Our Editor in chief, Armin A. Amio, is in Bangkok and got a first look at the all-new Ford Ranger.
Bigger. Wider. Higher. These three words best describe the all-new Ford Ranger, the fifth iteration of the internationally sold model although there were four previous ones sold in North America.
Unveiled in Bangkok, Thailand (a natural choice considering that it is the second-biggest truck market in the world), Ford executives debuts the new Ranger to the regional press, one day before it makes its first public appearance at the Bangkok International Motorshow.
Available in three cab styles—Regular, Super and Double—and up to five series (depending on market demand), the new pickup truck gets three new engines—two Duratorq TDCi diesels and one Duratec gasoline unit—as well as two drivetrains (4×2 and 4×4) and two ride heights with the 4×2 Hi-Rider sharing the same frame as the 4×4 model. This gives customers a much wider choice, not to mention price points.
The 2.2-liter Ford Duratorq TDCi four-cylinder diesel engine has a rated peak torque output of 375 Nm and poweroutput of 110 kW (150 PS). The 3.2-liter TDCi five-cylinder diesel engine offers 470 Nm of torque and power rated at 147 kW (200 PS) while the 2.5-liter Ford Duratec four-cylinder gasoline engine allows 226 Nm of torque and power at 122 kW (166 PS). Ford says it can be after-market up fitted to run on LPG. Still true to its “Built Ford Tough” genes, towing capacity is up to 3350 kg on selected models with diesel engines. Certain variants also havean outstanding payload capacity of up to 1500 kg.
Peter Fleet, Ford president for Asean, said the new Ford Ranger is the first truck to be built under the One Ford strategy as part of the US automaker’s global product program. The pickup will be produced from a single global platform that replaces the two platforms currently in production regionally. It will be manufactured in Thailand, South Africa and Argentina. Design and development came from Australia, effectively bringing together the full engineering expertise of Ford around the world.
At 5359 mm long and 1850 mm wide, the new pickup’s rugged looks are backed up by its beefy size. But thanksto a responsive steering system, turning requires no more than 3.5 turns of the wheel (lock to-lock), allowing the Ranger to maneuver easily on the narrow streets of Asean countries and while parking.
Joe Hinrichs, group vice president and president for Asia Pacific and Africa, and concurrent chairman and CEO of Ford China, said the engineers have paid special attention to the rear seats in the truck, with the second row in the Super Cab more spacious than key competitors.
The B-pillar has been moved forward allowing bigger legroom and knee clearance. The Regular Cab and the Super Cab have a bigger box volume at 1.82 cubic meters and 1.45 cubic meters, respectively, while the Double Cab has a space of 1.21 cubic meters. The Ranger Double Cab offers 23 storage spaces in the cabin. It also has a deep center console bin that can accommodate 8.5 liters. In some models, the duct from the air-conditioning unit can cool up to six cans of beverage. The glove box is large enough to accommodate a 16-inch laptop computer while door pockets can fit in 1.5-liter bottles. There is also ample storage for mobile phones and other small items in the console and in areas within easy reach of the driver. Underneath the rear seats, a hidden storage area for tools can easily be accessed.
The new Ranger also comes with the newest technology available for vehicles these days—Bluetooth 1, USB and iPod connectivity as well as voice control over the radio, CD, iPod, USB, electronic air-conditioning and mobile phone. Dual-zone climate control and cruise control are provided in the high series variants while selected models get a five-inch color screen with satellite navigation.
Flood-prone Ranger buyers will be glad to know that the truck’s key electrical components and air inlets havebeen placed high in the engine compartment, enabling the pickup to go deeper than any others. The 4×4 and 4×2 Hi-Rider models can wade through up to 2.6 feet of water. Its ground clearance is about two-thirds of a foot as the driveline components have been mounted above the frame rail so that items like the transfer case and oil pan are protected by crossmembers.