Ranger rides again: Ford introduces 2019 Ranger in Detroit

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Ford Motor Co. pulled the curtain off the new 2019 Ranger, bringing the midsize pickup back to North America for the first time since 2011.

As automakers have been wont to do in recent years, Ford unveiled a couple of all-new models ahead of next week's Detroit auto show. It will play catch-up to Chevy and GMC which have capitalized on a with their successful Colorado and Canyon models. Ford's decision to invest $850 million in the Wayne plant to build the Ranger and a new Bronco SUV won praise previous year from US President Donald Trump. In a reversal of the Mulally-era One Ford touted for the '12 Focus, however, the Blue Oval truck people say the Ranger has been heavily redesigned for the USA market, and has its own, unique box-frame construction.

Ford has some cool surprises in store this year in Detroit and opens up the show with one of the most anticipated vehicles of the year.

One could be forgiven for assuming the Ranger would simply be a Euro-Ranger adjusted for North American crash and safety regulations, since it's already a best-selling nameplate in Europe and the second-best selling truck outside of North America.

Affordability was also an issue, says Todd Eckert, Ford's truck marketing manager.

The company said at last year's North American International Auto Show that there's huge consumer demand for the truck.

The North American Ranger shares its underpinnings with the Ranger that's on sale globally.

Analysts have said Ford might cut into F-150 sales by releasing the Ranger in the USA, but Ford executives have said F-150 shoppers are typically completely different from those who'd look to buy a Ranger. Whether or not there's a major improvement over the fuel mileage of EcoBoost- and diesel-powered aluminum F-150s, the new Ranger provides an easier entry point for-Ford hopes-younger buyers. The trucks will have SuperCab or SuperCrew cab configurations - which means the new Ranger will have an available four-door configuration. Automakers have learned how to iron out powerful engines and make them fuel efficient while teaching themselves how to wrangle daily drivability, off-road ability, and delivery truck utility into a single package and deliver it to customers, who moan "we want it allll" like undead zombies, with a bow on top.

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Fully reengineered for the United States, Ranger will be built in MI with a 2.3-liter turbocharged four cylinder engine and 10-speed automatic transmission.

Dana® Trac-Lok™ differentials distribute power to the wheels, on both 2WD and 4WD models; in the latter case, torque is sent to the front via a shift-on-the-fly transfer case with RWD, 4-High, and 4-Low settings.

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. The tailgate is aluminum, with the handle lifted for "usability". The truck was designed with an athletic look in mind, which truck buyers favor.

Ford didn't skimp on the on-road tech, either. The FX4 trim features off-road tuned shocks, all-terrain tires, a frame-mounted heavy-gauge steel front bash plate, frame-mounted skid plates and FX4 badging. FX4 variants will offer superior off-road capability thanks to the Terrain Management System, the same one as in the F-150 Raptor, which can alter the truck's all-terrain performance in real-time according to the surface on which it rides.

Ranger will arrive early next year in three trims: XL, XLT and Lariat. 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.

"Ranger has always held a special place in the hearts of truck fans", said Ford's boss of product development and purchasing, Hau Thai-Tang. The C-Max will be discontinued once Michigan Assembly is retooled to make the Ranger and the 2020 Bronco. The ACC with stop-and-go technology also includes the segment-first lane centering feature.

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