Ranger rides again: Ford introduces 2019 Ranger in Detroit

Ranger rides again: Ford introduces 2019 Ranger in Detroit

M - Ford's mid-size Ranger pickup truck is returning to American dealerships for the 2019 model year - the first time a new Ranger has been sold in North America since 2011.

The Detroit auto show will be packed with new pickups this year including the 2019 Chevrolet Silverado and the 2019 Ram 1500. It will play catch-up to Chevy and GMC which have capitalized on a with their successful Colorado and Canyon models.

An global version of the Ranger was actually born in 2009, before the previous model breathed its last breathe. In an attempt to snag some of the glory, Ford has crafted a midsize truck using a tried and true formula: F-150. Ford says this was driven by customer demand, but we suspect USA crash requirements also may have been a factor, though Ford denies this.

"Ranger has always held a special place in the hearts of truck fans", said Hau Thai-Tang, Ford executive vice president, Product Development and Purchasing.

The Ranger for North America rides on a completely re-engineered, fully boxed, high-strength-steel frame with six crossmembers to meet North American safety and stiffness requirements, says Rick Bolt, chief program engineer.

Analysts have said Ford might cut into F-150 sales by releasing the Ranger in the US, but Ford executives have said F-150 shoppers are typically completely different from those who'd look to buy a Ranger.

"We see more of an opportunity that didn't exist five years ago", Ford truck marketing manager Todd Eckert said.

The Ranger will be available in three different trim levels- XL, XLT, and Lariat- in ascending order of price and included features. Regardless of which trim level is selected, the Ranger will only be offered in SuperCab or SuperCrew configurations. The truck will also have an FX4 Off-Road Package. It consists of Ford's turbocharged, 2.3-liter EcoBoost petrol engine - with a forged crankshaft and forged connecting rods for durability - paired with Ford's proven 10-speed automatic transmission.

Ranger rides again: Ford introduces 2019 Ranger in Detroit

EPA fuel economy numbers for the 2019 Ford Ranger won't be published until shortly before it goes on sale early next year. There will be both two-wheel- and four-wheel-drive options.

The company is making no secret of the shared DNA between Ranger and the F-Series models, a homage that is paid even in exterior design.

This Ranger gets frame-mounted steel bumpers with steel bash-plates and tow hooks. The tailgate is aluminum, with the handle lifted for "usability". The truck was designed with an athletic look in mind, which truck buyers favor.

Being that not every new, adventurous Ranger owner will have much off-road experience, Ford plans to offer a few pieces of tech on the FX packages to ensure that owners still have a decent chance to get where they're going, skillset be damned. This package, to be offered for rear- and four-wheel-drive models, will add skid plates, knobby tires, off-road-tuned shocks and suspension, a Terrain Management System, and a new Trail Control system. That trim also comes with a terrain management system similar to that found in the F-150 Raptor. Customers who move up to the XLT and Lariat models will get lane departure warning, active lane control, rear park assist, and blind-spot monitors that also extend to any trailer the Ranger is towing. There are numerous optional driver-assist features, too. The onboard modem will give owners the power to access their Rangers remotely via the FordPass smartphone app, and at the same time, provide a mobile WiFi hotspot for up to ten devices. The center stack includes an 8-inch touch-screen system.

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.

Yes, a unique powertrain; for now, at least, the North American 2019 Ford Ranger will be available with just a single engine and transmission combination, although it's a rather promising one. The C-Max will be discontinued once Michigan Assembly is retooled to make the Ranger and the 2020 Bronco.

A side view of the 2019 Ford Ranger.

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