By Otsile Kadiege
After more than a decade, Ford has finally unveiled the successor of the T6 generation, which is one of the best selling bakkies in South Africa. The all-new Ranger boasts a bold new design, high-Tech features, smart connectivity, enhanced capability and versatility, as well as a range of powertrains.
The new Ranger has an American truck-like exterior design giving the new bakkie a bold and confident look. The design features a defined new grille and signature C-clamp headlights at the front while a subtle shoulder line down the sides incorporates bolder wheel-arches. For the first time, Ford Ranger offers matrix LED headlights. At the back, the taillights are designed in harmony with the signature graphics on the front. The cargo area has been built to help customers do more, with increased functionality and better access.
Beneath the new bodywork is an upgraded chassis riding on a wheelbase 50mm longer and a track 50mm wider than the prior Ranger. A hydro-formed front-end structure creates more space in the engine bay for the new V6 engine.
The reveal models – the stylish XLT, rugged Sport and adventurer Wildtrak derivatives.
Inside, the car-like cabin steps up, using premium soft-touch materials, and prominent portrait-style center 10.1-inch or 12-inch touchscreen linked to a 360-degree camera. It’s coupled with a fully digital instrument panel, running on Ford’s signature SYNC 4 connectivity, which comes customer-ready with its voice-activated communications, entertainment and information systems. The new Ranger is also available with the Ford Pass app which will allow owners to remotely start their vehicle, check its status and remote lock and unlock using their mobile devices.
Depending on the market, the new Ford Ranger will be available with a choice of three diesel engines and a petrol engine. One of the diesel engines is Ford’s proven 3.0-litre V6 turbodiesel which has been developed for the new Ranger.
It will also come with a choice of proven Single-Turbo and the Bi-Turbo 2.0-litre inline four-cylinder diesels. The Single Turbo comes in two different performance levels and is said to deliver power, torque and fuel economy, which is important to small business owners or commercial vehicle fleets. According to Ford, the Bi-Turbo engine is a more sophisticated, performance variant for customers who want more power but need to maintain fuel economy.
In addition, the next-gen Ranger will be available with a tried and tested 2.3-litre EcoBoost four cylinder that underpins a range of Ford global products and is said to be a perfect choice for customers who prefer petrol propulsion. New transmission choices include an updated 10-speed auto or six-speed manual, complementing the current six-speed automatic.
Customers will have a choice of two four-wheel drive systems, an electronic shift-on-the-fly system, or advanced full-time 4×4 system with a reassuring set-and-forget mode, designed for capability when and where customers need it.
According to Ford, the new Ranger has been developed to meet the needs of a wide spectrum of consumers, say, small business owners and serious off-roaders. Engineers moved the front wheels forward by 50mm 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.
Ford South Africa is yet to announce local availability and powertrains are yet to be confirmed. Pricing and model derivatives should be announced closer to the local launch date.
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