Published: Sun, January 14, 2018
IT | By Lester Massey

Ford Goes Rough And Ready With 2019 Ranger Pickup — NAIAS

Ford Goes Rough And Ready With 2019 Ranger Pickup — NAIAS

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Recent industry news included the seemingly cease-and-desist of the Fusion midsize sedan after 2020, and Ford announcing $1.2-billlion investment in support of truck and SUV production in MI.

Power will be provided by a 2.3-liter four-cylinder EcoBoost engine, although no performance numbers were provided, Ford is targeting the Ranger to offer best-in-class torque.

It's a sweet homecoming after a years-long absence.

Ford executives did not disclose prices or fuel efficiency ratings for the new Ranger during a briefing for the media ahead of the official unveiling at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit.

While Ford's U.S. PR declined to provide detailed specifications at an embargoed preview, the United Kingdom version of the Ranger is 211 inches long, on a 126.8-inch wheelbase, and 71-72 inches tall. That should be quite formidable enough to take the fight to the Chevrolet Colorado.

The annual North American International Auto Show, one of the largest such events in the USA, starts its engines this weekend with dozens of new production vehicles and experimental concept cars.

Inside, Ranger blends comfort and functionality with room for up to five people, their gear and accessories. A dial bears labels for mud, ruts, sand, grass, gravel and snow. TL;DR: today's Ranger was yesterday's F-150. Ranger's muscular body features a high beltline that emphasizes strength, while a raked grille and windshield provide an athletic appearance - created to aid in aerodynamics and reduce wind noise. Globally, the Ford Ranger design is distinct for its fast windshield, high beltline, and short front overhangs, which make for good approach/departure angles. It comes in both 2-and 4-wheel drive. Available AC power outlets allow for charging of laptops and USB outlets provide more options for passengers to connect.

"Ford is bringing back the Ranger at the ideal time", said Jessica Caldwell, senior analyst at Edmunds. The last model sold here hadn't been updated in what seemed like decades, and the average Ford truck buyer could get almost the same gas mileage from a V-6 F-150 (and run it on cheap gas), with a bigger cargo box and much better towing capacity for a few bucks a month more.

The vehicle has been a bestseller in South Africa, Europe and New Zealand - where it is often used as an easy-to-maneuver work truck.

After putting its F-Series Jr. on hiatus amid slowing sales in 2011, Ford is reentering the revived small pickup segment with a new truck based on one it's been offering overseas in the years since. Consumers in more than 180 countries can purchase the Ford Ranger now. Separately, the midsize truck segment where Ford has no presence has seen an 83-percent uptick in sales since 2014.

One in five midsize truck buyers lives California, with strong sales also in Arizona and Nevada.

Production of the 2019 Ranger begins late this year at Ford's Michigan Assembly Plant. "When you pair that with its 10-speed transmission, you've got one of the most versatile, powerful and efficient powertrains in the segment". The 2019 Ford Ranger will be offered in XL, XLT and Lariat trim levels with available Chrome and Sport appearance and FX Off-Road packages, and in SuperCab or SuperCrew body styles. All vehicles come with automatic emergency braking, which can prevent rear-end collisions when warning of obstacles and initiating braking.

Ford will build the new '19 Ranger beginning early next year, famously, at its Michigan Assembly Plant in the City of Wayne, where it now produces the Focus and C-Max.

At a community center not too far from corporate headquarters in Dearborn, Michigan, Ford showcased its latest big-wheeled toys.

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