Perhaps the most noticeable design cue comes in the form of Ranger's bold new front-end styling. A distinctive horizontal three-bar grille embossed with RANGER lettering, functional twin black vertical nostrils, an extended opening below the bumperline and large headlamps that wrap around each front corner all separate the 2009 model for its predecessor.
The three-bar grille is one of Ford’s global design traits and is a prominent feature on the flagship F-150. It is this grille, which along with clever remoulding of the front panel work, that achieve a modern and muscular stance for the new PK series Ranger.
A large opening in the lower fascia provides a fresh supply of cool air to the TDCi turbocharged engine's intercooler. By mounting the intercooler forward of the radiator and directly in the flow of cool air, the boosted intake charge from the variable-geometry turbocharger remains consistent and allows the engine to perform more efficiently.
Designed by a Ford team based in Melbourne, the new Ford Ranger is built in Rayong, Thailand, and will also feature newly designed alloy wheels to compliment the visual changes of the exterior.
XLT models will feature 16-inch alloys wheels while 18-inch rims are available on Wildtrak variants - or as a cost option (XL models receive 15-inch steel wheels).
Ranger is now available in three series levels (XL, XLT and Wildtrak) and in three body types (Single Cab, Super Cab or Crew Cab). 4x2 and 4x4 drivetrains are available across the range.
The popular Ranger 4x2 Hi-Rider, with an additional 26mm above standard Ranger 4x2 (to a total of 207mm) will also remain available.
All Ranger models offer an MP3-compatible CD/tuner as standard. The lower centre console also featuring a 12-volt power outlet and auxiliary audio connection facility.
Offering two Duratorq TDCi engines the new Ranger is available with either a 2.5- or 3.0-litre unit, both of which employ an intercooled, variable-geometry turbocharger designed to reduce lag, improve performance and maximise efficiency. Both TDCi engines also develop class-leading torque outputs. In the case of the 3.0-litre unit, this torque is some 10 per cent more than Toyota's HiLux.
The 2.5-litre engine develops 105kW and 330Nm, while the 115kW 3.0-litre version delivers 380Nm peak torque at 1800rpm. Both engines can be configured in either 4x2 or 4x4 with a choice of Ford’s five-speed automatic transmission or a five-speed manual.
All new Ranger models ride on a unique overlapped, cross-braced ladder frame which delivers strength and rigidity - as well as superior load-carrying capacity, towing capability, durability, handling performance and ride quality.
Front suspension utilises a double wishbone arrangement with torsion bar springs while up back a tough, long-leaf set up (with oversized 32mm gas shock absorbers) helps maintain stability when the vehicle is under load.
Ranger 4x2 Hi-Rider and Ranger 4x4 models also gain a two-way mechanical, multiplate, torque-sensing limited slip differential in the rear axle.
XLT and Wildtrak feature ABS (with EBD) as standard though this is available as a cost option on XL. The ABS system has been calibrated especially for Ranger's load carrying and towing capabilities.
Cargo capacity varies depending on cab configuration and engine type. Dimensions are as follows:
- Single Cab – 2280mm x 1456mm
- Super Cab – 1753mm x 1456mm
- Crew Cab – 1530mm x 1456mm
Ranger also offers class-leading towing capability. Ranger 4x2 models equipped with the 2.5-litre TDCi are rated at up to 2250kg, while the Ranger 4x4 3.0-litre TDCi models can tow up to 3000kg.
New Ranger will be launched first in Thailand from mid February with Australia expected to see the new model during either the first or second quarter of this year.