At my recent visit to the Ford Europe proving ground in Lommel I got a taste of Ford cars, and I must admit that I was very impressed by their excellent dynamic qualities. A good reason to take a closer look at their products and what Ford is up to lately.
Today they announced the following generation of their evergreen in the pick-up scene, the Ranger. In fact, Ford engineers and designers teamed up with customers around the world to create a pick-up they can rely on for work, family and play. They changed the exterior design and designed a more high-tech, inviting interior.
The design features a defined new grille, and signature C‑clamp headlight treatment at the front while we also see bolder wheel arches which gives Ranger a sure-footed stance. For the first time, Ford Ranger offers matrix LED headlights.
Beneath the new bodywork is an upgraded chassis riding on a wheelbase 50 mm longer and a track 50 mm wider than the prior Ranger.
New powertrain choices
Customers wanted a choice of more power and torque for towing heavy loads and extreme off‑roading, so the team added Ford’s proven 3.0-litre V6 turbodiesel and developed it for the Ranger.
The next-gen Ranger will also come with a choice of proven Single-Turbo and Bi-Turbo 2.0-litre in-line four-cylinder diesels.
Improved ride and handling
To develop the ride and handling expected of a truck customer’s use for a wide range of work, family and play – engineers focused on the fundamentals.
Engineers moved the front wheels forward by 50 mm for a better approach angle and outboard for better off-road articulation, both of which improve the off‑roading experience. They also shifted the rear suspension dampers outboard of the frame rails to give drivers and passengers a better ride both on- and off‑road, no matter if they’re carrying heavy cargo for work, or just taking the family out for dinner.
Customers will have a choice of two four-wheel drive systems – an electronic shift-on-the-fly system, or an advanced new full-time four-wheel drive system with a reassuring set-and-forget mode, designed for capability when and where customers need it. Off-road recovery is made easier with prominent dual recovery hooks in the front bumper.
Customers wanted a flexible, modern cockpit that caters to both work and family duties. So, Ranger needs to serve as both a workspace and a haven, providing smart and connected features with more comfort and storage options than ever before.
The heart of the Ranger’s connective experience is the large 10.1-inch or 12-inch touchscreen in the centre stack. It complements the fully digital instrument panel.
Many of the traditional driving mode controls have been moved from the dash and centre console to their own dedicated display on the SYNC™ screen. With one button press, drivers can go to Ranger’s dedicated screen for all off-road and drive modes where they can monitor the driveline, steering angle, vehicle pitch and roll angles and other controls.
Ford designers created an integrated side-step behind the rear tyres of the next‑generation Ranger, to create a strong, more stable way for them to access the box.
Additional thoughtful, customer-focused touches include a new, tough plastic-moulded bedliner that helps protect both the truck bed from scratches and owners’ knees from kneeling on a steel truck bed.
Durable, flexible load box caps around the sides of the box and across the tailgate conceal structural attachment points for canopies and other aftermarket accessories.
In addition, Ranger offers a new cargo management system designed with dividers to hold various sized items – like timber or toolboxes.
Accessories to help you personalize your Ranger…
Customers in Europe will be able to personalise their next-gen Ranger from launch with a range of over 150 fully factory‑backed work, urban and adventure accessories.
Order books for next-generation Ranger will open in Europe in late 2022 for customer delivery in early 2023. The current Ranger is Europe’s pick-up segment leader and recently set a new September year-to-date sales record of 45,539 units, with market share of 39.9 per cent.
We just let you look at the photos for now…
Hans Knol ten Bensel