Ford has revealed the limited-run Ranger Sport, designed to sit between the XLS and XLT in the hotly-contested 4x4 dual-cab ute segment.
Although it trails well behind the all-conquering Toyota HiLux in two-wheel drive sales, the Ford Ranger is just 452 sales behind on the more profitable four-wheel drive ute sales charts.
On sale throughout July, the Ranger Sport brings equipment usually reserved for the more expensive XLT to the XLS 4x4. With more upmarket equipment at a friendlier price than the $56,090 before on-road XLT, the XLS should help drive 4x4 Ranger sales.
Priced from $47,790 drive-away (MLRP $52,490) with a manual and $49,990 drive-away (MLRP $55,140) as an automatic, Ford says it offers $6000 in extra equipment compared to the regular XLS for $3500.
Compared to the regular XLS, the Sport gets keyless entry and push-button start, an 8.0-inch touchscreen with SYNC 3, digital radio, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, factory satellite navigation, dual-zone climate control and two screens in the instrument binnacle.
It also gets a black front grille, black mirror caps and door handles, and (you guessed it) black 17-inch alloy wheels. The package also brings sidesteps, sports bars and a bed-liner as standard.
The exterior can be finished in grey, white, black and silver, along with the hero red colour you see here. Autonomous emergency braking, lane-keeping assist, lane-departure warning, automatic high-beam and traffic sign recognition are all standard.
Power will come exclusively from Ford's 3.2-litre five-cylinder turbo-diesel engine, making 147kW and 470Nm.
The XLS Sport is on sale now. Ford hasn't confirmed production numbers, but CarAdvice understands build numbers will be limited to around 600 cars.