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Ford Unveils 2015 Global Ranger


kscarbel2
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GoAuto / March 23, 2015

Ford Motor Company has officially unveiled the redesigned 2015 global mid-size Ranger pickup, touting advanced driver-assist technology, improved on-road dynamics, better diesel efficiency and an overhauled cabin.

Developed at Ford's Melbourne-based Asia Pacific engineering centre, the brand's vehicle line director Richard Tilley says Ford faced a challenge in upgrading the Ranger.

"The current Ranger is one of the toughest, most capable trucks out there," he says.

"But 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."

Safety technology new to the Ranger includes adaptive cruise control, ‘forward alert’, ‘lane keeping aid’, ‘driver impairment monitor’ and front and rear parking sensors, all of which combine to raises the level of active vehicle safety in the mid-sized pickup segment.

Ford says the introduction of automatic engine idle-stop technology and electrically assisted rack-and-pinion steering (replacing the previous hydraulically powered system) ushers in double-digit fuel efficiency improvements in the upgraded TDCi turbo-diesel drivetrains.

The diesels also benefit from the addition of extra sound-deadening and enhanced insulation materials.

The electric power steering system helps cut diesel thirst by three per cent, with assistance varying according to speed, wheel angle, cornering forces and acceleration. The suspension has also been retuned for improved on-road refinement and response.

The upgraded 2015 Ranger’s front fascia mimics the look of the Everest SUV that arrives in showrooms later this year.

The front end is the most readily recognizable exterior change, adopting a trapezoidal grille, a more pronounced bumper, projector headlights and a more squared-off bonnet with strakes running its length, all giving the Ranger a more aggressive look.

The dashboard has been completely redesigned, with a more contemporary, car-like and higher-quality unit compared with the current model.

The dash layout, instrument placement and steering wheel all match that of the Everest, without the high-end materials of its more plush 4WD wagon sibling.

Plastics, instrumentation, air vents and switchgear are all new, as are the 8.0-inch touchscreen, ‘brightwork’ and steering wheel – the latter accommodating the increased functionality brought with the new driver-assist and multimedia technologies.

Ford’s Sync2 connectivity system comes onboard, featuring both broader capabilities and finer controllability. A 240-volt power socket for on-the-go charging has also been installed.

Ford Motor Company’s Asia-Pacific exterior design manager Dave Dewitt said the improvements to the cabin have not impacted useability in the updated Ranger.

“The interior of the new Ranger is sleek and modern, with a strong technical aspect to it,” he said. “Accentuating the design, we’ve chosen materials 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.”

In terms of powertrains, the 2.2-litre four-cylinder TDCI turbo-diesel’s output jumps 8kW and 10Nm to 118kW/385Nm (158hp/284lb-ft), with Ford claiming fuel efficiency gains of up to 22 per cent.

While the Blue Oval has not revealed specific fuel economy figures, there will be a drop from the current version of the 2.2-litre unit that currently ranges between 7.6 litres per 100 kilometres to 9.4L/100km, depending on the variant.

The more potent 147kW/470Nm (197hp/347lb-ft) 3.2-litre five-cylinder TDCi diesel gains an exhaust gas recirculation system update that helps improve fuel efficiency by up to 18 per cent, which will boost the 8.9-9.6L/100km figures of the existing model.

Ford’s base 122kW/225Nm (164hp/166lb-ft) 2.5-litre four-cylinder petrol engine appears to be unchanged.

Australian-bound vehicles will continue to be sourced from Thailand, while plants in South Africa and Argentina will service Africa/Europe and South America respectively.

Ford’s Asia-Pacific vice-president of marketing, sales and service Brett Wheatley said the versatility of the Ranger will ensure it maintains its appeal to business buyers and families alike.

“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,” he said.

“It represents a smarter kind of tough, and will help our customers to achieve more, whether at work or with their families.”

The existing Ranger arrived in 2011, following an extensive development program lasting several years and led by Ford Australia’s engineering and design teams.

The 2015 Ford Ranger goes on sale locally in the third quarter of 2015.

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I wonder if Ford's market share for mid-sized pickups will return to it's previous levels since consumers have had more than 3 years to become attached to different brands.

Safety technology new to the Ranger includes adaptive cruise control, ‘forward alert’, ‘lane keeping aid’, ‘driver impairment monitor’ and front and rear parking sensors, all of which combine to raises the level of active vehicle safety in the mid-sized pickup segment.

For many that will translate to "text while in traffic, text while on the highway, text while cruising the Kmart parking lot looking for a spot, and take the other car to the bar."

Jim

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Does "Global" also mean the U.S.A.? I would want one when my current Ranger needs to be replaced.

bulldogboy

Unfortunately, no. US market Ford heads have gone on record saying the Ranger would steal sales from the F-150. Of course, that's untrue. In size and price, the two vehicles are worlds apart.

I suspect Ford now has contingency plans to relaunch the Ranger in the US if Chevrolet Colorado and GMC Canyon sales take off.

The Ford Ranger has been sold overseas continuously from 1998 to the present. Interestingly, it wore the badge of its predecessor, Courier, in southeast Asia thru 2005. In a major miscalculation by Ford, the carmaker decided to end US market Ranger production in December 2011.

In 2011, while US customers were offered a Ranger dating back to 1993, global customers were able to buy the new mid-sized global Ranger.

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