Meet the new, global Ford Ranger, which was revealed at the Australian Motor Show in Sydney today. Set to be sold in no fewer than 180 markets – with North America being the notable exception – the new Ranger will be available in three different cab body styles, 4x2 and 4x4 drivetrains, two ride heights and four equipment levels when it goes on sale here in 2012.
Despite not being sold in North America, the new Ranger packs plenty of design cues borrowed from US market models, most notably the bold, three-bar grille which features on the firm’s Flex crossover.
Designers call its new look "21st Century Tough", and while the Ranger has been given a bold look and plenty of attitude, drag has been minimized to improve fuel efficiency.
Engine choices include a new, Dagenham-built 2.2-litre four-cylinder diesel which produces 148bhp and 375Nm, and a new 3.2-litre oil burner which produces 197bhp and 470Nm. Models equipped with four-wheel drive get low-ratio transfer gearboxes for more off-road ability.
The new Ranger is larger than before, liberating extra cabin and load space, while the firm claims the new front and rear suspension design, stiffer chassis and improved brakes make the Ranger its most car-like pick-up to drive.
New technology features include Adaptive Load Control, which adjusts the suspension so that the car remains straight and level no matter what the load; Trailer Sway Control, which uses the brakes selectively to reduce the side to side movement of a trailer, and a rearview camera system to make reversing easy.
The new Ranger will be manufactured at three sites from next summer, beginning with Rayong in Thailand, then expanding to plants in Argentina and South Africa.