Interior enhancements propel the Ranger into a new league in terms of technology and active safety features. Available in the new ute is Ford's Sync 2 multimedia system, along with adaptive cruise control, lane keeping assistant, driver impairment monitor, front and rear parking sensors, electrically assisted steering, and a 240-volt power socket inside the cabin.
These new technologies are complemented by dual-TFT screens that sit alongside the speedometer and display critical vehicle, entertainment and navigation information.
Much of the 2015 Ranger's design and engineering work was completed in Australia, and Ford Asia Pacific vehicle line director Richard Tilley said the team had its work cut out for it to improve on the current model.
“But thanks to our proud truck heritage and global expertise in the utility segment, we’ve made what was great even better, with a bold new look, improved efficiency and a new level of refinement," Tilley said.
Ford has improved the Ranger's engine line-up with fuel efficiency gains across the board, partly thanks to the addition of stop-start technology, which improves fuel use by 3.5 per cent.
The headline act, the 3.2-litre Duratorq five-cylinder turbocharged diesel, benefits from an 18 per cent fuel efficiency gain thanks to an updated exhaust gas reticulation system. Power and torque outputs remain the same with 147kW of power and 470 Nm of torque.
Ford's 2.2-litre Duratorq four-cylinder turbocharged diesel delivers significant fuel efficiency gains according to the car maker in addition to more power and torque, boosting outputs to 118kW and 385Nm respectively (up from 110kW/375Nm).
The only petrol engine available in Ranger, the 2.5-litre Duratec naturally aspirated petrol, remains unchanged, producing 122kW of power and 225Nm of torque.
Although not currently offered in the Australian market, Ford's lower output 96kW 2.2-litre Duratorq four-cylinder turbocharged diesel engine has also received fuel efficiency gains of 22 per cent.
The Ranger retains its impressive four-wheel-drive specs with a wading depth of 800mm, 230mm ground clearance and 28-degree approach and 25-degree departure angles. A control knob within the cabin allows the driver to change between two- and four-wheel-drive modes, in addition to engaging a low-range four-wheel-drive mode with an electronic locking rear differential.
A 3500kg towing capacity remains, making the Ranger one of the most capable towing vehicles in its class.
An all-new electrically assisted steering system helps manoeuvre the Ranger at low speeds while tightening up and varying based on speed, cornering force, acceleration, decelleration and steering wheel angle.
The new Ford Ranger is expected to go on sale in 180 markets worldwide later this year, including an Australian launch in quarter three of this year.
Click on the Photos tab to see more images of the 2015 Ford Ranger.