Tuesday 3, November 2015

Dubai – MENA Herald: The new Ford Ranger is set to establish new benchmarks in the light commercial vehicle segment with an uncompromised blend of robust capability, craftsmanship and advanced technology. The refreshed version of Ford’s compact pickup makes its regional debut at the upcoming Dubai International Motorshow (10-14 November).

“The new Ford Ranger brings a new level of comfort and refinement to its segment without compromising on the rugged capability that our customers demand and have come to appreciate from the current model,” says Tracey Delate, General Marketing Manager, Ford Motor Company Sub-Saharan Africa Region. “It represents a smarter kind of tough, and will help our customers to achieve more in every type of application.”

“The current Ranger is one of the toughest, most capable pickups out there, and this is reflected in the exceptional sales of the Ranger to date,” Delate says.

“Thanks to our proud truck heritage and global expertise in the utility segment, we’ve made what was great even better, with a bold new look, improved efficiency and a new level of refinement.”

The new Ranger continues to be produced at Ford’s Silverton Assembly Plant in Pretoria and exported to 148 markets in Africa and Europe. The Duratorq TDCi engines are manufactured at the Struandale Engine Plant in Port Elizabeth.

Tough and modern design

The changes to the new Ranger begin with an updated exterior design. A bold, more modern look lends new Ranger a powerful presence on the road, and immediately conveys a sense of capability.

A more muscular hood flows into a strong new trapezoidal grille, which connects seamlessly with the chiselled projector headlamps, accentuating the new Ranger’s width and strong stance.

“When you look at how our customers use their vehicles, it’s important that a Ranger looks and functions as a tough, dependable tool,” Delate adds.

“Ford’s design team saw an opportunity to give the design extra tension, and to emphasize ‘Built Ford Tough’ design elements like the outboard nostrils – all while maintaining the Ranger’s excellent aerodynamic characteristics.”

The updated exterior has been combined with a stylish new interior that creates an even more comfortable, contemporary and car-like environment for the driver and passengers. Strong horizontal lines run across the width of the cab, giving a sense of spaciousness, creating a clear distinction between the upper and lower levels, and placing the focus on the central eight-inch touchscreen on the high-spec models.

Behind the steering wheel, a new dual-TFT instrument cluster provides drivers with information about the vehicle, as well as entertainment and cellphone features at a glance.

“The interior of the new Ranger is sleek and modern, with a strong technical aspect to it,” says Delate. “Accentuating the design, materials were chosen that are stylish and attractive while being durable enough to handle the harsh life of a work truck. The interior may look more car-like, but it’s as practical as ever.”

Capability and refinement

The new Ford Ranger remains one of the most capable pick-ups in its class. With an exceptional 800mm water wading depth, and with 230mm of ground clearance, it is designed and engineered to handle the most extreme terrains with ease. Thanks to a 28-degree approach angle and 25-degree departure angle, drivers in the new Ranger can feel confident when taking on steep obstacles.

A robust electronically controlled transfer case allows drivers in 4×4 models to shift on the fly from 4×2 to 4×4 high via a knob on the centre console. For low-speed torque or additional downhill control, drivers can also engage low-range 4×4 gearing, while an electronic locking rear differential helps to improve traction in difficult conditions. These off-road strengths are matched to a towing capability of up to 3 500kg and impressive payload capacity.

The new Ranger achieves all this with a level of refinement not usually seen in the pick-up segment. While the current Ranger already sets the standard for ride and handling, Ford engineers fine-tuned the suspension of the new version for additional comfort and even better handling.

The driving experience is further enhanced by an electric power-assisted steering (EPAS) system, which provides precise steering with a natural and confident feel. With EPAS, steering is light and manageable for low-speed manoeuvring, such as parking, and precise at higher speeds.

The level of assistance varies based on speed, steering wheel angle, cornering forces and acceleration or deceleration. Furthermore, by eliminating the power steering pump used in a traditional power-steering system, EPAS also results in a quieter vehicle and improves fuel efficiency by about three percent.

Engineers fitted the new Ranger with advanced sound-deadening materials and improved insulation for one of the quietest and most comfortable cabin interiors in its class.

Advanced technology

A host of cutting-edge technologies are available on the new Ford Ranger to help drivers stay connected and in control.

SYNC®2, the latest generation of Ford’s in-car connectivity system, gives drivers smarter and safer ways to stay connected and is standard on the new Ranger Limited and Wildtrak. Using natural voice commands, like “temperature 20 degrees”, “play” or “call Ahmed”, the driver can control the car’s climate controls, entertainment system and phone functions more easily than ever before. An eight-inch touchscreen places more controls at the driver’s fingertips, with colour-coded corners for easy menu navigation.

For extra convenience, the new Ranger features a 240-volt power socket that can be used to power a laptop computer or mobile device anywhere, from a work site to a family road trip.

There is also an array of driver assist technologies. The entire new Ranger line-up features an impressive level of standard equipment, including Electronic Stability Program (ESP) and ABS on all but some Base models (ABS is an option).

The ESP system integrates Traction Control, Hill Launch Assist, Hill Descent Control, Adaptive Load Control and Trailer Sway Control, while ABS includes Emergency Brake Assistance and Electronic Brakeforce Distribution.

Ranger also offers a wide range of first-in-class driver aids, including Tyre Pressure Monitoring System, as well as Front and Rear Park Assist.

Efficient power

The new Ranger’s impressive power, capability, and payload and towing capacity are made possible thanks to the latest generation of powerful, more refined and fuel-efficient Duratorq TDCi diesel engines, as well as the proven Duratec petrol unit. These engines provide Ranger customers with a winning combination of power and efficiency in all conditions, and help to underscore Ford’s fun-to-drive promise.

Ford’s mighty 3.2-litre Duratorq TDCi five-cylinder diesel engine tops the range, and has earned an impressive reputation for its segment-defining levels of performance. Upgrades include a new exhaust gas recirculation system that helps improve fuel efficiency by up to 18 percent, while still producing 200PS of power and 470Nm of torque.

Similarly the revised 2.2-litre four-cylinder Duratorq TDCi benefits from a raft of upgrades in the interests of performance, refinement and efficiency, producing a power of 150PS and 375Nm of torque.

The new Ranger is also available with Ford’s dependable 2.5-litre Duratec petrol engine, providing 163PS of power and 225Nm of torque.

Depending on model derivative, the new Ranger is equipped with a six-speed manual or automatic transmission, or a five-speed manual on the diesel and petrol versions.

Refreshed model range

The new Ford Ranger is available in a wide range of models and specification levels to cater to customer needs whether for work or play. Ranger is available in single cab, Super Cab, Double Cab as well as Wildtrak variants.