Ford Goes Rough And Ready With 2019 Ranger Pickup — NAIAS

2019 Ford Ranger revealed in Detroit with 2.3L EcoBoost

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Ford Motor Co. pulled the curtain off the new 2019 Ranger, bringing the midsize pickup back to North America for the first time since 2011.

EPA fuel economy numbers for the 2019 Ford Ranger won't be published until shortly before it goes on sale early next year. That is not the case.

It's a real truck.

Of course, Ford promises a body-on-frame construction, with a frame and bumpers made out of high-strength steel. The suspension ought to provide a competent ride, thanks to monotube dampers in all four corners and a short-long arm front suspension design. The truck has a steel frame and steel bumpers. Powertrain-wise, there's only one offered, at least for the moment. Metal trim pieces over the wheel wells can be color matched or accented with a handsome magnetic grey color.

Unlike the F-Series, the Ranger is built using a mix of aluminum and steel.

The Ford Ranger has been launched in the United States to satisfy burgeoning demand in the mid-size pick-up truck market.

The traditional argument against mid-size pickups is that they're not much cheaper than fullsize trucks, which offer more capability. With a recent resurge in popularity for compact pickup trucks such as the Chevrolet Colorado and GMC Canyon, the Toyota Tacoma and the Honda Ridgeline, there's at last room again for a baby Ford truck.

Ranger is designed for a new generation of midsize truck customers who head off-road to recharge. There was much talk about the Ranger "not just carrying your adventure gear, but becoming a part of it". 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.

Inside, the steering wheel and shifter have been redesigned from foreign-market models.

No changes have been made to the Ranger's design, but it features a bespoke chassis set-up to cater to U.S. tasted and uses Ford's 2.3-litre Ecoboost petrol engine, as opposed to one of the diesel units offered in the UK. The crank and rods are forged steel. The only available gearbox is a ten-speed automatic. Ranger four-wheel-drive versions feature 2-high, 4-high and 4-low.

Power is distributed through Dana AdvanTEK independent front and solid rear axles on both 2WD and 4WD models with an available electronic-locking rear axle (standard on FX2 and FX4) for increased all-terrain traction. The trucks will have SuperCab or SuperCrew cab configurations - which means the new Ranger will have an available four-door configuration. You want the off-road packs, trust us. Grass/gravel/snow simply numbs throttle response.

The FX4 Off-Road Package introduces Ford's all-new Trail Control technology. Ford also prioritized ground clearance for off-roading. Think of this as cruise-control blended with a hill-descent control system. Trail Control is like low-speed cruise control for acceleration and braking.

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.

Sync3 is available on the vehicle, as well as available FordPass with a WiFi hotspot. (We weren't allowed to climb inside, as the models on display are preproduction.) There's waterproof storage under the second-row seating.

The Ranger will be available in three trim grades: XL, midlevel XLT, and a high-level Lariat trim series. The FX4 Off-Road Package provides additional trail capability with off-road-tuned shocks, all-terrain tires, a frame-mounted heavy-gauge steel front bash plate, frame-mounted skid plates and FX4 badging.

Production of the mid-size truck, which can seat up to five people, will begin later this year, according to the automaker.

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