Ford Ranger Production to Begin in Late 2018

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At the 2017 North American International Auto Show, Ford announced it would be returning to the North-American mid-size pickup segment with a Ranger.

The Ranger, which will be shown Sunday afternoon at the Detroit auto show, won't be available for another year. Following the success of GM's reborn Chevrolet Colorado and GMC Canyon, Ford now expects that buyers of the new Ranger won't be a traditional F-Series customer.

An worldwide version of the Ranger was actually born in 2009, before the previous model breathed its last breathe. Engineers say that the Ranger has been tested to the same durability standards as the F-Series trucks. Ford sold almost 900,000 F-Series trucks past year.

While mechanically very similar to the existing T6 Ford Ranger sold in various other markets around the world, the North American version gets quite a lot of unique equipment. Ford designed the new model on the platform used in global production.

The company said at last year's North American International Auto Show that there's huge consumer demand for the truck.

Sales in the USA compact pickup segment as a whole grew in 2017 to more than 417,000 vehicles, up more than 70 percent from 2014, according to Autodata.

Analysts have said Ford might cut into F-150 sales by releasing the Ranger in the USA, but Ford executives have said F-150 shoppers are typically completely different from those who'd look to buy a Ranger. Whether or not there's a major improvement over the fuel mileage of EcoBoost- and diesel-powered aluminum F-150s, the new Ranger provides an easier entry point for-Ford hopes-younger buyers. A lineup of SuperCab and SuperCrew models will be offered in XL, XLT and Lariat trim levels.

The FX4 Off-Road Package introduces Ford's all-new Trail Control technology.

The only engine offered for the North American Ranger will be a 2.3-liter, direct-injected four-cylinder with a twin-scroll turbocharger.

The FX4's Terrain Management System offers four drive modes: normal, grass/gravel/snow, mud/ruts, and sand. A rugged steel bumper with an available integrated trailer hitch receiver helps make towing campers, ATVs or watercraft a breeze. The tailgate is aluminum, with the handle lifted for "usability". The truck was designed with an athletic look in mind, which truck buyers favor.

Discontinued in 2011 due to a variety of economical factors, including the end of the Ford/Mazda partnership, the Ranger nameplate soldiered on in other markets.

In addition to the Terrain Management tech, a system Ford calls Trail Control will debut on Rangers outfitted with the FX4 Off-Road package. The FX4 Off-Road Package provides adds off-road-tuned shocks, all-terrain tires, a frame-mounted heavy-gauge steel front bash plate, frame-mounted skid plates and FX4 badges.

Available driver-assist technologies include standard automatic emergency braking, while lane keeping assist, lane departure warning, a reverse sensing system and blind spot information system with trailer coverage are standard on XLT and Lariat trim levels. FordPass Connect will give the Ranger Wi-Fi hotspot capabilities, ensuring that new adventurous owners can post their adventurous lifestyles to their favorite social media outlets, making the rest of our life feel uninteresting and void of Ranger-worthy adventure.

No less cosmopolitan than the front suspension design, the 2019 Ford Ranger has been fitted with an 8-inch touchscreen with Ford's latest SYNC 3 infotainment system, while both a premium audio system from B&O PLAY and an embedded 4G LTE modem will be available. Truck fans have wanted that truck to come to the USA for a long time and now they will get their wish, though Ford is doing them one better.

"Ranger has always held a special place in the hearts of truck fans", said Ford's boss of product development and purchasing, Hau Thai-Tang. Focus production will move to China.

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