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10 Things We Already Know About the New Ford Ranger

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author photo by AutoTrader August 2018

It's been seven years since the Ford Ranger was sold as a new model in the US, but anticipation is sky-high for its return. Australia's own new Ranger, expected to be launched Down Under soon, offers up a bunch of clues as to what the new U.S. pickup will ultimately be like because the U.S. model does share a basic platform with its Aussie counterpart. Here are 10 things we already know about the state-side Ranger prior to its release here in the first quarter of 2019.

Engine

Pickup drivers in Australia are big fans of diesel engines, but the U.S. Ranger -- classified as a midsize truck -- will have the 2.3-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder EcoBoost gas engine (producing 231kW/475Nm), the same engine as the Mustang's. That engine-and-transmission combination is aimed at making the Ranger better at hauling loads, more fuel-efficient and even faster than its mid-sized competitors.

Gearbox and Drivetrain

The new U.S. Ford Ranger line-up -- available in base-spec XL, middle-spec XLT and top-spec Lariat variants -- will get Ford's new 10-speed automatic transmission, again shared with the Mustang.

The Ford Ranger will be available in 2-wheel-drive or 4-wheel-drive versions, and will have Ford's Terrain Management System as seen in the F-150 Raptor, but with four modes -- Normal, Mud/Rut, Sand and Grass/Gravel/Snow -- instead of the new Raptor's six.

Body Styles

The North American Ranger will be available in 2-door, 5-seat SuperCab and 4-door, 5-seat SuperCrew body styles; there is no single-row cab. The SuperCab has a 6-foot bed, the SuperCrew has a 5-foot bed and both body styles sit on the same wheelbase.

Chassis

Traditional pickup owners need not fear, because Ford isn't softening up its new Ranger: It will have a fully boxed high-strength steel frame with six cross-members, a suspension set-up (double A-arm and mono-tube dampers at the front; leaf springs and shock absorbers on the solid rear axle) tuned to cope with extreme work and play demands and Dana axles.

Driver-Safety Tech

From mid-spec XLT and up, the American Ford Ranger will have a comprehensive suite of driver-safety technologies including auto emergency braking, lane-keeping assist, lane-departure warning and blind spot monitoring. The top-of-the-range variant, the Lariat, will also have adaptive cruise control and pedestrian detection.

FX Off-Road Pack

All 4-wheel drive Ford Rangers will have low-range gearing and hill-descent control, but Ford will also offer an off-road package called FX2 (for 2WD Rangers) and FX4 (for 4WD Rangers) on every trim level. Both packs include an electronically locking rear differential, heavy-duty, frame-mounted, steel bash-plates (to protect the Ranger's underbody), specially tuned trail-rated shocks and all-terrain tires.

Trail Control

The FX4 package includes Ford's Terrain Management system (mentioned above), incorporating all-new Trail Control technology, which the driver can set at a speed between one mile per hour and 20 mph and, by way of controlling engine, transmission and braking response, the system effectively functions as a cruise control on any trail.

Exterior

The new Ford Ranger has a new front grille, split bumper design, exposed bash-plate and vehicle-recovery hooks, updated LED and HID headlights, new double-bulge aluminum hood, front quarter badges, darkened wheel-arch protectors, Ranger-branded aluminum tailgate with spoiler-style top edge and chunky rear bumper.

Interior

Inside, U.S. versions of the Ford Ranger will be similar to Aussie versions in that they will have Ford's Sync3 multi-media touchscreen -- sized 3.8-, 4- or 8-inch depending on trim level – but U.S. Rangers will have Amazon Alexa integration as well as Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.

The new Ranger will also have, as standard, a 4G Wi-Fi hotspot for up to 10 devices, a new steering wheel design, bigger air vents, as well as Ranger-styled branding on the dashboard and elsewhere inside. Bonus: waterproof storage under the second-row seats.

Price

Ford has not yet officially released any indications of 2019 Ranger pricing, approximate or otherwise, but somewhere in the realm of $20,000 is likely in order to pit the pickup against existing rivals, such as the likes of the Chevy Colorado, the Toyota Tacoma and the GMC Canyon.

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This image is a stock photo and is not an exact representation of any vehicle offered for sale. Advertised vehicles of this model may have styling, trim levels, colors and optional equipment that differ from the stock photo.
10 Things We Already Know About the New Ford Ranger - Autotrader