Thursday, 27 October 2011 10:38 AM
The all-new-for-2012 Ford Ranger pick-up truck looks seriously Stateside-styled. Big, bold and with a brash and brawny front-end; the new Ranger – that goes on sale in the UK next month – looks like an exile from the Californian desert. That’s kinda because it is.
Our American cousins love a pick-up, and they like ‘em pretty big too, and this all-new Ranger – like the new Focus – is a global vehicle that's to be sold with the same looks and mostly the same specs from every Ford dealer. So its got the no-messing styling to keep the cowboys happy. But, the price isn’t daylight robbery, with a basic Ranger bouncing out of UK Ford dealers from just £15,515 (on-the-road, excluding VAT). Plenty of metal for your money, then.
“The all-new Ranger is a perfect example of how our ‘One Ford’ global strategy works,” said Ford of Europe chairman and CEO Stephen Odell. “Far from producing a vehicle that is compromised by the need to serve different market requirements, it was developed by drawing on resources, facilities and expertise from Ford locations around the world to deliver an excellent product that will satisfy customers everywhere.
“The range of qualities pick-up customers demand from their vehicle is far greater than the differences in conditions from country to country. The real challenge has been to build a Ranger that is tough and yet comfortable, rugged yet stylish, safe, technologically advanced and powerful, yet remaining affordable. We believe the team has succeeded in every goal. There is no compromise here.”
Tested in places such as Australia, Dubai, Thailand, North America, Brazil, Sweden and South Africa, the Ranger had to face severe heat and cold, monsoon rains and high altitudes, as well as rushing rivers, arid deserts and potholed roads. Prototypes apparently clocked more than a million kilometres on the road and many, many hours of exhaustive testing in state-of-the-art laboratories.
So, what do we find at home in the Ranger? Well, three cab bodystyles to start with, namely; Double, Super and Regular, and four trim levels: XL, XLT, Limited and Wildtrak. There will also be drivetrain choice between 4×2 and 4×4.
At 5,359mm long and 1,850mm wide, the new Ranger is bigger than the previous-generation model – and about a metre longer than your average car – but Ford kept the UK’s tight city streets in mind with a steering set up that needs no more than 3.5 turns lock-to-lock; one of the best in the truck segment.
Pulling-performance, yet with improved economy, is driven forward by new diesel engines, from a brawny 3.2-litre, 5-cylinder motor – as seen under the hood of the big orange brute pictured here – that makes ninety per cent of its peak 470Nm of torque between 1700 and 3500rpm. Fuel economy for this 3.2-litre powerhouse of the range sits at between 28.3mpg on a 4×4 manual transmission variant, to 28.7mpg on a full-option 4×4 model with automatic transmission.
The more likely stronger seller in the UK will be the 2.2-litre, 4-cylinder diesel engine that makes 375Nm of torque and nearly 150bhp, using the latest in variable geometry turbochargers to allow more accurate control of turbo-boost pressure over a wider operating range, bringing in the chunky torque as early, and for as long, as possible. When pulling a 4×2 Ranger, the 2.2-litre engine hits a 32.8mpg combined cycle. Six-speed manual and automatic gearboxes swap the cogs.
This big torque is put to good use haulin’, with the new Ranger delivering a best-in-class towing capability of 3,350kg, and a water-wading capability of 800mm, while the maximum payload is a significant 1,340kgs.
Controlling all that hard-haulin’ is the latest in safety tech and a pick-up-first; a maximum 5 Star Euro NCAP crash test rating. Built into the ESP system are many safety sub-systems, including Hill Descent Control, Hill Launch Assist, Trailer Sway Control (provides stability control when towing a trailer), Adaptive Load Control (for optimal vehicle stability regardless of vehicle load), Emergency Brake Assist, Emergency Brake Light and Roll-Over Mitigation. That little lot should keep things right side up.
The new Ford Ranger goes on sale next month priced from £15,515 to £25,040 for the top-of-the-range Double Cab Wildtrak, 3.2 litre 200PS TDCi.
By Daniel Anslow
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