The new Ford Ranger pick-up took the stage at the 2011 Commercial Vehicle Show in Birmingham, ahead of its sales launch in Ireland in early 2012.
It is new from the ground up, with everything changed except its name. I have not driven the new Ranger yet, but Ford says the new Ranger has been engineered to combine the model’s traditional strength and durability with increased loading capability, and improved performance and economy. Ford says it offers enhanced comfort and safety, smarter technology, and a tough new look.
The new Ranger is the first commercial vehicle to be built under the One Ford strategy as part of a global product programme, bringing together the full engineering expertise of Ford around the world. Developed in Australia, it will be produced in Thailand, South Africa and Argentina for sale in more than 180 markets worldwide, including Ireland.
Ford claims a class-leading towing capability of up to 3,350kg, in addition to the aforementioned increased load box volume, and a payload capacity of up to 1,333kg prove the Ford Ranger heritage of toughness is still going to be intact.
Buyers in Ireland will have the choice of two versatile cab styles, the option of 4x2 and 4x4 drivetrains, and up to four different series. We will wait with interest to see what range will be offered in Ireland, as well as the prices and specification.
Powerful new Ford Duratorq TDCi diesel engines with responsive six-speed transmissions promise strong, refined performance and outstanding fuel economy. Ford Ireland confirms the double cab will be available initially, with the other versions and a 2.2 150bhp engine to follow a little later. The regular cab with 2.2 120bhp engine will then complete the line-up before the summer.
Ford tells us the enhanced safety performance with new side curtain airbags for head protection and thorax-protecting front-seat side airbags will be standard across all cab styles in Europe.
It will also have desirable feature options and smart technologies such as Bluetooth with voice control and rear view camera system.
The new Ranger is a capable and composed vehicle both on and off road, a Ford spokesman told me at the CV Show earlier this week.
He added: It has been designed as a global vehicle and combines the best of all worlds exceptional safety, outstanding fuel economy, contemporary styling, interior comfort, cutting edge technologies, and class-leading towing and payload capabilities in a one-tonne package that fits in perfectly with the needs of our customers.