2016 Ford Ranger debuts at Frankfurt show

Ford's facelifted Ranger pick-up range set to arrive in early 2016, with design changes, active safety tech and increased efficiency

Ford's next Ranger has been unveiled at the Frankfurt Motor Show ahead of its UK release in early 2016, and the facelifted model gets a completely new front-end to bring it into line with the rest of the Ford range. The pick-up also gets a raft of new cabin and safety tech, while the engine range is updated to boost efficiency. 

Far from just a minor nip-and-tuck at the front, the VW Amarok rival has been totally redesigned so it now sports the family face shared with the rest of Ford's range. Gone are the straight-edged grille and curved headlamps, replaced with the firm's trapezoidal grille and sharper-looking light units. The changes are far more subtle at the side and rear, where only new tail-lights mark out the facelifted versions.

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Most of Ford's effort has gone on updating the Ranger's cabin to create an  "even more comfortable, contemporary and car-like environment" than before. Alongside better quality materials, there's now tech galore as the firm's latest 'Sync 2' eight-inch touchscreen nav and infotainment system makes its way into the Ranger.

There's also a smart new instrument design with dual information screens either side of the dials. New safety and assistance systems, such as adaptive cruise control, lane keeping assist, front and rear park assist, forward alert and hill-descent control, appear for the first time. It even gets a handy 240-volt power socket for charging laptops and the like.

The Ford Ranger engine range gets a few tweaks, with the 198bhp 3.2-litre Duratorq five-cylinder diesel engine receiving efficiency modifications to cut fuel consumption by 18 per cent. The lesser 158bhp 2.2-litre unit gets similar tweaks, while the base 128bhp model improves its mpg figure by 22 per cent. 

In part, the efficiency improvements come courtesy of a new electric power steering system, standard start/stop and longer gear ratios. Ford has also retuned the suspension for better handling and ride, while more sound-deadening features are also dropped in. 

This hasn't impacted on the Ranger's legendary off-road and towing ability, as the truck still gets a proper low-range gearbox, switchable four-wheel drive and a locking rear-differential. It can wade through 800mm of water, while it is capable of towing a 3,500kg load. 

The Ranger is a popular model for Ford globally, and is in offer in 180 world markets. Europeans aren't traditionally big adopters of large pick-ups for non-commercial use, yet the current Ranger increased in popularity by 40 per cent last year compared with 2013. 

Check out our round-up of the best pick-ups currently on sale...

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