Unveiled today at the Bangkok international motor show is the next Ford Ranger due at City Ford Rockdale in Sydney in Q3 of 2015. This New Ford Ranger has been completely enhanced and it’s actually frightening how good it is!

This massive leap forward in technology, design and features is a direct result of a number of competitors releasing new models in 2015 to effectively play catchup with the Ford Ranger. Obviously Ford isn’t looking to relinquish their ever increasing dominance on the light commercial market, as the New Ranger is exhibiting features which traditionally were once only found in Europe’s finest luxury vehicles and deadly fast supercars.

Beginning from the front, the Ranger has been given a facelift to bring the look and feel into line with something which is now ‘very Ford,’ with its new headlights, a chunky trapezoidal grille, revised fog lights and a new bonnet the New Ranger now looks like it belongs to the Ford family.

Technology and active safety features such as; adaptive cruise control, lane keeping assistant, driver impairment monitor, front and rear parking sensors, electrically assisted steering, and a 240-volt power socket inside the cabin are all now available in the New Ranger. This is pretty amazing considering some of the Ranger’s competitors still consider air conditioning a selling point.

One of the more interesting additions to the New Ranger is the dual LCD screens which sit either side of the speedometer. Displaying everything from fuel consumption, navigation instructions and trip information, these screens have been designed with the ability to display the information which is important to the driver. In conjunction with the SYNC2 infotainment system, these two screens will really allow the driver to control the New Ranger without even needing to direct their eyesight to the centre console.

Ford has improved the Ranger’s engine line-up with fuel efficiency gains across the board, partly thanks to the addition of stop-start technology, which improves fuel use by 3.5 per cent.

The most popular, 3.2-litre Duratorq five-cylinder turbocharged diesel, benefits from an 18 per cent fuel efficiency gain thanks to an updated exhaust gas reticulation system. Power and torque outputs remain the same with 147kW of power and 470 Nm of torque.

Ford’s 2.2-litre Duratorq four-cylinder turbocharged diesel delivers significant fuel efficiency gains according to the Ford in addition to more power and torque, boosting outputs to 118kW and 385Nm respectively (up from 110kW/375Nm). This is great news for the fleet companies as more power and less fuel used is a win-win, not to mention that the 2.2 also tows an incredible 3,500kgs.

The Ranger retains its impressive four-wheel-drive specs with a water wading depth of 800mm, 230mm ground clearance and 28-degree approach and 25-degree departure angles. A control knob within the cabin allows the driver to change between two- and four-wheel-drive modes, in addition to engaging a low-range four-wheel-drive mode with an electronic locking rear differential and maintaining the same 3,500kg towing capacity.

With the New Ranger’s line up still to be released by Ford Australia, City Ford Rockdale in Sydney will have the latest as the news is released.

Whats New in the Ranger?

  • Ford Ranger builds on its world-class capabilities with a new look and cutting-edge technologies that help achieve more
  • New front end gives the Ranger a bolder, more modern appearance; new interior combines style, exceptional craftsmanship, and improved functionality
  • Advanced features available in the range, including SYNC 2 connectivity, Lane Keeping Aid, Adaptive Cruise Control, Driver Impairment Monitor and Front and Rear Parking Sensors, make the Ranger one of the smartest trucks on the road
  • Upgraded diesel powertrains with Start-Stop technology and new Electric Power Assisted Steering make the new Ranger quieter, up to 22 percent more fuel-efficient and even more capable than before
  • Suspension tuning for improved ride comfort and handling delivers on Ford’s fun-to-drive promise with higher levels of refinement

Safety Technology

  • Lane Keeping Alert and Lane Keeping Aid work together to help to prevent the driver from unintentionally drifting out of a lane when driving at high speeds. If the forward-facing camera detects the vehicle is straying from its lane, Lane Keeping Alert warns the driver with a vibration in the steering wheel. If no action is taken to correct the drift, Lane Keeping Aid applies steering torque to guide the vehicle back into its lane.
  • Adaptive Cruise Control makes use of radar sensors to maintain both a preset speed as well as a preset distance from the vehicle ahead. When the system detects a vehicle ahead, it decelerates automatically to maintain a safe distance. It accelerates back to the driver’s preset cruising speed when the road ahead clears. An adjustable speed limiter helps drivers avoid unintentionally exceeding their selected speed.
  • Forward Alert works with Adaptive Cruise Control to give drivers a visual and audible warning when the gap to a vehicle ahead drops below a safe distance. The system also charges the brakes to ensure optimum braking performance.
  • Front and Rear Park Assist uses sensors to detect obstacles and provide audible warnings when the vehicle approaches obstructions at low speeds, such as when parking. A rear-view camera gives a clear view behind the vehicle, giving greater confidence when parking and hitching up a trailer.
  • Tire Pressure Monitoring System helps drivers to stay safe and save fuel by alerting them when tire pressure is too low.
  • Electronic Stability Program with rollover mitigation and trailer sway control helps to keep the vehicle under control even in adverse conditions.
  • Driver Impairment Monitor uses the forward-facing camera and on-board sensors to detect if the driver is drowsy. If it notices signs such as drifting off course and sudden corrective steering inputs, the system warns the driver with gradually louder signals.
  • Emergency Assistance uses a Bluetooth-paired and connected phone to call local emergency services in the event of a serious collision. The system communicates details of the accident and your vehicle’s location, and then opens the line to let you speak directly with responders.
  • Other smart technologies on the new Ranger include Hill Launch Assist, to help you confidently start off from a slope, whether in forward or reverse; Hill Descent Control, which uses the traction control system to help you descend steep slopes at a constant speed; Adaptive Load Control, which adjusts the Electronic Stability Control system based on vehicle load; and Emergency Brake Assistance, which provides additional pressure to the brake system to increase braking force when you apply the brakes quickly in an emergency situation.

By Harry Hillis

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