Next-Gen Ranger ramps up style, power

Ford has revealed its Next-Generation Ranger, describing it as the smartest, most versatile and most capable Ranger ever.

Beneath the new bodywork is an upgraded chassis riding on a 50mm longer wheelbase and a 50mm wider track than those of the erstwhile Ranger.

Engineers moved the front wheels forward by 50mm for a better approach angle and outboard by the same amount for better off-road articulation and stability, both of which improve the off-roading experience.

They also shifted the rear suspension dampers outboard of the frame rails with the aim of procuring a better ride both on- and off-road.

A hydro-formed front-end structure creates more space in the engine bay for the new V6 engine and helps future-proof the Ranger for alternative propulsion technologies.

It also opens up the front to allow more airflow through the radiator, helping keep operating temperatures lower when towing or hauling heavy loads.

Answering the cry of Ranger customers wanting more power and torque for towing heavy loads and extreme off-roading, Ford has engineered its 3.0-litre turbodiesel V6 into the Ranger. It is one of three turbodiesel engine options available at launch, depending on market.

“The 3.0-Litre turbodiesel V6 really delivers,” said Ranger Program Manager Pritika Maharaj. “When you drive a Ranger with the V6 turbodiesel, it feels like a much bigger truck; and it feels really tough in the sense that it’s got endless power and torque, which is exactly what our customers wanted.”

The Next-Generation Ranger will also come with a choice of Single- and Bi-Turbo 2.0-litre inline four-cylinder diesels.

According to Ford, the Single Turbo unit delivers power, torque and fuel economy, which is important to small business owners and commercial vehicle fleets; while the Bi-Turbo variant is a more sophisticated performance variant for customers who want more power but need to maintain fuel economy.

“We know our customers push their Rangers to the extreme, so that’s how we test them,” said Maharaj.

“We go the extra mile to make sure Ranger will do everything our customers want, over and over again.”

Transmission options include an updated 10-speed automatic in addition to the current six-speed unit.

Customers will have a choice between two four-wheel-drive systems: an electronic shift-on-the-fly or advanced full-time 4×4 system with a reassuring set-and-forget mode.

Off-road recovery is made easier with prominent dual recovery hooks at the front.

Interior-wise, the large 10.1-inch or 12-inch touchscreen in the centre stack complements the fully digital instrument panel and is loaded with Ford’s latest SYNC4® system, which comes customer-ready with voice-activated communications, entertainment and information systems including 360-degree camera vision.

Additionally, there’s an embedded factory-fitted modem, allowing connectivity on the go when linked with the FordPass™ app.

FordPass enhances the ownership experience with features like Remote Start iv, Vehicle Status Check and Remote Lock and Unlock functions via a mobile device.

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.