Here we have the new Ford Ranger, boasting an updated look and definitely some powertrain revisions that we’d welcome in Australia. The difference is, this Ranger is due to be produced in Michigan for sale in North America, hence it’s reveal taking place in Detroit.
It’s a little strange seeing something so familiar yet beyond grasp, at least temporarily. Still based on the T6 Ranger developed in Australia, this North American model line should preview some changes in store for model facelift due toward the end of 2018.
Shown here in Lariat FX4 guise with the included Off-Road Package, the 2019 Ranger’s chunky aesthetic certainly lends it the visage of a more serious brawler, though it will be available to buyers States-side in less ostentatious XL, XLT, and high-grade Lariat variants. Take notice, too, of the smaller details such as the new alloy wheel design, new grille, and reshaped bonnet, some of which are sure to be carried over to the forthcoming international model.
Under the bonnet lie the changes that will potentially have local Ford enthusiasts curling their lips in envy, for North American buyers will be receiving the Ranger with the same turbocharged 2.3-litre petrol engine that powers the Focus RS and Mustang EcoBoost, if only for the novelty over the oil burners with which we’re familiar, especially with the much anticipated (and high performance) Ranger Raptor just around the corner.
Ford hasn’t revealed the definitive power and torque figures for this North American Ranger, but it wouldn’t be unreasonable to assume them largely unchanged from those other aforesaid applications: 257kW and 440Nm, specifically. Though, keeping in mind Ranger’s use cases, the motor would likely have been tuned to deliver more low-end torque at the expense of top end power.
However, it is certain that it will be channelled through a new 10-speed automatic transmission before distributed to all four wheels. Certain grades will also receive independent front and solid rear axles with electronic-locking rear axle. Those with the FX4 Off-Road Package selected will also receive Ford’s new Trail Control system to help tackle particularly tough terrain, working in conjunction with the Terrain Management system similar to that on the F-150 Raptor with individual settings for Grass, Gravel, Snow, Sand, and Mud.
Inside, there’s not much to pick apart as meaningfully different from the Ranger we have today besides the fact that the steering wheel has now shifted sides. While the overall dashboard retains a near-identical layout, there are minor changes made to some of the HVAC controls as well as the switchgear surrounding the gear shift lever.
Coming as no surprise, the 8-inch SYNC3 infotainment system makes its appearance here as well, supporting Android Auto and Apple CarPlay. Ford also bolsters this tech offering with standard active safety features that include Autonomous Emergency Braking (AEB), Lane Keep Assist, Lane Departure Warning, and Blind Spot Information System. Certain variants also include Pedestrian Detection and Adaptive Cruise Control.