfer-case setting. "We're not trying to make a small F-150 pickup". Meanwhile pre-collision assist with pedestrian detection and adaptive cruise control remain Lariat-only standards, ensuring all eight optional colors and available Sport or Chrome Appearance packages stay in mint condition. 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. Standard wheels are 17-inch, with 18-inchers optional. The vehicle has an aluminum hood and tailgate. It's the inevitable 2.3-litre turbocharged EcoBoost four cylinder engine. The only available gearbox is a ten-speed automatic. No manual will be offered.

The 2016 Ford Ranger Wildtrak, a double cab in a league of its own. Super Cab will come with a five-foot box, and the Super Crew's will be six feet.

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The Ranger will be available in three trim grades: XL, midlevel XLT, and a high-level Lariat trim series.

Americans snapped up Rangers from 1982 to 2012.

While Ford's U.S. PR declined to provide detailed specifications at an embargoed preview, the United Kingdom version of the Ranger is 211 inches long, on a 126.8-inch wheelbase, and 71-72 inches tall.

In addition, it introduces a new feature to Ford's range. It will enter production at Ford's Michigan Assembly Plant in Wayne, Michigan in the latter half of this year, going on sale as a 2019 model.

"Ranger has always held a special place in the hearts of truck fans", said Hau Thai-Tang, Ford executive vice president, Product Development and Purchasing. Per the estimated EPA fuel economy rating, Ford says the final figures will be released this spring. With a recent resurge in popularity for compact pickup trucks such as the Chevrolet Colorado and GMC Canyon, the Toyota Tacoma and the Honda Ridgeline, there's at last room again for a baby Ford truck.

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