One look at the truck onstage here in Detroit shows that Ford is taking this reintroduction seriously. They’ve crafted a body that’s uniquely North American, a move that buyers will no doubt respond to.
Ford cites customer demand as the reason for this new venture, and they’re right—but only because Chevy did the heavy lifting by reintroducing the Canyon/Colorado twins. The success of those vehicles certainly couldn’t be ignored, and Ford is well-positioned to sell a pile of Rangers to a customer base that is very familiar with the product.
The introduction of the new Ford Ranger was light on details. They showed off the truck, which looks good, and shared a little about its underpinnings and powertrains, but not much else.
Here’s what we do know: The Ranger’s power will come from a 2.3L EcoBoost engine that uses twin-scroll turbochargers and a 16-valve design mated with a 10-speed transmission. No numbers of any kind were provided. The truck will also have a high-strength steel frame and steel front and rear bumpers.
Trim packages will start with the entry-level XL and progress to the mid-level XLT and luxury Lariat. Chrome, Sport, and FX Off-Road packages will also be available.
The Ranger’s interior exudes a neat and functional Ford vibe. It will seat up to up to five people in either a SuperCab or SuperCrewcab configuration, with some space for gear. The center stack includes an 8-inch touchscreen for the available SYNC 3 system, while the instrument cluster features dual LCD screens showing real-time vehicle, navigation, and audio information.
One of the few things Ford did expand on was the availability of the FX4 option. This off-road package will include skid plates, upgraded tires, and an off-road tuned suspension and shock setup. For traction electronics, the Ranger will use Ford’s Terrain Management System and something called Trail Control (we’re not sure what that is yet) to navigate rocks and dirt.
The Ranger will be built at Ford’s Michigan Assembly Plant and will arrive late this year. While details were lacking, it seemed that everyone liked what they saw onstage at the reveal. In typical Ford fashion, the company will likely release more information on the Ranger over time, right up to its arrival on dealer lots.