Ford eyes pick-up top spot with new, more compelling Ranger – Daily Sun
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Ford eyes pick-up top spot with new, more compelling Ranger – Daily Sun

Ford is poised to further raise the bar in the ultra-competitive light commercial vehicle (LCV) segment with the launch of the New Ranger {for 2019} unveiled to select media representatives from the sub-Sahara Africa markets recently in George, South Africa.

Featuring an extensive range of mechanical, technological, feature and comfort upgrades, the new line-up will make the Ranger an even more compelling choice amongst workhorse and leisure-oriented pick-up customers.

The model line-up has been revised for New Ranger, with the new XLS series slotting in above the entry-level Base and XL versions. The XLS offers superb value for money along with an impressive list of standard features. The Ranger Limited makes way for an enhanced XLT specification in SSA, including Nigeria where Ford is represented by Coscharis Motors Limited..

Tough, modern design

Continuing the Ranger’s proven ‘Built Ford Tough’ heritage, the assertive styling of the 2019 model delivers an even more powerful presence on the road. The latest model offers the opportunity to provide greater differentiation in the series. Accordingly, the front-end design of the popular XLT series has been updated to have a more horizontal feel, with the centre grille bar now divided into two, giving it a more precise and well-crafted look.

The lower bumper also presents a sense of solidity and strength through the centre beam that runs into the outer fog lamp areas. With a wider lower grille the new bumper complements and harmonises well with new front end. The same design execution has been applied to XL and XLS variants.

The very popular Wildtrak, which now comes with HID headlamps and LED daytime running lights, has been intentionally kept more familiar with the vertical aspect ratio grille that also incorporates the ‘nostrils’ in its design. Along with a split centre bar and additional venting holes for cooling, the new design is more aggressive in its application but remains true to the Wildtrak DNA.

A striking new SaberOrange exterior colour makes its debut on the Wildtrak, matched to a unique dark, titanium-effect finish for the trapezoidal grille and distinctive outboard air intakes. The same titanium-effect accent colour extends to the side mirrors, door handles, side air ventsandload-bed rails for a bold and sporty appearance.

Improved ride refinement and comfort

The Ranger is already highly regarded for its impressive ride and handling characteristics, and the 2019 model range has benefitted from further improvements that result insignificantly improved ride quality more akin to that of a sport utility vehicle (SUV) than a pick-up.

A key change has been the relocation of the front stabiliser, or anti-roll bar, from the tight confines in front of the fully independent suspension to a new position behind the axle. This new set-up optimises the design and performance of the stabiliser bar, resulting in improved roll control – which, in turn, enables a decrease in front spring rates, thereby giving the Ranger better ride performance and comfort.

Compared to the outgoing Ranger line-up which used a single front damper setting across the range, four damper rates have been developed for the New Ranger. These settings have been tuned according to the front kerb weights of the individual models based on the body style, engine and drive train (manual vs automatic, 4×2 vs 4×4).At the same time, the standard tyre pressure has been reduced from 240 to 210 kPa.

Combined, these refinements provide a plusher ride over rough surfaces by better isolating the occupants from the road inputs. They also improve vehicle handling over corrugated surfaces, give better steering precision and control, and benefit the vehicle posture and ride performance when laden.

The Ranger’s exceptional towing capacity of up to 3 500kg remains unchanged, as do the impressive load capacity of up to 1 199kg (on selected SuperCab models), the 800mm water wading depth and 230mm ground clearance.

Leading-edge technology and safety

The Ford Ranger continues to rewrite the rulebook by introducing trend-setting technologies to the pick-up segment, and the New Ranger is no exception.

The innovative Semi-Automatic Parallel Park Assist (SAPPA) currently available on Ford’s Everest SUV is now standard on the Ranger Wildtrak. The system uses ultrasonic sensors on the front and rear bumpers that search for and identify parking spaces that are big enough to parallel park the vehicle.

The Ranger Wildtrak continues to be offered with leading active safety features, including Adaptive Cruise Control with Forward Collision Alert, Driver Alert System and Lane-Keeping Aid, and Auto High Beam Control.

Adding further everyday convenience is the new Passive Entry and Passive Start (PEPS), fitted as standard on the XLT and Wildtrak. The keyless entry and passive start uses an intelligent access system that allows the driver to unlock the vehicle and start the engine without removing the key fob from a pocket or bag. When the key is in the vehicle, the driver simply presses the Start/Stop button while applying the brake pedal to start the car.

Ford’s award-winning SYNC technology remains the cornerstone of the Ranger’s in-car entertainment system on the high-end models. XLT and Wildtrak models are equipped with high-end SYNC3 linked to the integrated eight-inch touch-screen colour display. Navigation is standard on the Wildtrak and selected XLT derivatives.

XLS models use Ford’s SYNC with Bluetooth voice control and audio streaming, while XL and Base feature a Mechless Audio system with USB, iPod and USB connectivity.

The safety package offered in the New Ranger is of the highest order. Depending on specification level, it incorporates a comprehensive Electronic Stability Control (ESC) system with Traction Control (TC), Trailer Sway Control (TSC), Hill Start Assist (HSA), Hill Descent Control (HDC), Adaptive Load Control (ALC) and Roll Over Mitigation (ROM).

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